December 02 2016

Why the Photo Tool on the US Department of State website is not fit to validate your US passport or visa photo

Important note: the Photo Tool is not related at all to the internal software that is used by US Department of State to validate US passport and visa photos. That is, it does not share code with that internal software. And thus 'failing' in the Photo Tool does not mean your photo is incorrect and will be rejected.

Why the Photo Tool fails

Example of Incorrect Work of Photo Tool

In this example the image has head size of 1.29" (allowed 1-1.375") and eyes to bottom of 1.31" (allowed 1.125-1.375"). Yet it doesn't fit the biggest of the green ovals.

Example: Photo Tool does not validate the proper image

Why photos are correct

This is because we follow the guidelines in full. First, we measure the head and scale the photo to make the head just below the allowed maximum (i.e. just below 1 3/8 in). Then we shift the photo to make sure the eyes are just above the allowed 1 1/8 in from bottom. This is why we always pass at US Department of State website.

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