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Passport & IDPhotograph Specifications

Hair across eyes

Eyes closed

Portrait style

Eyes tilted

Busy background

Not centred

Flash reflection on skin


Shadows behind head

Shadows across face

Too close

Too far away


Ink marked/ creased

Looking away

Unnatural skin tones

Too dark

Too light

Washed out colour


Dark-tinted lenses

Flash reflection on lenses

Frame too heavy

Frames covering eyes

Wearing a hat

Wearing a cap

Face covered

Shadows across face

Shows another person

Mouth open

Glasses and head covers If you wear glasses:

w the photograph must show your eyes clearly with no flash reflection off the glasses

w no dark-tinted lenses or heavy frames

w make sure that the frames do not cover any part of your eyes

Head coverings:

w are not permitted except for religious reasons, but your facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of your face must be clearly shown

Expression The photograph must:

w show you looking at the camera with a neutral expression and mouth closed

w no obvious grinning, frowning or raised eyebrows

Photograph quality

The photographs must be:

w two identical colour photos for passports

w two identical colour or black and white photos for IDs

w not more than one (1) month old

w 35mm in width and 45mm in height

w a close-up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70 – 80% of the photograph

w of high quality with no ink marks or creases and not damaged

The photographs must:

w show you looking directly at the camera

w have appropriate brightness and contrast

w be printed on high-quality photo paper

Style and lighting The photographs must: w show your natural colour

w show your eyes open and clearly visible - no hair across your face

w show you facing square onto the camera, not looking over one shoulder (portrait style) or tilted

w show both edges of your face clearly

w be taken with a light grey or plain cream-coloured background

w be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflections on your face and no red-eye

w show you alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible)

Black and White Photos

Shows another person

Shown with a toy

w Black and white photos for IDs must also meet these requirements

For further information please contact: The Department of Home Affairs at 0800 60 11 90 You can also visit our website www.dha.gov.za

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