Eyeglasses Banned in U.S. Passport Photos

By Jesse Sokolow on 7 November 2016
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DSC_0851The Department of State said it is requiring applicants for new passports to remove their glasses for their passport photos.

Travelers are harder to identify if they are wearing eyeglasses in their passport photos, according to the agency. Last year, approximately 200,000 poor-quality photos were not accepted and eyeglasses were the number one problem with the images.

“We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo,” the agency said in a statement announcing the new policy.

Current passport holders whose photos show them wearing glasses do not need to obtain new pictures, although when renewing a passport, a traveler must take his picture sans glasses.

In addition to the fact that eyeglasses make an individual look fundamentally different and harder to identify, eyeglasses can create glare in the photo that makes it even more difficult to identify an individual.

A traveler who wears eyeglasses for medical reasons can submit a signed letter from his doctor along with his passport application that would allow him to wear glasses in his photo.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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