Britain starts to accept passport photos taken on mobile phones

By The Economist online

DESPITE what doting parents claim, babies are mostly generic-looking. It sometimes takes Gulliver an embarrassing length of time to pick out his own child in old baby-group photos. He certainly wouldn’t recognise her from her passport picture aged four months.

Now she is five, with recognisable facial features, she will shortly have to renew her passport. Snapping the new likeness should be easier than the first time around, when it involved a schlep to a photography shop, and several attempts to get her facing the right way, head up, with Mrs Gulliver’s supporting hands nowhere in shot. In fact she won’t even have to leave the house. The passport office has confirmed that it will now accept photos taken on mobile phones when Brits renew their passports online. (Those applying for their first passports still have to have physical photos countersigned by a professional acquaintance to vouch for their likeness.)

The change should be welcomed. The whole process of renewing a British passport has become easier since the introduction of online applications last year. Two main objections have been raised, though. The…

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Category: Business and finance, Gulliver

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