The State Department is banning passport and visa applicants from wearing eyeglasses in photos taken for the documents.

In a notice published Friday, the department says that effective Nov. 1, applicants must remove glasses for passport and visa photographs. It says the step is being taken to “eliminate glares and shadows” that can cause delays in processing the applications and to ensure consistent photo standards. Only in rare circumstances, if applicants have “documented medical necessity during urgent travel” will glasses be allowed.

The department says it expects to process a record number of passports — more than 20 million — in the current budget year that ends next October.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: The U.S. will now require the removal of eyeglasses in most U.S. Passport and visa photos as a way to expedite processing. Sean Hobson /