When renewing my US passport, I need to send a 2" × 2" photo in to the State Dept. Is that just the size of the photo image or the size of the whole thing? That is to say, can I print my 2×2 photo on 3×5 paper and send that in with a white border?
The exact rules read "Photo should be 2”x2” (51 x 51 mm) with the head centered and sized between 1” and 1.4” (25 and 35 mm)."
Shows multiple examples of OK and not OK photos. I see no examples where a 2x2 photo on a larger media is OK. We personally cut our photos 2 x 2 and have never had an issue (very straight/even with a photo cutter)
2X2 is the size of the whole thing or paper. For exact measurements of the image itself, see:
It answers all your questions.