Fotostudio biometrisches Foto Passbild
Foto: Carlos Alcazar/ pixabay

How to get a passport photo

When applying for a passport, driver's license or other documents, a passport photo is often required. This photo can be seen later on your passport for example.

Today we will explain the differences between the different passport photos and where you can get such a photo.

Which passport photo do I need?

For an identity card, passport or driving license in Germany you need a so-called biometric passport photo. This photo is always used for official documents. It has a special format and requirements. For example, it must be 3.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm high. The photo must not have a border. Your face must be clearly visible. Also, you must not laugh on the biometric photo. Your mouth must be closed and you must look neutral.

There are some other requirements: Here you can find more information.

For other documents (such as the health insurance card or the student ID card) you do not need a biometric passport photo. There a "normal" passport photo is sufficient. Still, your face must be clearly visible, you need a neutral background and the photo must not be too dark.

Where can I get a passport photo?

The classic way to get a passport photo is the local photographer. There are offers for it everywhere in the region. The best way is to look on the internet for someone close to you. You don't usually need an appointment for a passport photo: you just walk by. In the shop you explain why you need the photo. The photographers already know the right format and know what to do. Taking the photo does not take long. You can take the photo home with you immediately.

Another way is the photo booth. You've probably seen one of these machines before in a shopping mall or at the train station. There you sit down in the small booth, insert money and choose your format. Then the photo is taken and you can take it home with you.

Of course you can take the photo yourself or ask a friend or someone else. You should use a good camera. You also need a white background and good light. More important will be that the format must be right. So be careful and stick to the rules for biometric photos so that the authorities will accept it.

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