Firearms License Photo in Canada

Firearms License Photo in Canada

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Canadian Firearms License Photo

Canadian Firearms License Photo - Requirements And Size
Width: 45 mm
Height: 57 mm
600 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 32 mm
  • Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 10 mm
Is it suitable for online submission?
Is it printable?
Background Color

How to take a photo?

Body-camera distance
Body-camera distance
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face

Canadian Firearms License photo 

If you want to possess restricted-access firearms in Canada, you must obtain a Possession and Acquisition License, known as a PAL. To apply for a PAL you must provide a proper PAL photo one that follows all the official Canadian government rules and regulations. Below, we have summed up what you need to know about this photo and provided some great tips on how to get it perfect on the first try. 

PAL photo - general information 

Here is some important general information about your PAL photo:

  • The photo has to be original and standalone, meaning that your image cannot be cut from a bigger photo. 
  • An inadequate photo (meaning the one that doesn’t follow the rules shown in the article below) might get your whole application for a PAL rejected.
  • Before you can get the license, you must complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.

PAL photo size 

Your PAL photo has to be 1.75 x 2.25 inches in size (which is around 45 x 57 mm). Make sure that your head is centered and that it takes up most of the picture, and is at least 1.18 inches high (30 mm). 

PAL photo rules and regulations

The most important thing to remember about the PAL photo is that the image has to show the real you, with no digital beautification effects or social media filters. Here are the DOs and DON’Ts of the PAL photo. 


  • Use a plain, white background.
  • Make sure no other persons or objects are visible in your photo.
  • Keep your eyes open.
  • Keep your mouth closed.
  • Maintain as neutral of an expression as you can.
  • Remember that your head and shoulders have to be both well visible in the photo. 


  • Smile or frown (keep your expression neutral).
  • Tilt or turn your head in any way or direction.
  • Look away from the camera.
  • Submit a photo older than a year.

Your looks in the PAL photo 

In your PAL photo, you are allowed to have a beard and long hair. You can dress however you like—either casual clothes or a business suit—but avoid military uniforms and camouflage patterns. Also, you need to make sure that your clothes contrast with the background of your photo, so don’t wear all white. Prescription glasses are allowed but make sure that the frames don’t obscure your face in any way. Sunglasses are not permitted. You cannot wear colored contact lenses. Avoid big jewelry and hair accessories, too. The only head covering allowed is something you wear every day for religious reasons, such as turbans and yarmulkes. 

Canadian Firearms License photo summed up 

If you want to exercise your right to carry and use restricted firearms in Canada, you need a license called the PAL. One of the most important parts of your PAL application is a proper PAL photo that follows the official guidelines. Above, you can find specific information on the topic, but to sum up: make sure your photo isn’t older than a year, use a plain white background, and keep your expression neutral. 

Last update: 2022-06-27

Frequently Asked Questions

💡 Can I put a passport photo for my PAL photo?

No. The PAL photo has different rules and requirements than a standard passport photo in Canada.

💡 Is PAL a requirement?

If you are in need of carrying a firearm - yes. You are not permitted to posses or use firearms without one.

💡 How long can PAL be valid for?

PAL can be valid for up to 5 years at maximum, after which time period you will be legible for a renewal.

Your PAL photo background should be of a plain white color, avoiding patterns and shadows.

Your new PAL photo should be 1,75 x 2,25 inches in size.

No, you will be required to show a neutral, expresionless face on your new PAL photo.

About the document

The Possession and Acquisition License is a document for those who wish to obtain, possess, and use a restricted firearm in Canada. You can get this type of license for up to 5 years, after which you can apply for renewal. If you do not renew, you are required to dispose of your weapon officially. The registration and licensing process is managed by the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program, which works under the Deputy Commissioner Policing Support Services. 

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