ID card photo requirements

The ID card photo specifications are as follows:


  • Full colour.
  • A true image and not altered in any way.
  • Clear, sharp and in focus with minimum reflective light on face.
  • No red-eye, no reflected light or shadows on the face.


  • Head straight to the camera and centred with a clear gap around the sides and top of head, including hair.
  • Maintain a neutral expression and ensure you have no hair across your face or eyes, as both must be clearly visible.


  • A plain, light coloured background (not white or dark).
  • Strong contrast between image and background.

Glasses may be worn but the eyes must be clearly showing through glasses with no reflection. No sunglasses may be worn. Tinted prescription glasses may be worn provided the eyes are still visible. Without hats, head coverings, or head bands, unless for religious or medical purposes.

Example photo

Example ID card photo

Note: A scanned copy of your passport will not meet our requirements for an ID photo.

Digital photos

  • File format: Jpg or Jpeg.
  • File size: Greater than 500kb and less than 10MB.
  • Dimensions: Minimum 900 pixels wide x 1200 pixels high -- maximum 4500 pixels wide x 6000 pixels high.

If you are located in New Zealand, you can have an ID photo taken at a NZ Post Shop and they will email you a copy of that photo. These are standard ID photos and will normally meet the University’s requirements.

Taking your own photo

If you decide to take the photo yourself, we recommend that you:

  • Use a digital camera.
  • Have someone else take the photo for you so that the photo is straight to the camera.
  • Check that the image meets the University’s ID photo requirements before you send the photo to us.
  • Where possible do not send in a photo taken using a web camera. The resolution and angles normally do not meet requirements. Most either have shadows or glare from unsuitable lighting and the face is angled down.
  • Where possible do not send in a photo taken using a smart phone. The resolution is normally too low and they have the same issues with lighting and angles as web cameras.
  • Please do not scan a hard copy photo and then email it to us. These are usually too grainy to use as the image quality will have degraded.

If the photo does not meet the specified requirements we will update your Things you need to do list and you will have to submit a new ID photo.