Taking ID photo for document : Rules to follow

ISO / IEC 19794-5 and the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards impose requirements regarding ID photo for documents, such as identification cards and passports, as well as driving licenses and residence permits for foreigners.

Here are the rules to follow:


The identification photo must be recent and resembling you on the day the application is filed or the document is received. You must take a photo that is approved by national authorities.

2. format of ID photo

In Europe the official photo size is 45mm high by 35mm wide. The size of the face should be 32 to 36 mm, from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head (excluding the hair).

3. Lighting/ color for official photo

The photo should have a good balance between overexposure and underexposure. It should be high contrast, with no shadow on the face or in the background. A color photo is recommended.

4. id Photo quality

The photo must be of high quality (clear, without traces or folding lines).

5. Background

The background should be plain and light in color. White background is prohibited!

6. Head in official photo

Your head must be bare, without a hat, scarf, headband or any other decorative object and your hair must be seen. No visible accessories should be noticeable on your official photo. That includes barrettes, elastic bands and other extras. If your hair is bothering you, tie it in a ponytail behind your head. It will not be visible in the ID photo.

7. Eye direction and head position

The subject must face the lens, hold head straight and look directly into the lens. A neutral expression must be maintained with closed mouth.

8. Face and eyes

Face must be clear. Eyes must be open. The aim is to recognize you in the photo.


Thick frames are prohibited on an id photo. Glasses must not obscure the eyes. For this reason, tinted glasses are prohibited. Note that there should be also no reflection on the glasses.

10. Create your id photos for documents without any hussle

Make your digital identification photos in the appropriate format. With the help of our app, receive your confirmed ID photos directly in your email and/or mailbox. Download our app and obtain your photos without leaving home. Smartphone ID is available on Apple store and Google Play.

Remember, if your id photo is not accepted, document validation process will be extended. Smartphone ID is the first app in France for official document photos with 100% success rate in photo validation. Ensure a secure and approved id photo creation with Smartphone ID.

Learn more about ID photo for documents