Photo Requirements and Submission Guidelines


New, incoming CWRU students have the option of submitting their ID card photograph online. For students starting in the summer or fall, online submission is available starting in early April. For students starting in the spring semester, online submissions open in November.

If you are a new employee, faculty member, or a current student, you will need to get your ID card photograph taken in person at Access Services.

Photos that do not meet the photo requirements will be rejected and will need to be retaken. To avoid having your photo rejected, follow these guidelines for taking an acceptable ID photo:

  • Photos should be in color, and recent enough (within the last six months) to be a good likeness of you. Make sure you have very good lighting on your face to eliminate shadows. Use your camera flash or face a large window for natural lighting.
  • You must be the only person in the photograph.
  • Photos must be headshots and your head must fill at least 75% of the photo. Be sure to include a little space just above your head and below your shoulders in the photo.
  • Photos must be clear, front view, full face, and taken in normal street attire. Directly face the camera and do not tilt your head or turn your body sideways.
  • No hats or dark glasses or any other obstruction of the face, including head resting on hands.
  • Photos should be taken against a plain light background. Any light-colored wall will do. If you don't have plain white or light-colored walls to stand in front of, tape a piece of white poster board or drape a white sheet behind you.
  • Your face must be upright and not distorted (stretched or shrunk) in either dimension.
  • In most circumstances, your senior photograph will not be appropriate.
  • Photographs from smartphones are permitted as long as they meet these guidelines!

All photos are subject to approval and MUST meet the following requirements:

  • Clear, digital color photo taken indoors with natural lighting or flash and in the last 6 months
  • Flat, solid, light colored background with NO other visible people or objects in the photo
  • Centered front-view, full-face image with both eyes open and a neutral expression or natural smile
  • Photo cropped from just above the top of the head to just below the shoulders
  • Hair must not obscure the face or eyes
  • May wear prescription eyeglasses (without glare)
  • May wear a religious head covering if the item does not obscure facial features
  • MUST wear a shirt or blouse
  • NO side, front, or back head tilting
  • NO hats, sunglasses, headphones, or other accessories
  • NO inappropriate expressions or gestures
  • NO editing or filters
  • NO professional photos, senior portraits, or school photos
  • NO photos of photos

*Items in BOLD are the most common reasons for a photo to be rejected.

The photo must be in JPG format, at least 216 pixels wide and 288 pixels tall, and no larger than 4MB in size. You will be able to crop the photo to meet the final requirements after it has been uploaded.

In order to confirm your identity, you must provide a copy of a valid government-issued photo ID. If you do not provide valid proof of identity, your submission will not be processed.

  • Current US drivers license, state ID card or military ID card (both sides)
  • Current passport (photo page) or United States visa

These documents can be submitted in JPG, PNG and PDF formats with a maximum size of 4MB.

If you are unable to provide government-issued photo ID, email for assistance.


How to Submit Your ID Card Photo

  1. Click on the “Submit Your Photo” button above or below.
  2. Log in with your Network ID and password.
  3. Approve multi-factor authentication request (DUO), if prompted.
  4. Use your device (smart phone, tablet, etc.) to take your photo or upload a recent existing photo.
  5. Preview your photo to ensure that it meets all the requirements at the top of this webpage and then submit it.
  6. After you finalize and submit your photo, Access Services staff will review your submission during business hours.
  7. You will be notified via email whether your photo was accepted or rejected by the ID Center.
    • If your submission is rejected, review the reasons provided before submitting a new photo.
    • If your submission is rejected multiple times, please contact the Access Services for assistance.
  8. Your photo will then be downloaded and available for Access Services Staff to print on your ID Card. 

Submit Your Photo