UK Driving Licence Photo Requirements & Sizes 2023

UK Driving Licence Photo Sizes & Guidelines

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Are you a newly minted driver who can’t wait to get your permit? Or you just need a renewal of your old driver’s ID? Well, there is an important task you have to do before you get your new permit - prepare your official photo. And there are certain driving licence photo rules you have to follow to make an acceptable image.

In this guide, you will find all the DVLA photo requirements for the driver’s photo: dimensions, resolution, background colour, and more. You will also receive some recommendations on how to take your pic to ease the process. What’s more, we will show you a tool that can help you prepare your picture without leaving the comfort of your home. It will be useful even if you need a photo for your provisional driving licence. Let’s dive in, shall we?

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UK Driving Licence Photo Requirements & Dimensions

DVLA in the United Kingdom has a set of specifications regarding driver’s licence picture. If your image does not follow all of them, your driver permit application will be rejected. So it’s better to know them even if you are taking your picture at a photo studio. The following requirements are mandatory for both full and provisional licence photos.

  • Dimensions of your picture should be 35x45mm
  • Your head has to be 29-34mm high in your photo
  • There must be a distance of 3-5mm from the top of your image to the top of your head
  • Your picture has to be in colour
  • Background of your official picture has to be light-grey or cream coloured
  • Resolution of your photo must be 600dpi
  • Your pic must not be modified by photo editors
  • Your photo has to be taken within 1 month before your application
  • Authorized person has to verify your identity in your picture if you are not a resident of any of the EEA countries and don’t have a UK Biometric Residence Permit or a UK travel document
  • You don’t need anyone to sign your photo if you are sending a digital copy of it or renewing your driver’s licences
UK driving licence photo size
UK driver’s licence photo sizes
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More Driving Licence Photo Rules

We have gone over all the UK driving licence photo requirements regarding sizes, background, and resolution. But here are some more guidelines that are also compulsory:

  • Look toward the camera and keep a neutral facial expression
  • Face the camera and don't smile
    Don't smile, don't turn away

  • Keep your eyes open and avoid the red-eye effect
  • Open your eyes, avoid the red-eye effect
    Make sure the photo displays your eyes correctly

  • Center your face and make sure it’s clearly visible and has no shades on it or around
  • Put your hair out of your face, avoid shadows
    Uncover your face and make sure it's in the center of the picture

  • Don’t have headwear on unless worn for religious reasons
  • Don't wear hats or jewelry
    Take off hats and accessories

  • Don’t wear glasses if they are not prescribed to you, take off tinted glasses
  • Don't wear unprescribed glasses, avoid glares
    Take off tinted glasses, or unprescribed clear ones

  • Print your photo in colour and make sure it’s of good quality
  • Take your pic with a good camera and lighting
    Make sure your picture is of good quality and in colour

  • Avoid having other people and objects in the frame, or patterns in the background
  • Take an isolated picture
    Make sure there are no other people, objects or details in the background

Still feel lost about taking a photo for your driving licence? Check out the official DVLA website if you want the driving licence photo requirements and the process of taking your pic to be explained to you in more detail.

You’ll need to submit the following documents to get or renew a driving licence: a photo (if you had a paper provisional licence), a declaration on your driving test pass certificate, a D1 form, an identity document in case you don’t have a UK passport, and your provisional licence. For other cases, such as replacing a stolen document or applying for the first provisional licence, find the list of documents on the UK government’s official website.

How to Make a Good Driving Licence Photo Yourself

There are a lot of photo services that can take your credentials picture today. Don’t have a photo studio anywhere close to your home? Don’t feel like driving anywhere far? There is a handy tool called Passport Photo Maker for your convenience. You can use it to prepare your driving photo right at home and make sure it complies with all the UK driving licence photo requirements. Thanks to this software’s diversity of picture templates, you can make ID images for 130+ countries in a couple of clicks. Hit the button below to try the easy-to-use tool for free.

Looking for a program to make licence photos yourself?
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Now that you have Passport Photo Maker at hand, you’re ready to move on to the tutorial to see how to update a driving licence photo or prepare your first picture on your own.

Step 1. Open Your Photo in Passport Photo Maker

Run the software. Once you are on the startup screen, select your full or provisional licence photo in the left tab to start working on it.

Take your photo using the web-camera
Import your image or use your webcam to take it in the program

Step 2. Choose the Auto-Crop Template

Stay on the ID Type tab and browse the country drop-down menu to find the United Kingdom. Then go to the ID menu and select Driving Licence. Passport Photo Maker will apply the necessary photo template in an instant and auto-crop your picture to comply with all the UK driving licence photo size requirements.

Choose a suitable ID template
Find the template of the UK driving licence photo

Step 3. Change the Background or Clothes

Want to look more formal in your driving licence pictures? Go to the Edit tab, click Replace Clothes, and you will be able to choose a new formal outfit from the program’s digital wardrobe of male and female clothes. If you took your photo against an inappropriately coloured background, you can fix that digitally by changing the picture’s backdrop. While on the Edit tab, select the Change Background tool and pick the colour that you need.

Turn the background grey
Make a grey or cream background

Step 4. Print or Save Your Picture

Whether you’re submitting the image to DVLA to change the photo or applying for your first driving licence, you’ll need to print off the picture. Move on to the Print tab and select the paper format you want your picture to be printed on, the number of copies you need and hit the Print Photos button. In case you are from a country outside the UK and EEA, save your image on your PC to use the driving licence photo in the online application.

Print your driving licence photo
Print or export your picture

And here you go! That is all you have to know to create a 100% compliable UK driving licence picture with Passport Photo Maker. The program also has a great selection of other templates in case you are planning to apply for other IDs any time soon. Need to make your first UK passport or renew your driving licence photo? Make sure to check the UK passport photo requirements before you take your official picture and then, use Passport Photo Maker to quickly prepare it for your application.

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pictures for a driving licence in an instant!
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Driving Licence Photo FAQ

  • What are the requirements for a driving licence photo UK? According to the driving licence photo guidelines, your picture has to be in colour, have a plain light-grey or cream coloured background, and have 35x45mm dimensions. Find out more rules here. The photo can be required for:
    • Applying for provisional driving licence
    • Driving licence renewal
    • Exchanging a foreign driving licence
  • Do I need a new photo on my driving licence? You have to change the driving licence photo every 10 years. The new picture should be taken within the last 30 days. If your photo expired, renew the licence here.
  • Can I smile in my driver's licence photo UK? No, you should not smile. In photos for a provisional or full driving licence, you have to look straight into the camera with a neutral face expression. Make sure to keep your eyes open, center your face, and avoid shadows.
Want to prepare photos for your UK driving licence?
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