Child passport photo guidelines

Child passport photo guidelines

Getting organised for our summer holidays in Florida was really exciting, and it started with having our passport photos taken, as neither myself nor Bill, my husband, has ever had a passport before. We have friends whose passports took ages to be issued, because of delays and backlogs leading up to the holiday period, but we had ours in no time. Now that we have our first ever passports, we’re ready to travel the world, starting with America. We’re so looking forward to it, and we’ve promised ourselves we’re going to visit at least one country for the rest of our lives – as long as we’re able to, at least!


Applying for a new passport in the UK means also getting new passport photos – even if you look the same as you did the last time you got one. The passport photos must be identical and measure 45mm high by 33mm wide; they can’t be a larger picture that’s then cut down to size. Additionally, the photos for a new passport must have been taken within a month of your application, be it in colour and on a light cream or grey background. Other rules of the UK Passport Office are that passport photos must: have a neutral expression (no smiling at the camera); be of the upper shoulders and full head and; not be altered by any photo-editing software.

If you are planning a family holiday abroad, it is worth double-checking that everyone’s passports are in date – and it is worth remembering that all children must have their own passports. It is no fun at all going on holiday and only getting as far as the airport!

Children’s passports are only valid for five years from the date of issue and it is surprising how quickly five years can pass. It is therefore always worth checking the expiry date on your children’s passports at the time you book your holiday.

A quick glance at the online passport photo will tell you instantly whether you need to double-check the expiry date: if your nine year old’s passport features a baby’s passport photo then it’s a sure sign it needs updating.

Get organised with an up-to-date child’s passport photo and fill in the forms to renew nice and early.