Licence photo requirements

For the granting or variation of a licence or learner permit, a person’s photo image and signature must be captured. Find out more below.

The photo image taken to produce the learner permit or licence card must meet all the requirements outlined below to allow for clear recognition of the learner permit or driver licence holder. Your evidence of identity will be checked prior to taking the photo image.

Photo image requirements 

The photo image taken must include a close up of the person’s head and top of their shoulders.

Example of a suitable photo image

Example of a compliant photo

The photo image must include the person’s:

  • full head including hair*
  • neck and shoulders 
  • both eyes (open) 
  • eyebrows
  • nose
  • mouth (closed).

*exception - large volumes of hair, hair worn in a bun, or religious head wear may mean that all hair cannot be captured.

The photo image taken must:

  • be clear and in focus
  • taken against a white or light grey background that contrasts with the person
  • taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflections on the person’s face
  • taken without red eye.
Examples of unsuitable photo images 
Examples of unsuitable backgrounds for licence photos. 

These photo images are not acceptable because:

  1. The background is not one colour or light coloured
  2. The image is not clear.
  3. The image is too dark.
  4. No clear contrast of background and image.


When you have your photograph taken you must: 

  • face square and look directly towards the camera 
  • show both edges of their face clearly 
  • not tilt their head
  • not have hair covering their eyes.
  • have a neutral expression, mouth and lips closed (not smiling or laughing) 
  • have mouth open and the inside of the mouth is visible or showing teeth
  • have raised eyebrows
  • have closed eyes or squinting 
  • have eyes looking away from the camera.
Examples of unsuitable photo images 

Examples of unsuitable photo images

These photo images are not suitable because:

  1. Hair is covering the person’s eyes and eyebrows.
  2. The person must be facing forward, without any head angle.
  3. The person’s head is tilted down and not looking directly at the camera. 
  4. The person’s eyes are looking away.
  5. The person’s eyes are closed.
  6. The person’s mouth is open and is smiling.

Wearing Glasses

If glasses are to be worn for driving (i.e. the licence shows an ‘S’ condition), the photo image must be taken without your glasses. 

Facial prosthetics, eye patches and similar that are worn for medical reasons are acceptable. 

Facial Piercings

Permanently worn facial piercings (nose rings or studs) can be worn but must not cause a reflection.  If facial piercings cause a reflection, the photo image will be taken without facial piercings.

Head coverings 

Example of a suitable photo image

Example of a compliant head covering photo

A hat or head covering is only permitted: 

  • for religious and medical reasons
  • the photo image must show the person’s full facial features:
    • from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead. 
    • including cheeks, mouth, eyes and eyebrows.  
Examples of unsuitable photo images
Example of unsuitable head covering photo images

These photo images are not suitable because:

  1. The person’s head covering is sitting across their eyebrows and the hairline is covered.
  2. The person’s head covering is hiding features of the person’s face.
  3. The person’s head covering casts shadows across the person’s head.
  4. Coverings must be a singular colour without patterns.

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