Your driver’s license is an important form of identification every driver holds. As with every ID document, the driver’s license contains your photograph for easy identification.
To take a photo of your driver’s license, you have to follow some guidelines. Therefore, can you wear a hat for your driver’s license picture?
No, in many countries, you are not permitted to wear a hat for your driver’s license picture except if the headgear is for medical or religious beliefs.
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Can You Wear a Hat for Your Driver’s License Picture?
In all the states of the United States of America, you are not allowed to wear hats or any form of headwear for your driving license picture.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is in charge of issuing and renewing driver’s licenses and the department has a strict policy concerning headgear.
The DMV prefers that you remove any form of headgear when you want to take a picture of your driver’s license. The only time you will be allowed to wear any form of headgear is when that headgear is part of your normal dressing and identification or when you wear it because of religious beliefs.
Even at that, the headgear must not obstruct the full visibility of your face. Your eyes, nose, and mouth should be fully visible and free from shadows. If they are obstructed by shadows, your photograph will be rejected and you will have to upload a new one.
However, in Oklahoma, you can wear a hat or any form of head covering in your driver’s license photos if it does not:
- Obscure of obstructing a clear view of your face
- Display any form of write–up, symbol, or logo
- Cast a shadow on your face
In the United Kingdom, it is the same policy. Hats and other forms of head coverings are not allowed in driver’s license photos. The photos have to be very clear and free from shadows that may be cast by the hats and others.
In Canada, hats are not allowed in driver’s license photos. They are only allowed when you have to wear them because of your religious beliefs or when it is worn as your normal means of identification.
Why are Hats Not Allowed in Driver’s License Photo?
Hats are not allowed in driver’s license photographs (just like glasses) because they will cast a shadow on your face and prevent your full facial features from being captured. Imagine wearing a cowboy hat to take a driving license photo. It doesn’t make sense.
There are some rules you should follow when taking a digital photo for your driver’s license:
- The photo should resemble you and must be very recent (taken in the last month)
- Your eyes should be completely visible, move your hair away from your face, and your eyes
- Wear a plain expression on your face – no need for smiles or frowns. Keep your eyes wide open and your mouth fully closed
- Your head, shoulders, and upper body should be included in the picture and you need to look straight into the camera
- The photographer should move 5 feet (1.5 meters) away from you.
- Move away from the background by at least 1.5 feet (0.5 meters)
- There should be no shadows on your face or on your back. Make use of natural sunlight, you can face a window if possible
- No need to crop the photograph. It will be done by a government agency.
- Do not wear sunglasses or any form of tinted glasses
- Take off your glasses. If you cannot take it off, make sure it does not have any glare or reflections on it
- Make use of a plain-colored background. There should be no patterns or textures on the background and remove any object that is behind you
- Do not wear headwear except for medical or religious purposes
Consequences of Wearing a Hat for Your Driver’s License Photo
If you wear a hat for your driver’s license photograph, it will obstruct your face and your photograph will be rejected by the system. You need to make your face free from any head covering so the photograph for your driver’s license will be accepted.
Can You Wear a Hat for Your Driver’s License Photo in Michigan?
In Michigan, you are not permitted to wear a hat or any head covering on your driver’s license photograph because it will obstruct your full facial features from being captured. You can only wear a hat or any head covering when you wear it for religious or medical purposes.
Can You Wear a Hat for Your Driver’s License Photo in Ohio?
In Ohio, you are not permitted to wear head coverings for your driver’s license photographs. But there are exceptions for wigs or headwear that is worn for religious purposes or medical reasons. But these head coverings must not cover your face.
Can You Use a Passport photo for Your Driving License?
Renewing your driving license comes with the need to update your photo on it. It is imperative that you update the picture on your driving license whenever you renew your driving license. It is not uncommon to hear people ask if they can use a passport photo for their driving license to save time and money.
In many people’s ideal world, they would prefer to be able to pick a few of their Instagram selfies for their driving license photograph but that is simply impossible. Many governments have rules for taking photos that will be used on the driving license.
You see, a driving license comes with many requirements, an accidental blink or imperfect pose is enough to make the photo rejected by the system.
When you want to take a picture for your driving license, ensure you abide by the requirements to make things less stressful for you. Follow the guidelines below to capture the best photo for your driving license.
1. Be Sure of the Photobooth
The photograph you want to use for your driving license should be printed on a high – quality paper. Just like the kind of papers used in Max Spielmann photobooths. You can capture your photograph in any Max Spielmann photobooth close to you.
2. Be Conscious of the Time
The photograph you want to use on your driving license MUST have been taken within the last 30 days before you applied for the driving license. The reason is that the photograph is required to be very recent so it captures your facial features properly.
3. Use an Appropriate Background
The background you use for your driving license is very sensitive. It has to be a light grey or a cream background color.
All those fancy wallpapers and multi-colored background is absolutely not accepted and they will be rejected immediately by the application system.
The background you use should also be free from patterns and stripes to avoid immediate rejection.
4. Use the Right Size
There is an approved size of driving license photos and if your photo is smaller or larger than the size, it will be rejected by the system. The size of your driving license photo should measure 45 mm x 35 mm.
5. Quality matters
It is not just about the size and background color; the quality of the overall photo matters a lot. Your driving license photo has to be very clear and sharp. There should be no blurs and it should not be pixelated.
6. Your Eyes Should be Clearly Visible
The photo used in your driver’s license should have your eyes captured properly. If you wear glasses, you will need to remove them except they are irremovable.
This also applies to hats, headwear (scarves, durags, head warmers, caps, etc.), and Halloween masks. For religious headwear, you can wear them during the photo capturing though.
7. Quality again
Just as stated earlier, your driving license photo has to be spotless and free from creases. Even stains or tears should be far from your driving license photo. Your driving license photo has to be crystal clear and pristine.
That being said, I’m glad to let you know that you can use your passport photograph for your driving license.
The wearing of a hat for a driver’s license photo is not allowed in many states because it obstructs the complete capturing of your face. Your face has to be captured properly so it can appear clearly on your driver’s license. However, there are exceptions that only apply to religious or medical conditions.