Renew US Passport
April 29, 2011 4:42 PM   Subscribe

Renewing US Passport problem

I sent in my renewal, and it was rejected. The letter says:

"The check or money order you submitted is in the incorrect amount."
"... the passport photos submitted are not acceptable".

I made the check out for the wrong amount, so I can fix that.

The photo, though, I had taken at passport photo place.
So is there something really wrong with the photo, or is this just a form letter that mentions what might be wrong?
posted by allelopath to Law & Government (6 answers total)
There could actually be something "wrong" with the photo. Even if it was taken by a professional who was following the guidelines. An aquaintance of mine had his photos rejected three times for three different reasons (ears were partly obscured by hair, smiled too much, and something else I've forgotten). You'll have to have them re-taken, and resubmit. And then just hope you don't get a stickler/new person on the job/quota hound.
posted by likeso at 4:51 PM on April 29, 2011

Passport Photo Requirements. If you make sure your photo is in spec, if shouldn't get rejected.
posted by birdherder at 4:54 PM on April 29, 2011

Many passport photo places will redo the photos for free if they are rejected by the passport agency. Bring the letter stating the photos were rejected and go back to the passport photo place.

FWIW: I recently got my passport and had my photo taken at the post office that handled the application and the photo was accepted with no issue. $15 to have it done at a USPS branch, and make sure to check ahead of time if they do passport photos (only some do).
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:57 PM on April 29, 2011

Not too surprising. The first time I got a passport, I handed over the paperwork and my photo at a post office, and the counter clerk rejected the photo on the spot. They're pretty picky.
posted by adamrice at 5:14 PM on April 29, 2011

The trick here is to get your photo taken at a passport application acceptance facility, and not to rely on third parties like Walgreens or your local handcarry courier service. The difference being the acceptance facility folks are trained to scrutinize every aspect of an application before it gets sent in, whereas the other places just want to sell you a picture. The most common acceptance facility is the Post Office, yeah. But I'm an acceptance agent (not YOUR acceptance agent, of course =o) at one in a library, so they exist in other venues as well. In fact, if you don't want to take as big a chance this next time, I'd recommend filling out a DS-11 (DIFFERENT FORM!) and going in to your local facility to have your renewal executed by a human before being sent in to the State Dept.

If you can't do that though, definitely read the Passport Photo Requirements linked above. Remember:

- Photo quality paper
- 2" square
- Your face has to be between 1"-1 3/8" from chin to head.
- If you have long hair, make sure it's behind your shoulders and probably also tucked behind your ears.
- Watch the glare on your glasses, if you wear them.
- Eyes open, mouth shut. Grin if you must, but a 'neutral expression' is best.
posted by carsonb at 5:53 PM on April 29, 2011

I had mine done at a post office and they were rejected.
A friend who said they knew how did the second ones ... rejected.
I went to a walgreens, and the fella took them twice, because he knew what the passport folks look for and noticed my hair was not pulled back far enough and my pupils were not pointed correctly (??) the first time. Success that time.

They can be really picky ... so read and read again the specs, and look at some passport photo's of friends ... then check them before you leave the store you get them done at.
posted by batikrose at 6:11 PM on April 29, 2011

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