UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo

UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo

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Photo for the UK provisional driving licence

UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo - A Guide
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
600 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 32.8 mm
  • Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 4.9 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

Photo for the UK provisional driving licence 

The UK provisional driving licence allows for the usage of UK roads (excluding motorways) when supervised by a driving instructor, or another driver over the age of 21, who has to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 (three) years.

UK provisional driving licence photo - requirements

In order to submit a correct application for a UK provisional driving licence you will need a UK passport biometric photo. We recommend the use of the PhotoAiD website or app to get your photo ready in a mere 3 seconds. 

The basic requirements regarding the provisional driving licence photo are as follows:

  • Only a colour picture is acceptable.
  • The background should be grey or cream (not white or any other colour).
  • You must face the camera.
  • Your full head (not obscured by sunglasses or head coverings) must be visible in the picture.

It is also mandatory that your photo is signed by someone who has known you for more than 2 (two) years (however, they must not be a relative or living at the same address as you). Appropriate individuals are: local business people or shopkeepers, librarians, professionally qualified people, e.g. lawyers, teachers, or engineers, police officers, bank or building society staff, civil servants, ministers of religion, magistrates, local councillors, Members of Parliament, Assembly Members, Members of the Scottish Parliament, or Members of the European Parliament. 

Size of the UK provisional driving licence photo 

A photo used in the UK provisional driving licence application should be 35 x 45 mm or at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels high (ideally 900 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high) if you submit it online. The permitted size of a photo file is between 50 KB and 10 MB. 

Background colour

The background of a picture for the UK provisional driving licence should be either light gray or cream, and plain. It is important that the contrast between the background and the person in the picture is clear. Check that there aren’t any objects visible in the background.


Make sure there is enough light and that your face is lit evenly so as to properly show your facial features.


Keep your head straight (not tilted in any direction) and your upper body facing the camera. Look directly into the lens. A provisional driving licence photo has to be taken with a front-facing view as no half-profile pictures will be accepted. 


Remember to keep your eyes open, so the colour of the iris is recognisable and don't let your bangs cover your eyes or eyebrows. Refrain from using a flash lamp, as you risk getting a ‘red eye’ effect.

Facial expression

Your facial expression should be neutral and your mouth shut. This means no smiling, showing teeth, frowning or grimacing.


Sunglasses or tinted glasses are forbidden, but you can wear your prescription glasses if they do not reflect the light. Make sure the frames of your glasses do not obstruct your eyes.


No special guidelines for hairstyles specifically exist. You can either tie your hair or leave it loose, only making sure it does not cover any part of your face, including your forehead and eyebrows, but there is no need to uncover your ears (those can be covered).

Head coverings

No head coverings such as hats, headbands or caps are allowed, but religious head coverings are an exception. In order to keep them in your photo you need to provide a certificate from your religious community. Make sure that religious headwear does not cover your face in any way.

UK provisional driving licence photo and PhotoAiD

To make the whole process simpler, when applying for a British provisional driving licence, use PhotoAiD to take photos in 3 seconds.

The tools available on the PhotoAiD site regulate the size of your photo and crop it to the dimensions required by the British authorities. In cases of an unacceptable background, it gets replaced with the proper, uniform one. A photo validator tool checks whether your photo fulfills all the official requirements and is in line with the biometric specifications.

How to take a UK provisional driving licence photo using your phone?

Once you make sure you fulfill all the requirements described above, it is time to follow a few simple steps and take the photo for your UK provisional driving licence by yourself. Here is the process::

  1. Secure a spot with a plain background, such as a lightly-coloured wall, and good lighting.
  2. Wear a colour that will not blend in with the background, but nothing extravagant or revealing (your shoulders should be covered). Wearing any kind of uniform is forbidden.
  3. Download PhotoAiD to your smartphone or use the web version. 
  4. Take your picture according to the rules described above. 
  5. Upload your photo and download it with a 100% guarantee of acceptance.

Photos for the UK provisional driving licence - common mistakes

Follow our guide and read on what NOT TO DO during your photoshoot and to make sure your application is accepted without delay.

Below we have listed what is not allowed when taking a provisional driving licence photo:

  • Looking sideways – you should be directly facing the camera. 
  • Wearing any tinted glasses or sunglasses for reasons other than medical (in which case make sure there isn't any reflection in them).
  • Very strong makeup that drastically alters your appearance. The whole concept of taking a biometric photo is using it for identification reasons, so try to look as natural as possible.
  • Unnatural facial expression- no smiling or frowning in an official photograph.
  • Head coverings - unless for religious reasons that are justified by a certificate from your religious community (make sure they do not cover your forehead, eyebrows or any other part of your face except for the ears).

Finally, take a moment to check whether there are no shadows, stains or creases on your picture.

Last update: 27/06/2022

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ Do I need a photograph to apply for the UK provisional driving licence?

Yes. To apply for the UK Provisional Driving Licence you need to submit personal identification documents, among others a UK biometric passport photograph.

❓ Who can sign my provisional driving licence photo?

The photograph should be signed by someone suitable who has known you for at least two years (who is also a non-relative and not living at the same address as you). Suitable people include a local business person or shopkeeper, librarians, professionally qualified people, e.g. lawyers, teachers, or engineers, police officers, bank or building society staff, civil servants, etc.

❓ What are the general requirements for UK provisional driving licence photos?

Photographs must be in colour and the background must be light grey or cream. You must be facing the camera. The photos should show your whole head with no hat, helmet, or sunglasses obscuring the face.

The photo size for a provisional driving licence in the UK is 45mm x 35mm, or at least 600 x 750 pixels (best is 900 pixels x 1200 pixels) with a file size between 50 KB and 10 MB.

Yes. The requirements are the same regarding size, background colour, head position, facial expression. They are both biometric photographs so it is important that your facial features are clearly shown.Nothing can cover your face or appear in the background.

You cannot wear sunglasses, but prescription glasses are allowed as long as the frame doesnt cover your eyes and pupils and there is no flash reflection in them.

About the document

UK provisional driving licence

The UK provisional driving licence grants permission to drive on UK streets (barring motorways), while under the management of your driving instructor or a driver who is 21 years old or over, who has held a full driving licence for a minimum of 3 (three) years. 

In order to apply for a provisional licence you must be a resident of the United Kingdom. You can apply for your permit when you are 16 years and 9 months old. 

Getting a provisional driving licence will set you back £43.00, which is payable with a credit or debit card, or cheque or postal order if sending payment by post. Applying online can help you save some money, as it costs a reduced fee of £34.00. Once you pass your driving test, your permit will be replaced with a full licence free of charge. 

What are the requirements to get a UK provisional driving licence? Who is eligible to get one and under what conditions? Read to find out!

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