A good Scannable ID is going to cost you a considerable amount of money. If you are going to spend that much, do not let your money go to waste by using a sub-par photograph. Invest some effort into taking a proper photo that conforms to the DMV’s standards.
Remember, we can’t work our magic on a photo that’s too bad to edit. Selfies, blurred photos or photos with shades are all examples of photographs that cannot be fixed with an edit.
Selfies, blurred photos or photos with shades are all examples of photographs that cannot be fixed with an edit.
Play by The Rules
We will first go over some specific guidelines that will ensure your photo does not give away the fact that it was taken at home and not at the DMV. We will then go through some general considerations for taking a good photo.
Nonetheless, with a bit of effort, you can easily manage some specific guidelines that will ensure your photo does not give away the fact that it was taken at home and not at the DMV. We will then go through some general considerations for taking a good photo.
Firstly, and most importantly, keep an original driver’s license for the state you are getting the ID for as reference. When unsure, match the photo you have taken with the one on the ID card. Among other things, this will tell you which background to use for your photo.
Setting Up the Photo
A Photobooth is a controlled environment where light is balanced optimally to eliminate shadows and create a natural-looking photo. In order to take the perfect photo, you will need to set up this environment. For this purpose, follow the steps below:
Take the picture with either a digital camera or a high-resolution phone camera with the flash on.
Do not take a selfie.
Stay away from windows and natural sunlight.
Make sure the picture is being taken in a well-lit room to avoid shadows.
Avoid standing near a ceiling bulb as that results in uneven shadows.
It is always best to take the picture in front of a poster board that is the same color as the background you want. Altering the background later with (PHOTOSHOP), although acceptable, does not look as natural as an unaltered picture.
Place the camera at a distance of not more than 4 ft from your position.
The camera should be at the same height as your face.
Some Dos & Don’ts of Driver’s License Photos
Keep your head straight. Don’t lift it too high or drop it too low.
Look straight into the camera.
Do not wear any type of headgear, like hats or caps.
Religious headgear is acceptable, but do not cover your face.
Keep your hair away from your eyes.
Avoid wearing glasses unless prescribed, as they can catch glare from the flash.
Don’t laugh. Although it is okay to wear a light smile, it is very easy to overdo it. Rather than a smile, it is best to wear a friendly expression so that you do not look too grumpy. Imagine what your expression would be if you had just been pulled over by a cop and go with that.
The state you have selected for your ID may also have its own specific requirements for the photo. Read the state’s regulations concerning ID photos and always keep an original ID of that state with you as reference.
A bad photo that doesn’t look like you at first glance runs the risk of closer examination. This wouldn’t be a problem if you had an original government-issued ID. A Scannable ID, however, is another story altogether and closer examination might just get you in trouble. Hence, you need to consider every little detail when taking a picture.
1. Dress Properly
Depending on the type of background you are shooting in front of, some colors are okay to wear, while others not so much. For example, wearing a blue dress in front of a blue background would not work.
It is also advisable not to wear either white or black. White tops might blend in with the background as the background is a light color. Similarly, black tops won’t do you any favors in terms of contrast. Light-skinned people often look pale when the picture is taken with a black shirt on.
It is ideal to wear soft colors that aren’t too dark or sharp. Shirts and tops with phrases or slogans should also be avoided so that the picture looks neat and presentable.
2. Be Careful with Your Eyes
If you do not want your picture to look like a serial killer on the loose, you need to be careful about how your eyes look. In case your eyes are strained because of an illness or allergies, use eye drops before getting the picture taken to avoid bloodshot eyes.
It is also important to know how much to open them. For a natural-looking picture, open your eyes completely so that you do not look like you are going to doze off. At the same time, be careful about opening them too wide or else your eyeballs might look like they are going to pop out.
Also, do not take the photo if you have been partying the previous night. Even if you are not hungover, your eyes will be tired and it will show.
3. Tidy Up Your Hair
It is very important to keep your hair away from your eyes. Brush your hair before the picture so that it is neat and tidy and you do not look like you have just crawled out of bed.
It also advisable to style your hair the way you wear it most often. Although this is not a requirement, the way you do your hair can completely change the way you look. You wouldn’t want people questioning if it really is you in the ID.