Your passport is your ticket to travel around the world and it is one of the most important documents in your life. It is therefore crucial that you always have your passport up to date and make sure that it has not expired. One of the most important elements of this document is of course your passport photo. Many are unsure as to whether or not they need to renew their passport photo or how often they have to update it.

Currently, there is no requirement for the updating of your photos, unless you need a new passport. Let’s take a look at the process for passport application and what rules there are around photos.

Sweeping Changes 

Given that passports are handed out with 10 year expiry dates, it is clear that some level of facial change is anticipated. If however you have a whole different appearance and are unrecognisable from your original passport photo, then your only option is to get a new passport entirely to avoid any potential issues.

Should You Need a New Passport

If you do require a new passport then below are the steps which you will have to follow:

  • Gather documents to provide evidence of citizenship(such as a birth certificate)
  • Find a guarantor or referee; must be Australian citizen who you’ve know for more than a year, cannot be a relative
  • Complete your online application, the Post Office also have paper application forms if you prefer
  • If you have applied online, print the form out
  • Get your passport photos, you can take them yourself or search online for ‘passport photos near me’
  • Lodge your application and pay the required fee
  • Wait to hear of confirmation of your passport application, usually around a 3 week wait

Photo Requirements

The reason why many will use a passport photo delivery service is that there are an abundance of rules that must be complied with when taking a photo. Here is what you must provide:

  • Two identical, good quality colour prints, less than six months old, produced using dye sublimation
  • No retouching of any kind (including removal of background, moles, wrinkles or scars)
  • Clear and focused image with no marks or ‘red eye’
  • Plain white or light grey in the background that contrasts with your face
  • Uniform lighting (no shadows or reflections), with appropriate brightness and contrast to show natural skin tone
  • Face should be centred and looking at the camera straight on; not tilted in any direction
  • Hair off your face, so that the edges of your face are visible
  • Eyes open, mouth closed
  • Neutral expression

Using a passport photo delivery service online can be your best bet if you are feeling overwhelmed with the requirements.

However, if you are in a rush for your passport then you can certainly find urgent options, just bear in mind that these will come with a much higher fee owing to the urgency. So be sure to be prepared as possible when it comes to passports to avoid any extra fees.