...

Difference Between ID And Passport Photos in South Africa

The main difference between ID and passport photos in South Africa is the color of the photos. ID photos can be black and white or color, but passport photos must be in color. Both must be 35x45 mm in size, show a close-up of your head and shoulders, and have a plain white or light grey background. You can wear glasses, but headwear is not allowed (except for religious reasons), and your facial features must be clearly visible. Visas for Future is a service that can help you with your South African ID or passport photo. With Visas for Future, you can avoid any photo-related problems or delays in your ID or passport application.

Get professional South Africa passport photo Help

As seen on

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your ID and passport photos meet all the necessary requirements and are accepted without any delays.

FeatureID PhotosPassport Photos
Head positionStricter on ensuring no hair covers the eyesStricter requirement for neutral, centered head position
ExpressionNeutral, no smiling/frowningStricter on avoiding even slight smiles or frowns
EyesOpen and clearly visible, no hair coveringStricter on glare and ensure full eye visibility through lenses
GlassesFacing the camera, no tilting/looking offStricter on glare and ensuring full eye visibility through lenses
HeadwearGenerally allowed as long as it doesn’t obscure featuresNot allowed, except for religious/medical reasons (entire face visible)
BackgroundPlain white or light grayPlain white or light gray
Age of photoMaximum of one monthMaximum of one month
High-quality, professional printing recommendedHigh quality, no damage/creases/ink marksAllowed if no glare and eyes are visible

Visas for Future is a service that can help you with your South African ID or passport photo. We know the photo specifications and guidelines for different documents and can assist you in obtaining a suitable photo. We can adjust your photo for size, color, background, lighting, and expression and ensure that your photo meets the official standards. With Visas for Future, you can avoid photo-related problems or delays in your ID or passport application.


How it works

Take a photo.
We verify your photo.
Passport photos are delivered by post or email.

How to take your passport photo

Here’s how you can take passport photos at home, to ensure that they’ll be high quality:

1.) Stand .5 meters or 2 feet from the wall. This ensures that there’s no shadow on your portrait.

2.) Place the camera 2 meters or 6 feet away from the subject. This will prevent distortion and give you a prettier picture!

3.) Have the camera on the same level as the subject’s face.

4.) Use plenty of lighting. Natural light is preferred but plenty of light in general is the best. Make sure it is even and doesn’t leave a shadow.


Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

Use the Visas for Future passport photo service to get a passport photo that’ll work for your application. Send a photo of yourself using our guidelines, and we’ll edit it. We’ll send you your passport photos by post with free shipping. We deliver to the Canada, the EU, the US, and the UK. For individuals outside of those countries, we can deliver your passport photos to your inbox, which you can print at home. For every product sold, we plant a tree!

Why choose us

Visas for Future is a convenient service that can help you with your passport photo needs. Here are six reasons why you should choose Visas for Future for your passport photo services:

  • Expertise: Our experts ensure that your passport photo meets the official requirements of your destination country.
  • Convenience: You can upload your own photo or take one with your smartphone, and we will crop, resize, and enhance it to create a perfect biometric photo.
  • Support: We’re visa and passport photo experts. You can ask us travel questions, making your trip-planning process easier.
  • Speed: Your photos are shipped within a day!
  • Unlimited retakes: You can also take as many photos as you want until you are satisfied with the result.

Differences in Dimensions, Colors, and Specifications

Both ID and passport photos in South Africa share some key specifications, but there are also some crucial differences to be aware of:1

Dimensions

  • Both are identical in size: 35mm wide x 45mm high (1.38 inches x 1.77 inches).

Colors

  • ID: Can be either color or black and white.
  • Passport: Must be in color only.

Specifications1

Similarities

  • Size: Both ID and passport photos must be 35mm wide x 45mm high (1.38 inches x 1.77 inches).
  • Background: A plain white or light grey background is required.
  • Head and shoulders: Close-up of your head and top of your shoulders, with your face taking up 70-80% of the photo.
  • Focus and clarity: Photos must be sharp and focused, with a good definition between your face and the background.
  • Quality: High-quality photo paper is required, with no ink marks, creases, or damage.
  • Age: Photos must be no more than one month old.

Differences

  • Color: ID photos can be either color or black and white, while passport photos must be in color.
  • Number of photos: Two identical photos are required for both ID and passport applications.
  • Glasses: Allowed in both ID and passport photos, but frames must not be thick or cover your eyes. No glare reflections should be present.
  • Headwear: Religious headwear is allowed in both ID and passport photos, but it must not obscure your face or hair.

Differences of features

While both ID and passport photos capture your headshot, they have distinct features to meet different purposes. Here’s a breakdown:1

Expression

  • ID photo: A slight smile with lips closed is allowed.
  • Passport photo: A neutral expression is required, with lips together and no hint of a smile or frown.

Hair

  • ID photo: More flexibility here. Hair can be styled in various ways as long as it doesn’t obscure your face or eyes.
  • Passport photo: A Neater and tidier style is preferred. Hair should not cover your eyebrows or forehead.

Accessories

  • ID photo: Earrings, necklaces, and other small jewelry are usually okay.
  • Passport photo: Avoid excessive jewelry or accessories that might draw attention away from your face.

Other Features:

  • Head positioning: Both require facing the camera with no tilting, but passport photos have stricter adherence to a neutral, centered head position.
  • Expression: Neutral expressions are required for both, but passport photos may be stricter on avoiding even slight smiles or frowns.
  • Eyes: Open and visible in both types, but passport photos emphasize ensuring no hair covers the eyes.
  • Glasses: Allowed in both, but passport photos have stricter limitations on glare and ensuring eyes are fully visible through the lenses.
  • Quality: Both require high quality, but professional printing is often recommended for passports for enhanced clarity and security features.

Overall impression:

  • ID photo: A natural and relaxed look is acceptable.
  • Passport photo: A more formal and professional appearance is desired.

Differences in their usage

The primary difference between ID and passport photos in South Africa lies in their purpose and scope of usage:

ID Photos:

  • Used for domestic identification purposes within South Africa.
  • Examples: National ID card, driver’s license, voter registration card, library card, gym membership card.
  • Generally, less stringent requirements compared to passport photos.

Passport Photos:

  • Used for international travel and identification.
  • Required for applying for a South African passport.
  • Must meet strict international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
  • It is used by immigration officials to verify your identity against your passport when entering or exiting a country.

Rules and regulations for taking ID and passport photos in South Africa

General RequirementsRules and regulations for taking an ID photo in South Africa. 1

  • Age of photo: No more than one month old.
  • Size: 35mm wide x 45mm high (1.38 inches x 1.77 inches).
  • Color: Can be either color or black and white.
  • Background: Plain white or light gray.
  • Head positioning: Facing the camera squarely, no tilting or looking off to the side.
  • Expression: Neutral, no smiling or frowning.
  • Eyes: Open and visible, no hair covering them.
  • Glasses: Allowed, but no glare reflections and eyes visible through lenses.
  • Headwear: Generally allowed, as long as it doesn’t obscure your facial features.
  • Quality: High quality, without damage, creases, or ink marks.

Taking a passport photo in South Africa might seem simple, but meeting the specific rules and regulations ensures your application goes smoothly.

General Requirements: Rules and regulations for taking an ID photo in South Africa. 1

  • Size: 35mm wide x 45mm high (1.38 inches x 1.77 inches).
  • Color: Must be in color only.
  • Background: Plain white or light gray.
  • Head position: Face the camera directly, no tilting or looking off to the side. Center your head within the frame.
  • Expression: Neutral expression, no smiling or frowning. Closed mouths are preferred.
  • Eyes: Open and visible, no hair covering them. Look directly at the camera.
  • Glasses: Allowed if no glare reflections and your eyes are visible through the lenses. Avoid tinted glasses.
  • Headwear: Generally not allowed, except for religious or medical reasons where your entire face must be visible from chin to forehead and both edges. Headwear should not cast shadows on your face.
  • Quality: High-resolution photo without damage, creases, or ink marks. Printed professionally is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a passport card better than an ID?

Whether a passport card is better than an ID depends entirely on your needs and travel habits.
Passport Card Strengths:
Cross-border travel: Valid for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
Smaller and lighter: Fits easily in a wallet, unlike a full passport book.
-Passport cardLess expensive: Costs less than a full passport book.
Weaknesses:
Limited travel: Cannot be used for air travel or travel to most other countries.
Less proof of identification: Not accepted as ID everywhere in the U.S.
Not always necessary: If you only travel domestically, you may not need it.

ID Strengths:
Domestic identification: Accepted as valid ID throughout the U.S.
Widely accepted: Useful for various purposes like banking, voting, and purchasing alcohol.
Free with Real ID: Most states offer free Real ID cards, which are also accepted for domestic air travel.
Weaknesses:
-Limited travel: Cannot be used for international travel.
-Bulkier to carry: Typically not as compact as a passport card.

What are the benefits of having a passport?

Having a passport can bring you many benefits, such as:
-It can serve as a formal government-issued ID that is recognized worldwide.
-It can allow you to travel to over 185 countries without a visa or with a visa on arrival.
-It can open up more opportunities for education, business, and cultural exchange.
-It can make you a more well-rounded and happier person by exposing you to different places, people, and perspectives.
-It can help you in case of emergencies or legal issues abroad.

If you want to enjoy these benefits, you should apply for a passport soon.

How long does it take to get a passport?

The processing time for a passport can vary quite a bit depending on several factors, so I can’t give you a definitive answer without more information.
Here’s what affects the processing time:
Your location: Processing times can differ between countries and even within different regions of the same country.
Type of passport: In some countries, there are different types of passports with varying processing times (e.g., regular vs. expedited).
-Current workload: Passport agencies can experience backlogs due to seasonal fluctuations, holidays, or unexpected events.
-Completeness of your application: Ensure you submit all required documents and complete the application correctly to avoid delays.
Express vs. regular processing: Many countries offer expedited processing options for an additional fee, resulting in a significantly shorter waiting time.

Example waiting times
South Africa: For first-time adult applicants, the process usually takes 3-4 weeks. However, the Department of Home Affairs website states a processing time of 6 to 12 months.
United States: Regular processing takes 4-6 weeks, while expedited processing takes 2-3 weeks.


References

  1. Passport & ID Photograph Specifications Style and lighting. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2024, from https://www.westerncape.gov.za/text/2015/February/south_african_id_photo_specifications.pdf[][][][][]

Ask a question

If you still have a question about this topic after reading the article, let us know and we'll update the article. Include your email if you want us to reply to you.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Make sure to include: Who are you traveling with? What passports and residency permits do they have? What's your reason for the trip?
Byron Santos
Written by

Byron M. Santos is a content writer at Visas For Future, a company that provides online visa services and supports environmental projects. He has a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and 3 years of teaching experience. He is trained in content writing and visa fulfillment for Turkey and India, which he handles and assists customers every quarter. He writes informative, honest, and up-to-date content to help the readers with their visa applications. He values honesty, integrity, and growth as a professional.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
Published by Visas for Future

Visas for Future strives to help you virtually, so that your research is complete in one visit. Our articles are informative, complete and to-the-point. We write in an accessible way, so that non-native English speakers will understand. Our website is accessible for the visually impaired. We have full oversight of our articles and are unbiased in writing. Check our editorial guidelines.

Send fan mail

We love to hear from you! If our article helped you in anyway, let us know and we'll share it with the team on our Friday meetings.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Cite this article

MLA Style

Santos, Byron. "Difference Between ID And Passport Photos in South Africa." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/difference-between-id-and-passport-in-south-africa/. Accessed on 23 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Santos, Byron. "Difference Between ID And Passport Photos in South Africa." Visas For Future. September 23, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/difference-between-id-and-passport-in-south-africa/.

Published: 23 Sep 2023 11:15 UTC

Last modified: 25 Jan 2024 5:01 UTC

Reading time: 11 minutes

Check our editorial guidelines


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.