How to take an I.D. Photo (using a smartphone or other device)

As per NZ Dept. of Internal Affairs’ acceptable photo standards, please ensure images adhere to the following criteria below (photos must be in colour, and taken within the last 6 months. Selfies are not accepted):

  • Have an assistant take your photo using the back camera of the device:
    • DO NOT take selfies: a front camera has a wide-angle lens, unsuitable for close up photography (i.e. facial photography will appear distorted).
    • Adjust your camera app settings to capture photos of at least 3 Megapixels (MP) quality.  The higher, the better.
  • Turn OFF the electronic flash.
  • Do not aim the camera into direct light. This causes the camera to shoot a darker image by trying to compensate for the backlighting.
  • The subject’s facial expression should be neutral.
  • Have the subject remove any tinted (or thick-framed) glasses.
    • Note 1: reflections in the lens is unacceptable as this obscures the subject’s eyes.
    • Note 2: non-tinted, thin-framed glasses are acceptable.
  • Have the subject remove any hats, hoods, headbands or head coverings (unless worn daily for religious or medical reasons).
  • Have the subject look directly at the camera lens.
  • Have the camera operator stand approximately 1 metre away from the subject to take a Head & Chest photo (allow some clearance around the subject – see sample photo below).
    • Note 3: photos taken too close (i.e. no clearance) cannot be cropped for the ID card software.
    • Note 4: photos taken too far away from the subject are unsuitable for reproduction (i.e. results in blur when enhanced).
  • Hold the camera at eye level.
  • Take the photo in Colour (black and white is unacceptable).
  • The AVP must send the original digital image file (e.g. jpg file on your device) to CPNZ.

Reasons for rejected photos:

  • Face is too dark
  • Reflection in the lens of prescription glasses (obscuring subject’s eyes)
  • Photo taken too close (unable to crop).
  • Photo taken too far away (poor quality image after enhancing)
  • Photo is not in original digital format
  • Text (or other object) obscuring head/neck area
  • Paper prints are no longer accepted

Photo taken 1 metre from subject