UCard Photo Requirements


The UCard photo requirements are similar to those for U.S. Passports.  The photo you submit must:

  • Be of you (We know, but if we didn’t say it….)
  • Be taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Be in color
  • Be taken in front of a plain white background, Please Note: Photo's must be on a "Solid" White Background.  Photos. taken in front of a White door with Panels or white block wall with lines will be rejected.
  • Have a small space between the top of your head and the top of the image.
  • Have a slightly larger space between the bottom of your chin and the bottom of the image
  • Be taken in full-face view directly facing the camera (No side profiles or tilted head!)
  • Be taken with a natural smile or a neutral facial expression with both eyes open
  • Be taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
    • Uniforms, clothing that looks like a uniform, and camouflage attire should not be worn in photos except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily.
    • You may only wear a head covering if you wear it daily for religious or medical purposes. Your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
    • Hairbands, headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses with clear lenses, a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.  Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo.
    • Dark glasses, colored lenses, transitional glasses (if they don’t lighten up enough), or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required).
  • Not be a group photo
  • Not be derogatory in any way (The UCard Office reserves the right to reject any photo that we feel is inappropriate.) 

Please remember that this photo is for identification purposes. The picture must clearly identify you.



Here are a few examples of unacceptable and acceptable photos. 

photo of a person wearing a hat

blurry photo of a person

photo of a person chewing gum

photo of a person with their head tilted

acceptable ucard photo






Head coverings are not allowed except for religious or medical reasons and eyes are not visible.

The photo is blurry, and the whole head is not visible.                                                                            

Not a solid white background, gum visible, hair in face, hand in picture, whole head not visible.              

Head tilted and too much glare from glasses.                                                                                                          

Meets all requirements.                                                                                                                                    


Location & Hours

168 Whitmore Administration Bldg. (Map)
Monday - Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
(Extended Hours & Holiday Exceptions)

Contact Information

Email: ucard@admin.umass.edu
Telephone: (413) 545-0197
FAX: (413) 577-0644

Mailing Address

UCard Office
P.O. Box 2364
Amherst, MA 01004-2364