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You can no longer wear glasses in your US passport photo

የአሜሪካን ፓስፖርት ፎቶ ግራፍ ሲነሱ መነፀር ማድረግ ተከለከለ

noglassWASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is banning passport and visa applicants from wearing eyeglasses in photos taken for the documents.

In a notice published Friday, October 14, 2016, the department said that effective Nov. 1, applicants must remove glasses for passport and visa photographs.

It says the step is being taken to “eliminate glares and shadows” that can cause delays in processing the applications and to ensure consistent photo standards. Only in rare circumstances, if applicants have “documented medical necessity during urgent travel” will glasses be allowed.
Image from the US Passports & International Travel department

Image from the US Passports & International Travel department

In 2015, more than 200,000 poor quality photos were submitted, and caused applications to be put on hold. The U.S. Passport Services notice said glasses were the No. 1 problem.

The department says it expects to process a record number of passports — more than 20 million — in the current budget year that ends next October.

No, you don’t have to get a brand new passport right now, but next time you renew, you’ll have to take your glasses off.

Newsroom

No Glasses Allowed, Starting November 1st

October 1, 2016 image of PPT Carousel No Eyeglasses 325x202px v22.jpgBeginning November 1st, 2016, customers applying for or renewing their passport must remove glasses for their passport photo.

Last year, more than 200,000 passport customers submitted poor quality photos which we couldn’t accept. The #1 problem was glasses. We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo.

If the photo of you in your unexpired passport has glasses, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to get a new passport now. Next time you renew your passport, though, you’ll have to take your glasses off.

This policy change helps us and it helps you. We can see you more clearly now and you will experience fewer passport application delays and can move faster through U.S. ports of entry. Don’t get us wrong, we love your glasses, but take them off for your passport photo.*

For more information on passport photos, check out our photo requirements and photo examples.

*If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you’ll need to obtain and submit a signed statement with your passport application from a medical professional or health practitioner.

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