Photo ID Requirements
AWS adopts the same guidelines for photos as does the U.S. Department of State for passport photos. The following guidelines are borrowed and modified from the U.S. Department of State website.
Your photo is a vital part of your application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo to avoid processing delays. The acceptance of your photo is always at the discretion of the AWS.
We recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.
If you are applying for a Certification, you must provide one (1) passport-style photograph. Your photo must be:
- In color
- Printed on photo quality paper
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
- Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo
- If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo
- Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
- Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash
- Dimensions: The image dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 x 600 pixels. Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 x 1200 pixels.
- Color: The image must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space which is the common output for most digital cameras.
- File Format: The image must be in JPEG file format.
- File Size: The image must be less than or equal to 240 kB (kilobytes).
- Compression: The image may need to be compressed in order for it to be under the maximum file size. The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20:1.
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
- Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)
Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
Want to take the photo yourself?
While we recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements, you may take the photo yourself. Hand-held self-portraits are not acceptable. Photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way. Please use reliable references for guidance on taking your own photo. There are several online software tools for this purpose. It is your responsibility to ensure the tool you use produces a photo that meets AWS specifications.
Renewals/Recertification - Change of Appearance
If you cannot be identified from your current photo on file with AWS, you should submit a new photo with your renewal or recertification application.
Examination results will NOT be released until we receive the 2 x 2 inch color passport - style photograph. To avoid delays in receiving your examination results, please mail your photo to the address listed below:
American Welding Society
Certification Department Photo Center
8669 NW 36 Street, Suite 130
Miami, FL 33166-6672
We recommend using priority mail with tracking options.
For question or concerns, please call the Certification Department 800-443-9353, extension 273.