It’s the time of year when many of us start to get organised for going away on holiday with family and friends.

If you're travelling abroad, you'll need to check your passports are still valid before jetting off this summer and if you need a new one, make sure your passport photo meets the rules.

But what are the rules and how do you make sure a passport photo is accepted?

Here’s what the government website says about passport photos.

Passport photo rules you should follow

If you’re applying for a passport online, you’ll need to make sure you have a digital photo.

When you get a new passport, you must issue a new photo even if you think your appearance hasn’t changed.

Your photo needs to have been taken within a month of applying for your passport and if your photo doesn’t meet the rules, your application will be delayed.

If you’re disabled, help with your passport photos is available.

Digital photo rules

A digital photo can be taken at a photo booth or shop before you apply for a passport or you can take one using your own device.

Find out more about getting a digital photo via the government website.

A digital photo must be clear and in focus, in colour, unaltered by computer software, at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall, at least 50KB and no more than 10MB.

The digital photo must contain no other objects or people and must be taken against a background that is plain and light-coloured.

The photo must also be in clear contrast to the background and not have ‘red eye’.

If you decide to take your own photo, you will need to make sure it includes your head, shoulders and upper body. You mustn’t crop it though as that will be sorted for you.

The government website explains that you must face forward in the photo and look straight into the camera.

Your mouth must be closed and you should have a plain expression with your eyes both open and visible.

Hair should not fall in front of your eyes and you should not wear a head covering unless it is for religious or medical reasons.

Nothing should cover your face and there should be no shadows on your face or behind you.

Glasses should not be worn unless you have to in which case they must not be sunglasses or tinted glasses.

Your eyes should not be covered by the frames or any glare, reflection or shadow.

If you’re taking a passport photo of a baby or child, they must be on their own in the picture and can’t be holding toys or using dummies.

Children aged under 6 don’t have to look directly at the camera or have a plain expression.

Children under 1 can have their eyes closed in the picture and their heads can be supported with your hand as long as it is not visible in the photo.

Those under 1 should lie on a sheet that’s plain and light-coloured and the photo should be taken from above.

Printed photo rules

If you’d like to apply for a passport using a paper form, you will need two identical printed photos.

Your printed photos must be 45mm high by 35mm wide which is the standard size used in UK photo booths and passport pictures cannot be a cut down version of a bigger picture.

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The image must show that from the crown of your head to your chin is between 29mm and 34mm high.

Printed photos are similar to digital photos in that they must be clear and in focus and unaltered by computer software.

They have to be printed to a professional standard and in colour on plain white photographic paper with no border.

They can’t have any creases or tears and they must be unmarked on both sides unless a photo has to be countersigned.

The photos must be a close-up of your full head and upper shoulders taken against a plain cream or light grey background.

They can’t contain other people or objects and they must be in clear contrast to the background and not have ‘red eye’.

You must face forward in your photo and look straight into the camera with your mouth closed and your eyes open and visible.

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You must have a plain expression with no hair falling over your eyes and nothing covering your face.

A head covering can only be worn if it is for religious or medical reasons and there can’t be any shadows on your face or behind you.

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The same rule for glasses and babies and children in digital photos applies to printed photos.

When you post your photos, they must be separated from each other and left loose – don’t attach them to your passport application form.

There are examples of correct and incorrect passport photos on the government website.