Do You Have to Take a New Picture When You Renew Your License?

Do You Have to Take a New Picture When You Renew Your License

As a driver, your license is a very important means of identifying yourself. Like every identification document, it contains your passport photograph. It is important that the photo on it is updated from time to time. Therefore, do you have to take a new picture when you renew your license?

Yes, you have to take a new picture when you renew your license to capture your current look. However, the picture has to be a high-quality photo with 45mm high and 35mm wide size and must not be taken more than 30 days before the submission. 

What is the Essence of Having Your Picture on your License?

You need a picture on your driving license to show that you are the real holder of the identification card. There are other details on the card such as your name, address, gender, and others but your face is the direct and easiest way to know you own the license card. So, your picture is there for the purpose of identification.

Do You Have to Take a New Picture When You Renew your License?

Yes, you do, whenever you want to renew your license, you will need to take a new photo. If you have taken a photograph of yourself recently for this purpose, you can print it.

Note that the correct size for photos is 45mm high and 35mm wide. The photos must be printed on high-quality photo paper, free from damage or creases.

All the photos you submit must be identical, that is why photos are printed in batches of four.

When Should You Change a Picture in your Driver’s License?

You will need to change the picture on your driver’s license when you want to carry out some things. For instance, when you are applying for:

  • A renewal of your driving license
  • A provisional driving license
  • Exchange of your license from another country
  • An optional renewal of your driving license

1. A Renewal of your Driving License

Whenever you need to renew your driving license, you will need to change the picture on your driving license. This can be done by going to the DMV office to get your photograph taken or you can upload a clear passport photograph of yourself on the renewal of your driving license website.

2. A Provisional Driving License

Assuming you need to get a temporary driving license, possibly when you are learning how to drive or for other circumstances, it is important that you change the picture on the license.

You will need to take another photo that will appear on the provisional driving license.

3. An Exchange of your License from Another Country

In some cases, you might need to exchange the license you hold that was issued by another country in the country where you want a new license.

For instance, if you are coming from the United Kingdom to the United States of America, you hold a driver’s license from the United Kingdom so you need to exchange that driver’s license you hold to get a US-issued driver’s license.

To get it done, you need to have your recent photograph uploaded or you will need to visit the DMV office to have your passport photo taken.

4. An Optional Renewal of your Driving License

It is possible that your appearance has changed significantly since you last took the photo. If that is the case, you will need to apply for an optional renewal of your license and in that case, you need a new photograph.

There are some rules you should follow when taking a digital photo for your driver’s license yourself:

  • The photo should resemble you and must be very recent (taken in the last month)
  • Your head, shoulders, and upper body should be included in the picture and you need to look straight into the camera
  • Your eyes should be completely visible, move your hair away from your face, and your eyes
  • 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
  • Wear a plain expression on your face – no need for smiles or frowns. Keep your eyes wide open and your mouth fully closed
  • 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
  • Do not wear sunglasses or any form of tinted glasses
  • Take off your glasses. If you can not take it off, make sure it does not have any glare or reflections on it
  • Do not wear headwear except for medical or religious purposes
  • No need to crop the photograph. It will be done by a government agency.

When Should You Not Change the Picture?

Just as we have listed when you need to change the picture, there are some situations and circumstances in that you do not need to change the picture on your driver’s license. For instance:

  • When Applying for a Change of Name and/or Address: On your driver’s license, you should know that it contains your personal details such as your name and address. If you need to update your name or change your address on your existing driving license, you do not need to change the passport photograph on it.
  • When Applying for a Duplicate of Your Existing License: A duplicate is a copy of your existing license. Whenever you apply for it, you do not need to change your passport photograph. As long as the one on your existing license is still valid, you do not need to take a new one.

Pros of Taking a New Picture for your License

There are a lot of advantages of taking a new picture for your license. Some of them include:

  • You have an updated picture on the license
  • It is easier to identify you
  • Washed-out pictures are replaced by new ones, etc.

To explain, when you take a new picture for your license, the picture on it is updated and it is more recent. In a case where your facial features have changed significantly, and you take a new picture for your driving license, it becomes very easy to identify you.

Also, washed-out pictures are easily replaced by new ones. You know how the photo on your license fades with time, it becomes very washed out.

That is what taking a new picture helps you take away. When you take a new picture, the washed-out photo is replaced by a neat, brand-new one.

Cons of Not Taking a New Picture for your License

Also, there are disadvantages involved when you do not take a new picture for your license:

  • You might have an old picture on the license
  • It becomes difficult to identify you, etc.

These are just a few of the disadvantages you get when you do not take a new picture for your driving license. Many people have old pictures on their license that does not even look like them right now. Definitely, it will be difficult to identify you because you look different from what is on your license card.

Final Thoughts

You will be mandated to take a new photo for your license when you want to renew it. This is to ensure that the photo on your license looks like you as much as possible.