Changing Appearances and Your Passport Photo!

Everybody changes!

Whether It’s something as insignificant as a new facial hair style, or as noticeable as massive weight loss, the human need and tendency to alter one’s appearance isn’t going away anytime soon. In an age of increased identification requirements and security concerns, It’s important to have that visual consistency with regards to your passport photo.

If your passport has not expired, new photos would only be required if your appearance has “significantly changed” from the face in your passport photo, according to the Department of State.

Apparently, growing a beard or altering the color of your hair is not considered a significant change in the eyes of the government. Security officials who deal with passports are trained to focus on more key elements, such as noticeable facial features, for example. As such, a new or differing hairstyle shouldn’t be a real distraction from the eyes of a government official.

When should you update that passport photo?

  1. Undergoing significant facial surgery/trauma
  2. Undergoing a change in your gender, or adding/removing many facial piercings or tattoos
  3. If you simply cannot be identified from your current passport photo, you should apply for a new passport!

When it does come time to get a passport photo, the US government provides a wealth of “do’s” and “don’ts” on its website, so be sure to do some further research for maximum clarity on the matter!