U.S. Passport Photo Requirements Changing November 1

Posted: September 26th, 2016
September is Passport Awareness Month, and AAA Travel is reminding travelers of a change announced by the U.S. State Department. Beginning November 1, travelers must remove their eyeglasses when having passport photos taken. Travelers who have photos where they are wearing eyeglasses in existing passports will not be required to obtain new passports.

According to the State Department, more than 200,000 passport customers submitted poor quality photos that couldn’t be accepted in 2015. The main reason involved eyeglasses, which can cause glare on the lens, create shadows on faces or block a portion of the eyes.

The agency is hoping that new passport photos taken without eyeglasses will translate into fewer delays in the application process and may help travelers move more quickly through U.S. ports of entry. Travelers may wear glasses if they have a medical issue, and can submit documentation along with their application.

“AAA recommends that travelers renew their passports as far in advance as possible for an international trip to avoid delays,” said Cathleen Lewis, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations for AAA Northeast. “AAA members can visit their local AAA office to obtain passport photos. And it’s always wise to consult a travel advisor to ensure you have all necessary travel documents before your trip.”

AAA Northeast in New Jersey provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to its nearly 400,000 members in Essex, Morris and Union Counties.