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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.
Here is some important general information about your PAL photo:
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).
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.
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.
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
💡 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.
💡 What type of background should my PAL photo have?
Your PAL photo background should be of a plain white color, avoiding patterns and shadows.
💡 What should be the size of my PAL photo?
Your new PAL photo should be 1,75 x 2,25 inches in size.
💡 Can i be smiling on my PAL photo?
No, you will be required to show a neutral, expresionless face on your new PAL photo.
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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