Everything You Need to Know About Passport Photos

Prospective travelers need to obtain their US passport photos before they can apply for federal passport cards or books. This is an important step in the application process, and petitioners who do not properly fulfill this request will be unable to receive this documentation when it comes time to formally apply. Regardless of the types of passports that citizens request, they are required to provide federal officials with images that meet the passport photo requirements when they apply for documentation.

Many petitioners wonder, “Where can I get passport photos near me?” Many pharmacies and post offices serve as official locations where applicants can pay to have their pictures taken. However, it is applicants’ jobs to make sure that the images they pay for meet program requirements. For these reasons, candidates should be sure that they review image requirements and have a thorough understanding of what is required of them before they pay for these pictures. The information below offers applicants a comprehensive guide regarding where to get passport photos, image requirements and what candidates need to do with these images once they obtain them.

How much do passport photos cost?

Candidates often want to know, “Where can I get a passport photo and how much does it cost?” There is no definitive answer to this question because there are many different places where candidates can have their passport photos taken. Therefore, applicants can shop around and find different photography providers that offer their services at different prices. In some instances, pharmacy or store-bought photos are cheaper than ones that applicants obtain at the post office or other federal buildings. Whether individuals purchase a Walgreens passport photo or one from a different provider, however, these prices should be roughly the same, and one option is not necessarily better than the other.

US Passport Photo Requirements

There are various passport photo requirements that candidates need to make sure their pictures meet before they can be used in federal documents. To help ensure that applicants’ photos meet these requirements, petitioners should consider using professional services to have their pictures taken. Regardless of where applicants get their photos taken, they should be sure their images meet the following requirements:

  • Positioning: Passport photo rules indicate that applicants need to be directly facing the camera in their pictures. Additionally, candidates’ faces must be centrally positioned in the photos.
  • Neutrality: Candidates’ photos must be set against white or off-white backgrounds. Any other colors are not acceptable.
  • Appearance: Applicants must be wearing the same type of clothes they wear every day, and they must display neutral facial expressions or natural smiles. In either case, petitioners’ eyes must be open. Additionally, these pictures must be no more than six months old.
  • Photo quality: Passport photos must measure 2x2 inches in size. Furthermore, images must be printed in color on glossy or matte paper.
  • Covering: Subjects may not be wearing hats or glasses, except for medical purposes. Religious head coverings are also permitted, as long as they do not cover the applicants’ faces.
  • Headphones: Petitioners will have their photos rejected if they wear headphones or wireless devices in the images.

Where to Get Passport Photos

Many applicants wonder where they can go to have their pictures taken and where they can print a passport photo. The following locations generally allow individuals to have their official passport photos taken and printed:

  • CVS: Applicants can usually get their CVS passport photo done quickly at participating locations. Passport photos at CVS are generally cheap to obtain, and petitioners usually do not need to wait long to get their copies.
  • Costco: Costco passport photos can be taken at various facilities throughout the country but membership may be required.
  • Walmart: Similar to the options included above, a Walmart passport photo is economical and easy to obtain for first-time applicants.
  • Walgreens: This store usually offers photo services. Occasionally, there is even a Walgreens passport photo coupon or discount that thrifty purchasers can use to lower their costs.
  • Rite Aid: A Rite Aid passport photo is another option for candidates who have these facilities in their areas.

Additionally, applicants can have their passport photo taken at some post offices throughout the country. However, petitioners usually need to schedule appointments for these meetings to ensure that a professional is on duty to take their pictures while they are there.

Can I order my passport photo online?

Generally, candidates may order copies of their US passport photo online. However, this is only possible after the applicants have shown up to their appointments in person and had their photos taken at the store or post office. In any case, petitioners should be able to receive copies of their photos online. This is due to the fact that passport photos at CVS and similar establishments offer the same photo services for passport images as they do for general pictures that customers can buy. Consumers can go online and buy copies of the pictures they had taken in-store. This is especially useful if applicants lose the pictures they already bought and need additional copies.

What do I do once I have my US passport photo?

Once applicants obtain their passport size photo, they must be sure to keep these documents with them until it is time to submit official passport applications. In some instances, candidates will purchase two copies of their photos when they buy them at the post office or pharmacy. However, applicants are only responsible for submitting one of these alongside their formal applications.

First-time petitioners are required to include their passport photos within their application form DS-11. This document is specifically for first-time applicants and returning candidates who do not qualify to renew their applications by mail. Furthermore, petitioners must know that if their images do not meet the US passport photo requirements, the government will not accept these pictures. This can cause a delay in the application processing, which can increase how long it takes for candidates to learn if their requests were accepted. To help eliminate unnecessary delays, applicants should make sure that their images are appropriate and satisfy all requirements before they petition to receive their passport documents.