ACT Photo Requirements, Deadlines and Upload Options

For national test dates only (U.S., U.S. Territories and Canada)

Photo requirements

Photo upload deadlines

ACT Photo Submission Overview

As part of ACT's test security requirements, you must now provide a photo of yourself in order to complete your test registration. Photos will be used for identification purposes on test day and on the score report that is automatically sent to your high school. Photo submission options include: 

Your photo must be added by the photo upload deadline for your test date. You are strongly encouraged to complete this part of your registration and print your ticket as soon as possible, to ensure everything is in order well before test day. If you miss the deadline, your registration will be cancelled and you will NOT be admitted to test. More details are provided in the photo upload deadline section below.

You must bring a printed copy of your ticket and a valid photo ID in order to be admitted on test day. For more details, check out the Test Day Checklist.

Photo Requirements

The photo must meet the following requirements:

  • Your photo must be a clear image of you (not blurry, grainy, or fuzzy) against a plain, light-colored background.
  • The photo must be a head and shoulders shot of you—and only you. If your photo shows more than your head and shoulders, it will be rejected.
  • You must use a portrait, not landscape, photo that is correctly oriented.
  • You must be facing the camera.
  • You cannot wear dark glasses.
  • If you wear a head covering daily for religious reasons, adjust it to provide a full-face view.

Format and Size

  • You can upload a JPG, JPEG, PNG, or BMP image file.
  • Maximum file size is 5 MB.
  • If you scan your photo, the resulting file must print as a 2" x 2" image or larger.
  • The photo must be at least 640 x 480 pixels.
  • If you have scanned your photo, crop the image to show only your head and shoulders before you upload it.

System Requirements

Below are minimum system requirements to successfully upload a photo:

  • The photo upload works best with Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera.
  • You must have Javascript enabled.
  • Processor: 500MHz or faster.
  • RAM: 128MB or more
  • Internet (1.4mbps up speeds)

Additional Tips

  • Do not scan your driver's license or school ID to use that photo. The scanned image will not be of high enough quality to meet the system's requirements for an acceptable photo.
  • Do not submit a photo of a photo; just take a photo of yourself.
  • If you take a photo:
    • Be sure to hold the camera or mobile device very still.
    • Try turning on a soft overhead light or taking your photo outside in bright light, but avoid having the sun at your back.
    • Make sure there are no shadows over your face.
    • Try standing a few feet in front of a plain wall or other solid color that contrasts with your hair and clothing.
    • Try not to use the camera flash. If you must use flash, take the photo from at least 3 feet away, and use the camera zoom as needed to center only your face and shoulders within the photo frame.

Examples of Acceptable Photos

Photo of a student's face
Photo of a student's face

 

Examples of Unacceptable Photos

Photo of a student with head cropped

Top of head missing

Group photo

full length photo from a distance

Full-length photo

photo with a busy background

Background not plain

blurry photo of student

Fuzzy/grainy

photo of student with hair over eye

Hair over eye

Photo Upload Deadlines

Your photo must be added by the photo upload deadline for your test date. The test dates and deadlines are listed below. If you miss the deadline, your registration will be cancelled and you will NOT be admitted to test. If your registration is cancelled, the registration fee will not be refunded. You may, however, request a test date change.  You will be required to provide a photo for the new test date. Note: Registrants who request Standby Testing cannot request a test date change; see our Standby Testing page for details.

ACT Test DatePhoto Upload Deadline
(by midnight central time)
September 21, 2013 September 13, 2013
October 26, 2013 October 18, 2013
December 14, 2013 December 6, 2013
February 8, 2014* January 31, 2014
April 12, 2014 April 7, 2014
June 14, 2014 June 6, 2014

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date.

If you don't have access to a digital photo to upload via computer, or you don't have access to a mobile device to take and upload a photo, you may submit a hard copy paper photo.

Upload Photo from Computer

If you have a digital photo on a computer with an Internet connection, you can upload the photo directly to your ACT Web account. You will be prompted to upload your photo and print your ticket when you register online. While you can upload your photo any time up to the deadline noted above, you are strongly encouraged to complete this part of your registration and print your ticket as soon as possible, to ensure everything is in order well before test day.

Upload Photo Using Mobile Device

To use a mobile device to submit your photo, first download and install one of ACT’s FREE mobile apps described below. You don’t have to have your own mobile device; you can use someone else’s as long as they install the free “ACTPhoto” app. 

IMPORTANT: Create your ACT Web account on a computer before using the mobile app; you will need to log in with your user ID and password to upload the photo. Click here for an overview of the mobile photo upload process.

iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®

  1. Search for the free ACTPhoto app in the AppStore.
  2. Download and install ACTPhoto.
  3. Submit a photo from the device's library or use the camera.

Android™ (2.3 or higher)

  1. Search for the free ACTPhoto app in the Google Play app store.
  2. Download and install ACTPhoto.
  3. Submit an existing photo from the device or use the camera.

Anyone can use the Mobile Apps. You can use the mobile apps to upload your photo if you register online, by paper, or reregister by phone. After you upload the photo, you will need to log in to your ACT Web account from a computer with a printer connection and print your ticket. You MUST have a printed copy of your ticket to be admitted to the test center on test day. For more details, check out the Test Day Checklist.

Submit a Hard Copy Paper Photo

If you don’t have access to a digital photo to upload via computer, or you don't have access to a mobile device to take and upload a photo, you may submit a hard copy paper photo, which must meet all the photo requirements noted above. The photo will NOT be returned to you.

ACT must receive the hard copy photo by the deadline for your test date listed below. If you miss the paper photo deadline, you may still submit your photo online by the photo upload deadline.

If you miss the upload deadline, your registration will be cancelled and you will NOT be admitted to test. If your registration is cancelled, the registration fee will not be refunded. You may, however, request a test date change. You will be required to provide a photo for the new test date. Note: Registrants who request Standby Testing cannot request a test date change; see our Standby Testing page for details.

To submit a paper photo, print a copy of the Photo Submission Form (PDF) and follow the instructions. 

Test DatePaper Photo RECEIPT Deadline
September 21, 2013 September 6, 2013
October 26, 2013 October 11, 2013
December 14, 2013 November 22, 2013
February 8, 2014* January 24, 2014
April 12, 2014 March 21, 2014
June 14, 2014 May 23, 2014

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date.