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Congratulations on acing your driving classes and passing the road test! Now, as you gear up for the next step in your journey, don’t overlook the importance of securing a good driver’s license photo.

Your license is more than just a card—it’s your primary form of identification, so capturing a flattering and professional image is key. In this guide, we’ll share 8 simple tips to help you nail that perfect photo.

Keep reading for more details.

8 Tips to Take a Good Driver’s License Photo

1. Dress Well

ny drivers license photo requirements


Your dress code affects the quality of your photo. White is a spoiler color since most backgrounds are bright, so it may not blend well. Your skin color also determines whether you can wear bright colors, and fair-skinned people look very pale with white.

Additionally, black isn’t the best option for the picture for the driver’s license, especially for light skin people. However, black and white make an excellent combination. Soft colors such as blue, pink, or green make a good combination. You should also wear clothes you feel comfortable concentrating on when taking the photo.

Avoid wearing clothes with pictures or slogans since you need an official thing that won’t trigger others. For example, you may take a photo with a slogan that contradicts your potential employer’s belief which may affect your chances of getting a job.

What you wear in the lower part of the body doesn’t matter since the photo is taken from the chest up to the head. Remove your court and scarf for a few minutes for the best pose if it’s winter.

2. Have Neat Hair 

Your hairstyle should be tidy for the photo. When you have long hair, get a style that will keep you comfortable and shouldn’t cover your face for a visible photo. You can tie your hair since some styles bring flyways that may alter the picture.

You can only stick to one hairstyle for a while, that’s why the picture should reveal the original you when you shave your head or change the style, and that makes it easier for most men whose hairstyles don’t change often. If you plait your hair, ensure it isn’t too tight to give that strain and uncomfortable look on your face.

3. Avoid Too Much Makeup

can you take your own driver's license photo


You want to look nice for your driver’s license photo, right? However, makeup may alter your original look, which is against the DMV requirements. You might get in trouble when the police officer pulls you over, and the license photo doesn’t reflect the real you.

A simple touch of your everyday makeup will work perfectly to keep your natural face, and you can take in your natural face. Avoid using the highlighter that will outdo your cheeks and make you look sweaty when taking the photo.

SPF products on your face will lead to white marks when the camera flashes. Don’t use artificial eyelashes that will alter your natural look.

4. Use Eye Drops

You might take your driver’s license photo during the cold or allergy season that affects your eyes, and the best part is that the NY DMV has no problem with people eliminating red eyes. Use eye drops to remove the red or bloodshot eyes in the photo.

Get the best over-the-counter prescription, and if you have serious eyesight and allergy issues, visit your physician before taking the photos for the best outcome. Ensure your eyes are wide open without exaggeration.

Don’t take a driver’s license photo after a party or if you had a long day since you might feel tired and the hungover will reflect in your eyes.

5. Wear Glasses

can you smile in driver's license photo


When taking my driver’s license photo, I thought it was necessary to remove my subscription glasses, and the person in charge asked me to wear them. Remember, subscription glasses are part of your life; you need them when driving.

At his point, your sunglasses aren’t necessary, and you can get back to them when the photo-taking is over. For contact lenses, ensure you have those that won’t change your eye’s color to make everything look like reality.

6. Don’t Over Smile

A broad smile isn’t necessary for your driver’s license photo, you need a bit of a smile to ensure you aren’t grumpy or sad in the photo, and if you incorporate a toothy grin or striking look, you may be asked to pose for more photos.

Wear simple and friendly expressions for the best results in the official recognition software.

7. Arrive on Time

Many people are waiting to take their driver’s license photo, and lateness will inconvenience the DMV schedule. If you arrive early, you will have time to take photos that will satisfy you for a good-looking license. If you get a grumpy photo, you must stay with it until renewal or pay for another one.

If you don’t make it during your scheduled time, you might go to the back of the line, and if many people are waiting, you might take another day which will alter your schedule. You won’t feel the last-minute confusion when you are early for the appointment.

8. Practice the Pose

how to take a good driver's license photo


After finishing your driving and vision test, schedule the photo appointment, and before the day comes, you can practice the pose. Use the mirror to practice looking up with eyes open since a slight bend may get you a repeat or a photo you won’t love.

Try out different hairstyles as you check in the mirror, and you will finally come up with one that feels comfortable and doesn’t contradict your look. Long hair should drop on both shoulders for a good look. You can take a selfie to see your progress before attending the appointment.

Is Makeup Allowed in Driver’s License Photos?

No. It’s not allowed since the photo and other government ones need the natural you. However, a little touch won’t alter your look, and you can use brown eyeliner for subtle definition. Your mascara can work instead of the artificial eyelashes, and a little red lipstick can give your cheeks a good look.

What is the best color to wear for a driver’s license picture?

Your driver’s license picture is your primary form of identification on the road, so it’s essential to get it right. You may not be able to control how your hair looks, but you can choose the right colors to wear for a flattering photo. Soft colors, such as blue, green, or pink, are the best options. If you prefer black or white, try to mix in other colors to avoid looking too bland. Avoid clothing with slogans or pictures that may distract from your face.

How do you get a new picture on your license in NY?

To retake your photo or update your name, schedule a DMV appointment. For a temporary license, book an appointment with TLC.

What Should I Wear for Black and White Photos?

A black and white ID picture is a classic look that never goes out of style. But what you wear can make all the difference in achieving the right contrast. If you’re taking a picture in front of a dark background, opt for lighter clothing to avoid blending in. Conversely, choose darker colors against a lighter background to create better contrast.

Are There Digital Driver’s License in New York?

New York is joining a growing list of states introducing digital driver’s licenses, which means no more fumbling for your wallet at the DMV. With a mobile driver’s license, you can easily access your information and show proof of ID with a simple swipe on your smartphone. The future is here, and it’s exciting!

How to take a good driver’s license photo?

Taking a good driver’s license photo involves following specific tips to ensure the best outcome. These include dressing appropriately, having tidy hair, avoiding excessive makeup, using eye drops if necessary, wearing glasses if required, smiling modestly, arriving on time for the appointment, and practicing the pose beforehand.

Wrapping Up

You deserve the best driver’s license photo after attending classes, taking exams, having everything in place, dressing well, and being ready for the professional pose. Additionally, be nice to the person you find in the offices, and if you aren’t pleased with the photo, ask if you can get another one politely.

Remember that you must pass the road test before getting your driver’s license, and the best part is at our school, we offer the best classes and help you schedule the appointment for an effortless process.