Before you snap that new passport photo, take off your specs.
Beginning today, the U.S. Department of State will no longer accept passport photos if you are wearing glasses.
The rule applies only to customers applying for or renewing a U.S. passport. If your existing, unexpired passport features a photo of you wearing glasses, you are not required to obtain a new passport.
“Last year, more than 200,000 passport customers submitted poor quality photos which we couldn’t accept,” says a news release explaining the no-glasses rule on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
“The number one problem was glasses. We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo.”
Officials say the policy change will mean fewer delays for passport applications and faster passes through U.S. ports of entry.
Travelers may wear glasses if they have a medical issue, such as a recent surgery requiring glasses to protect their eyes, officials said. Travelers who must wear glasses need a signed statement from a medical professional or health practitioner, which they must submit with their passport application.