Photo Guidance

Photos are an essential part of your application for a CitizenCard ID. We only accept passport quality photographs. You can get your photos taken in one of many photo booths across the UK or by a professional photographer who specialises in taking passport photos.

If the photos you supply are not suitable, you application for an ID card will be delayed. Please read the guidelines below and don't forget - one of your photos needs to be countersigned by your referee for first time applications.

Photo size

Photo size for a CitizenCard must be 45 millimetres high x 35 millimetres wide and must not be trimmed or cut down from a larger photograph.

Photo Size Requirement

The quality of your photo

Your photo must be:

  • printed to a high quality on white photographic paper, such as photos printed by a booth or studio
  • taken within the last month
  • in colour, clear and in focus
  • taken against a plain cream or light grey background
  • unaltered by software i.e. Adobe Photoshop, Instagram and Snapchat
  • not be torn, creased or have any marks

What your photo must show

Your photo must:

  • contain no other objects or people
  • be a close-up of your full head and upper shoulders
  • be in clear contrast to the background

In your photo you must:

  • be facing forward and looking straight at the camera
  • have a neutral expression and your mouth closed (e.g. no smiling)
  • have your eyes open, visible and free from reflection or glare from glasses (you can't wear sunglasses)
  • not have hair in front of your eyes
  • not have anything covering your face
  • not have a head covering e.g. hat or cap (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have any shadows on your face or behind you

Young Children

Children aged five and under do not need to have a neutral expression or look straight at the camera. Babies under one don't need to have their eyes open. All other photo standards listed above must be met.

Common photo mistakes

Common photo mistakes

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Important Points For Applicants

  • If you need your card right away, make an Urgent application and post it by Special Delivery.
  • Check whether your referee is acceptable as Route 1 or a Route 2 professional person.
  • Check whether your referee countersigned your form, passport quality photograph and (if applicable) a copy of an official document confirming your identity.
  • Make sure that your referee can be contacted by phone during office hours at their place of work.


The PASS hologram on each CitizenCard is endorsed by the Home Office, Police, SIA and retailers.

Proof of Age Standards SchemeNational Police Chiefs' Council
Chartered Trading Standards InstituteSecurity Industry Authority

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    SW4 0BG
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