When you sign up to take the ACT in high school, you will need to have your personal information with you in order to fill out the appropriate registration fields. As part of registration, you will also need to submit a photo with your application. Following the ACT photo requirements is easy as long as you follow the instructions on their website.

Know Your Registration Date

Before you can register for the ACT, you must know your registration date. The date by which you register depends on when that test will be given and the registration deadline for that particular test. While the test dates will change from year to year, you can get an idea of how soon you'll need to register before the ACT test is given.

The ACT is given seven times throughout the school year. In 2018-2019, the registration deadline for the ACT was about a month before the test date. For example, for the October 27, 2018 test date, the registration deadline was September 28, 2018. For the April 13, 2019 test date, the registration deadline was March 8th, 2019. If you miss the deadline, there is another deadline for late registration, but you will pay a higher fee.

Beginning Registration for the ACT

Once you know which date you'll take the ACT and by which date you need to register, you can do so on the ACT website. Go to the ACT online registration page and click on "Register Now for the ACT Test." You can also set up a text or email reminder alert in case you don't have time to register right now but don't want to worry about forgetting to do so.

In order to register for the ACT, you'll want to make sure you have the time and the materials necessary. To start, you will need about 40 minutes to set aside so that you can complete the registration in one sitting. You will need to have a computer with internet access.

Materials Needed to Register for the ACT

Before beginning your ACT registration, it's important to gather the necessary materials. First, you'll need a credit card or another form of payment to pay for the registration fee and your high school course details (a copy of your schedule and/or transcripts can be helpful, though you can probably do without it).

Next, if you'd like to send your scores directly to the colleges to which you're applying, you can send up to four scores for free. Therefore, you must decide if this is something you want to do, and if it is, decide the schools to which you'd like to have your scores sent.

Lastly, you will need a headshot photo as part of the ACT photo requirements. A headshot photo for the ACT is different than a headshot for a modeling website and is much like a passport photo. Check that you have the right headshot by following the guidelines and download the ACTPhoto app so you can be ready.

ACT Photo Requirements

The reason for these ACT photo requirements is identification and security policies. Therefore, the photo must be a recent one of you because it will appear on your ticket when you print it out so that you can be identified when you arrive for the test. You can upload your photo from a computer, a mobile device through the ACTPhoto app or you can submit a printed photo. In addition to this, your photo must meet the following requirements.

  • A clear picture of you
  • A full face-and-shoulders shot
  • Portrait style
  • Face directly toward the camera
  • No dark glasses
  • Adjust a head covering, if you wear one, so your full face shows
  • No photo of a photo or a scanned driver's license photo
  • Must be bright with no shadows
  • Avoid using flash
  • JPG, JPEG, PNG or BMP image file
  • 5MB maximum
  • 2" x 2" or larger if it is scanned
  • At least 640 X 480 pixels

If for some reason you were not required to submit a photo during your ACT registration (perhaps you registered at school or via another institution), then you must fill out the ACT Talent Search Student Identification Form before the test and bring it to the test center on test day along with your ID. Some students may be allowed to use only this form as their ID if they appear in the roster as "Not Yet in HS" or "ACT Approved Exception Photo Not Required."

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