Need a new passport photo - help!

Hi all,
I have a problem. My DH is taking me away for a couple of weekend breaks in europe when my treatment has finished which we are both looking forward to. My passport ran out last year and I didn’t bother to renew it as I knew the chemo, rads etc would take me into this year, therefore I wouldn’t be going too far! I now need to think about sorting it out BUT I need a new photo and I am practically bald still!! I don’t really want to be stuck with a photo of baldy me for the next ten years - what have others done in this situation? I have a wig that I have never worn as it looks nothing like ‘me’ when I wear it so thats probably not an option. Help!!!

If I were you I would wear your wig. After all we all change quite a bit in 10 years and a change of hairstyle is probably highly likely. What will you be wearing when you are away?

I have just had to renew mine with my ‘pixie look’ and I look nothing like my ‘old me’! I got it verified by a professional colleague. I am sure if you get your confirmed by a professional, GP or such like, it will be fine.

PS Have a brill time once the passport is sorted! J.

Could you get an old photo scanned and copied?

I had to renew my passport post chemo and had my photo taken in a chestnut brown wig,minus eyelashes and eyebrows.My hair is now silver grey but I have travelled several times without any problems.I am actually in the canaries at the moment but had to catch up with everyone.
Have a great trip.

PS I did get my accountant to sign the back of the photo and form to prevent any problems with application.

Lucinda xx


I’m in a similar position but I have valid passport in my maiden name (got married last June) now having gone through chemo, have lost my hair and booked a holiday in my married name!!

I feel paying for a fee to change the booking to my maiden name - I can’t stand having an “Action Woman” photo in my passport for the next 10 years!


Is there any chance they would exercise some compassionate discretion to replace a “chemo-hair” photo for free in a year’s time, if you explained the circumstances? Some of them are quite human and kind, in the Newport office at least.

Sandytoes there are small print about how old the photo can be, I think it’s within one month. But then, how would they know?!

I’d suggest the photo you use might not be a great flattering portrait but looks like you have been stuck in a airport lobby for three days looking tired and stressed, or however you will probably look when you travel. Then you can look forward to changing it as soon as you look and feel a bit better! For what it’s worth my photo is rubbish: I look like I already died several days ago :frowning: For those who remember the airport chaos of the last few winters, that’s how it felt… Actually that was not long before I was diagnosed, hmmm.

Picture with wig, you at airport bald, no probs, I had a severe haircut. Actually I had chemo. Whereas, Picture bald, you at airport (in wig) with apparently nine months growth, on a passport three months old, that could however raise eyebrows. So on that basis, go with a wig photo, even if you don’t like that particular one. Long and wild, so a change to short and neat (Pixie-plus)is less surprising?

A wig photo is very much an option so long as you get it signed by someone appropriate and it looks like you on that day.

Small print on acceptable photos is here
and I can’t see the word “wig” mentioned once! Hats are not allowed, beards and head-coverings for medical reasons are. (oops, that sounds like you might have a medical reason for that beard, LOL, sorry!!) Read it very carefully if you wear specs. And when you see the shifty ppl in their acceptable column, you have to wonder! I know they have discretion to bend rules for good medical reasons, there’s a “this is best I can do” disclaimer form you have to fill in.

Hope all goes well and you have a super holiay!

Thank you all for your replies. I am thinking the wig is prob the best option. I am going to get my hairdresser to try and cut it into my old style ( thin and straight lol!!)as its a bit too thick and full. Then I will flatten it onto my head and tilt head back a bit for photo and keep fingers crossed!! If it looks awfull I will make a grovely phone call to passport office and ask about changing it when hair grows back.
We are going to Amsterdam in May and Venice in June so any hotel recommendations greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

Forgot to say the ‘stuck in the airport for three days’ look is my current look post chemo and rads LOL!!!

I think you can actually change the photo at any time (with a fee of course). I had one done about 6 months after chemo and although my hair was very short I thought I looked okay. However, now when I look at it I can see I still looked really ill - pale, dark under the eyes etc and I definitely don’t want that photo as a reminder for the next 10 years.
I’m going to pay for another one.

That doesn’t help your immediate situation re your wig but don’t think your stuck with the photo once its done for 10 years.
Elinda x

Thanks Elinda, good to know it can be changed.
My hubby has just had to sign a passport application for an employee as he has gone completely bald in the last 10 years and the passport office rejected his application as his photo looked nothing like him. Great amusement when DH said my wife has the same problem LOL!!
Will dig the wig out next week and get it over and done with.
Nicki x