Do You Need to Change Your Passport If Your Appearance Changes?

If you’re the kind of person who likes to update your look from time to time, you may be asking yourself this question. In this article, we hope to shine a light on what to do in relation to appearance changes and identity documents.

American passport

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I no longer look like how I looked in my passport photo. Can I still use my passport to travel abroad?

The short answer is that it depends. Hairstyle changes or even drastically new hair color can count as minor changes, and you can simply continue to use your passport as is.

Another issue is when you have done, for example, plastic surgery or something happened that alters your facial structure. This usually counts as a significant change, and as you may no longer look like your identifying photo in the document, it may present some problems if you use it.

In what cases should I change my passport photo?

As we have explained above, having a major change, for example, in the form of a facial structure change, may affect the use of your passport. In this case, it would be wise to apply for a new passport and update your photo there to make sure that your next valid passport will represent how you currently look.

How to look your best in a passport photo? Professional tips

Here are some tips on how you can make sure you’ll like your passport photo:

Here is an example of a 2x2 inch photo suitable for a USA passport:

USA passport photo

Online passport photo editor

Once you have taken your ideal photo, what’s left is to format it to the needed parameters for your passport application.

With Visafoto, you can edit your homemade portraits into fully compliant passport and visa application photos instantly without thinking about how to crop, change backgrounds, or adjust proportions. Visafoto can change your background or even fix red-eye effects.

This tool can be handy when you need your photo done fast but properly and you want a guaranteed result. Visafoto’s customer service is also ready to help you through the process.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Upload photo & Continue


Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Use a selfie taken under daylight, like this one:

Passport photo original source

You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo for electronic applications and a template ready for printing.

Example of a US passport photo
US passport photos for printing

Can I change my passport photo without applying for a new passport?

No, it is impossible only to change the photo of your current passport and have it continue to work as is. Apply for a new passport to update your photo in case of a significant appearance change.

Passport photo renewal costs in the U.S.

As we have mentioned above, there is no such process as photo passport change or renewal as a standalone process: photos are only changed by renewing your passport or applying for a new one. The US adult passport renewal fee is $130.

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