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Shut up if you want a passport.

PEOPLE will have to keep their mouths shut on passport photographs from today, according to official guidelines.

The UK Passport Service said photos showing travellers with their lips apart would confuse security scanners being phased-in to measure facial parameters.

Smiles will not be banned, however.

A slight cheesy grin will be allowed, providing the lips are together, a HomeOffice spokesman said. However, the exact wording of the guidelines said: ``It must show their full face, looking straight at the camera, with a neutral expression, with their mouth closed. ''

The snaps must also show eyes open and clearly visible, with no sunglasses or heavily-tinted glasses and no hair across the eyes, the guidelines said.

The new requirements are part of a package to ensure British passport photographs meet recently-agreed international standards.

Images will be measured by facial recognition software as so-called ``biometrics'' a reintroduced into travel documents, with the facial image loaded onto a microchip in ``e Passports''.

Other requirements are that applicants must submit two identical photographs taken in the last six months.

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 6, 2004
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