WASHINGTON — The State Department is banning passport and visa applicants from wearing eyeglasses in photos taken for the documents.
In a notice published Friday, October 14, 2016, the department said that effective Nov. 1, applicants must remove glasses for passport and visa photographs.
It says the step is being taken to “eliminate glares and shadows” that can cause delays in processing the applications and to ensure consistent photo standards.
Only in rare circumstances, if applicants have “documented medical necessity during urgent travel” will glasses be allowed.
In 2015, more than 200,000 poor quality photos were submitted, and caused applications to be put on hold. The U.S. Passport Services notice said glasses were the No. 1 problem.
The department says it expects to process a record number of passports — more than 20 million — in the current budget year that ends next October.
No, you don’t have to get a brand new passport right now, but next time you renew, you’ll have to take your glasses off.