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Old 08-04-2011, 10:15 PM
 
Location: New Zealand and Australia
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Its funny how most passport photos I've ever seen, the person looks serious.
Why do you think this is? and what do you do personally, smile or look serious?
Going in to have mine done next week.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:28 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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If you think having your picture taken for a driver's license is stressful, try having your image captured for passport photos under a new set of rules enacted after the events of September 11th, 2001. Indeed, smiling in passport photos has indeed been banned in a number of countries. Passport applicants can be asked to pose for a new photo if the first one is deemed too distorted by the act of smiling.
A closed mouth smile or grin is generally acceptable, but a smile which exposes the teeth is not.
The reason smiling in passport photos has been strongly discouraged or banned has to do with international security measures and biometric scans.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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Yep, most countries do not allow you to smile in a passport photo. It is like going back to the time when photographs were a new thing. No one smiled in those either. I am not sure what the purpose of it really is. There is no way that a photo with a smile is so distorted that you could not recognize the person represented in it with a serious face. But, apparently it sets off the scanning software for facial recognition. It sounds like programmers need to find a way to make it work. Because in the U.S. we can smile in our passports still. So, unless all passports require the straight face, it is pointless.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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We had our renewal passports done at the Post Office where we turned in our paperwork. We were told NOT to smile. However, we had our enhanced driver licenses done at the DMV and they encourage smiling.[They are good for land or boat travel to Canada and a few other places; not flying] The reason for the difference? Who knows? Go figure. At least both look like us, smile or not.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:43 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley01 View Post
Because in the U.S. we can smile in our passports still. So, unless all passports require the straight face, it is pointless.
Yes, you can smile, but your mouth must remain closed.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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Just had my Aussie passport renewed in May and was told absolutely no smiling, mouth open or closed - a neutral expression only. Stark difference from my last one where I had a wide happy smile.

I renewed my driver's license right after that and when I stood there with a stern look on my face the photographer asked why so serious? I forgot that for my driver's license photo it was okay to smile.

So it depends on your country's rules but most seem to be going the serious route, for facial recognition software. I was told a smile distorts the face and makes it harder for the software to match you.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Yes, you can smile, but your mouth must remain closed.
Well...I just received my passport within the last six months with my new picture of me smiling with my teeth showing and it wasn't rejected. So, that is not the case in the United States as of now.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:37 AM
 
Location: New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vichel View Post
I was told a smile distorts the face and makes it harder for the software to match you.
or possible because you will hardly ever smile after a long flight, standing in an immigration queue without being able to leave to get a drink / go to the toilet and being asked a list of stupid questions by someone who has no idea what you are talking about when you give him the answers he requires....... hard to match up the happy face in the photo to that one that says "get me the hell out of this airport !!"
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:40 AM
 
Location: New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley01 View Post
Well...I just received my passport within the last six months with my new picture of me smiling with my teeth showing and it wasn't rejected. So, that is not the case in the United States as of now.
the US passport office does require "a neutral facial expression and both eyes open" so you were lucky. Passport Photo Requirements
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: New Zealand and Australia
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How long is it valid for in your country? only 5 years here and $160. They should make it 10 years!
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