Can I Change My Passport Photo?

Can I Change My Passport Photo?

A lot can change in 10 years: gas prices ($3.60/gallon in 2012), internet speeds (6.7 Mbps on average), and, most likely, our waistlines (much smaller back then). With U.S. adult passports having a validity of 10 (ten) years, you may wonder, “Can I change my passport photo?” 

Here at PhotoAiD®, we’ve done the research to take the guesswork out of the query, so keep reading to find out precisely what circumstances require a passport photo change before your current passport’s expiry date and whether you can change your passport photo at will.

Jump to a specific section:

Can you change your passport photo: who’s eligible?

In most cases, a drastic change in appearance will require the photo in your current passport to be changed via a new U.S. passport application. 

By drastic, we’re not referring to growing facial hair (no matter the quantity)—sporting a new Santa beard when your previous passport photo has you clean-shaven does not require changing one’s passport photo. Similarly, significantly changing your hair’s length, amount, or color does not necessitate a document photo change either. 

See other examples of passport photos to know what gets accepted by the authorities.

According to the Department of State’s website, only the following conditions meet the official requirements for a passport photo change by applying for a new U.S. passport (regardless of your current passport’s expiration date):

Sustained significant facial traumaPermanent bone or soft tissue damage (i.e., scarring) as a result of car accidents, assaults, gunshot wounds, falls, burns, etc.
Undergone significant facial surgery Cosmetic surgeries that alter the facial proportions (e.g., significant rhinoplasty and facial implants). 
A notable amount of weight gain/loss Notable change in facial structure as a result of gaining or losing extreme amounts of weight. 
Gender transitionChange that alters your facial appearance from your birth sex.
Addition or removal of tattoos and piercingsTattoo laser removal or piercing removal from the face or neck area. Addition of new tattoos that cover parts of the face or neck. 

The most important facet governing whether a new passport picture is needed depends on whether the individual’s facial proportions have changed so that the distances between facial features differ from their previous photo.

Graphic depicting biometric distances between facial features used to identify individuals by passport agents.

Thus, a little botox or lip filler will likely not require a new passport photo. However, extreme makeovers, surgeries, or traumas will require a new passport application and photo change. 

Children under the age of 16 (sixteen) do not require a passport photo change due to natural aging.

Want to get started with a new passport application and need an instant passport photo? Try PhotoAiD’s amazing tool for government-compliant passport photos in seconds. With an average rating of 4.6⭐ and over 1000 reviews on Trustpilot, you can be confident we’ll get your best side.

Check out these related articles:

Change passport photo with a passport renewal

Another way to change one’s passport photo is to do a U.S. passport renewal. The Department of the State recommends submitting passport renewals up to 9 (nine) months before expiration so you can have your passport photo reflect your new look sooner than the date of expiry.

Despite the official recommendation, it is possible to renew your U.S. passport at any point in time. Thus, those who wish to change their passport photo (simply because they want to) can apply for a passport renewal with their new 2×2” U.S. passport photos months or even years before their current passport’s natural expiry date.

To reiterate, changing one’s passport photo is possible at any time. However, the individual must submit a new passport application (due to facial trauma, extensive plastic surgery, etc.) or a U.S. passport renewal (when the individual resembles their existing passport photo) to effectively change their photo.

Change your passport photo with PhotoAiD® (and get the perfect shot)

Need to change your passport photo due to an upcoming renewal or drastic change in appearance? Use PhotoAiD® to keep snapping until you walk away with a passport picture you’re proud to flash at the airport. 

Unlike other options, PhotoAiD®’s intuitive mobile application (available on Android and iOS) allows you to take photos until you find the perfect shot. Ultimately, you’re in charge of the final photo—we just ensure it follows all the guidelines the Department of the State set out.

Best of all, we can turn any existing photo into a government-compliant passport photo thanks to our incredible AI-based background removal and editing software. Lastly, all PhotoAid passport photos are checked by our human photo experts to ensure quality–that’s how we can offer the best guarantee in the business: 100% compliance or double your money back!


Read through the following questions and answers to learn everything there is to know about changing one’s passport photo.

Can I get a new picture on my passport?

Theoretically, yes. However, to get a new picture on your passport, you must apply for a renewal. Then, applicants can submit their new photo along with Form DS-82.

Can you change your passport photo before it expires?

Yes; in fact, you can change your passport photo anytime you want. However, U.S. citizens cannot change only the passport photo—they must undergo the renewal process with all necessary documents, new pictures included.

How to change passport photo?

The only way to change one’s passport photo is to submit a new U.S passport application or passport renewal. In either case, changing a passport photo on its own is impossible; instead, a new document must be issued. 

How much to change passport photo?

To change a passport photo, an individual must spend $130-$165 for a new U.S. passport book. The variance in price depends on whether one submits a new passport application or a U.S. passport renewal. This quote does not include additional charges for passport photos and expedited service. 

How often can you change your passport photo?

There is no limit to how many times you can change your passport photo. However, each passport photo change will require either a new U.S. passport application or a U.S. passport renewal. 

When can I change my passport photo?

Passport photos can be changed during U.S. passport renewals. Alternatively, individuals can apply for new U.S. passports if their appearance has drastically changed and they no longer resemble the pictures in their passports. 

Final thoughts

Yes, you can change your passport photo, but should you? Passport photos can be changed by submitting a new U.S. passport application (in case of a drastic change in appearance) or by passport renewal (at any time).

But before spending all that time and money, it’s worth finding out whether a passport photo change is really necessary.If you’re convinced a new passport photo is in order, why not use PhotoAiD® to get the perfect picture and ensure U.S. passport agents accept your photos?