Are Wallet Size And Passport Size The Same?

Photos used for travel can be quite confusing, especially since most photo sizes are similar to each other. One of the most common questions is about wallet sizes and passport sizes, and if they have the same dimensions. Fortunately, we have the answers to your questions!

Wallet size and passport size photos are not the same. By photo industry standards, a wallet-size photo measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches. U.S. Passport size photos are smaller, measuring 2 x 2 inches.

Knowing the right size you will need for your travel documents is important to avoid delaying your application. In this post, we will be listing down the differences between common photo sizes, as well as the requirements necessary for photos, so keep reading this post!

photo of a man holding a brown leather wallet showing cards and pictures inside, Are Wallet Size And Passport Size The Same?

Are Wallet Size And Passport Size The Same?

When traveling, one of the things that everyone needs to have is their own passport. This travel document is the key to discovering new countries and exciting places. However, before you can get a passport, there are certain requirements you'll need to submit.

close up photo of a wallet and wallet size pictures inside

One of the things required for passport applications is a passport photo. More often than not, people get confused about the size of the photo they need to submit and some people give them a wallet-sized photo, only for it to be returned to them.

A wallet-sized photo and a passport-sized photo are different, which is why you cannot substitute wallet-sized photos for your application. Passport photos are very specific, so it is important to follow the requirements needed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

In the photo industry, a wallet-sized photo measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches. This is usually the size you will get when you order wallet-sized photos from a photo package at your local studio.

However, some photo industry experts use 2 x 3 inches as the perfect wallet-sized photo. This size will perfectly fit most wallets without having to cut off the edges.

Passport-sized photos, on the other hand, measure 2 x 2 inches for a U.S. passport. There are different passport photo requirements for different countries, so make sure to check the requirements if you are applying for a different passport.

If you are looking to submit a photo for your passport application or renewal, it would be best to get a photo taken at your local photo center. They can also print your photos with the correct size dimensions needed for the application.

What Are The Requirements For Taking Passport Photos?

U.S. passport photos are required for submission when applying for or renewing a passport. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs has a list of photo requirements that should be followed when having photos taken for a passport.

Basic Policies

  1. Passport photos must be colored photos taken within the last 6 months.
  2. The image of the face must be clear and no image filters should be used.
  3. Selfies are not allowed. All passport photos must be taken by another person.
  4. Eyeglasses should be removed for the passport photo.
  5. The background must be white or off-white in color.

Shadows and Lighting

Your passport photos must not have any shadows on the face or on the background. The image should also have proper lighting, and the image should not be overexposed or underexposed. The color of the photo should also be accurate.

Size and Position

When taking a passport photo, the image should be centered and the size of the head in the image should be about 1 to 1.4 inches. Do not submit photos that are too close or too far from the camera. The head should also be fully visible in the image.

Digital Alterations, Retouching, And Quality

Photos must not be digitally altered to change the shape of the face or to remove the background. Images should also be sharp and blurry, grainy, or pixelated photos will not be accepted upon submission.

Attire, Hats, and Hair

Hats are not allowed for passport photos, but hair coverings can be used for religious or medical purposes with a signed statement. No part of clothing and hair must obscure the face in the photo.

For passport photos, uniforms, clothes that look like uniforms, or camouflage clothing are not allowed for both children and adults. It is always best to wear clothing that you wear on a daily basis for your passport photo.

Pose and Expression

The applicant must directly face the camera with a neutral expression. The eyes should be completely open, with the head straight to show the entire face. The expression must be neutral so frowning, smiling, or looking elsewhere in the photo is prohibited.


Understandably, it is quite harder to get photos of children and babies, but the requirements for the images remain the same. No other person should be in the photo with the child and the expression must be clear and neutral.

For children's passport photos, their eyes must be open and their faces must be fully seen in the photo. Newborns and young babies are allowed to have closed or partially opened eyes in their passport photos.

When Do I Have To Change Passport Photos

photo of a woman hands cutting out pictures for passport application

One of the things people irrationally stress about is their passport photos. After all, this image will be the only image you'll see on your passport for a decade. Whether you love it or you hate it, passport photos cannot be changed until it needs to be renewed.

However, there are specific occasions on which you have to change your passport photo. These circumstances will require you to apply for a new passport which will now bear your new passport photos.

According to the Department of State, new passport photos are only allowed if your appearance has significantly changed from your current passport. Changing the color of your hair or growing facial hair will not constitute a replacement for the passport photo.

The circumstances that might require you to submit a new passport application with a new photo are as follows:

  • If the applicant has undergone significant facial surgery or trauma that has altered their appearance
  • Addition or removal of numerous or large facial piercings or tattoos
  • If the applicant has undergone a significant and very visible weight loss or weight gain
  • If they have made a gender transition

Are Visa Photos Same As Passport Photos?

Aside from passports, there are also other travel documents that will require photos to be submitted. These are visas, and some countries will require U.S. citizens and nationals to apply for a visa before visiting their country.

One of the requirements for visa applications is a visa photo, and most of them do not have the same size dimensions as passport photos. The size of the visa photo will depend on the country you are visiting, so make sure to check their application requirements before submission.

Final Thoughts

photo of a man holding a brown leather wallet showing cards and pictures inside

Travel documents will often require photos as part of its requirements. Always make sure to gather the correct sizes you will need while following the requirements when taking the photo. This will prevent any problems with your application so you don't have to keep repeating the process.

Are you looking for more travel tips? We have some articles that might interest you:

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