Where & How to Get Cheap Passport Photos

Where can I get Cheap Passport Photos “Near Me?”

I found myself asking that exact question in 2013 before I took my first trip out of the country – to Jamaica.

Truth be told, I had never gotten a passport before and it was going to be the second time ever riding on a plane. Regardless, when I went to apply for my passport, I was quickly surprised by one thing:

I had to send my own passport photo in with my passport packet.

What the??

Knowing the time was ticking (any governmental process takes weeks), I was in a pinch and needed to find a place to get my passport photo stat!

I ended up at the United States Post Office where – get this – they didn't have any photo film! Finally, I made my way to a local pharmacy and got my photo and was able to send my passport packet out.

All this to say, today I want to help you never experience this. I am going to help you figure out where and how to get cheap passport photos near you!

Best Places to Get Cheap Passport Photos

If you visit the Travel.gov website and look at how much a U.S Passport or a passport renewal fee is, you will be somewhat shocked when you realize it is $110 for the passport book, and $30 for the passport card.

Keep in mind, a passport is only good for 10 years after you pass the age of 16. My point in sharing is that in addition to using the archaic mail system called the USPS to do everything related to your passport, you will need a photo.

And while a passport photo shouldn't cost more than a quarter, most places will charge between $10 and $15 for a passport photo. So your first option for finding a cheap passport photo lies within your home office…

Best Passport Photo Option – Print At Home

Printing your passport photo at home is your cheapest and best option, so long as you own a printer.

That being said you want to make sure you meet the following State Department requirements when it comes to submitting your photo with your application!

Passport Photo Requirements:

  • The photo must be in COLOR
  • The photo must be in the last 6 months
  • The passport photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches
  • Head size must consume 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image's total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Passport photos must be clear (no smudges, discoloration)
  • Take in front of a white background, like a wall
  • Neutral facial expression with eyes open
  • Where normal, casual clothes
  • Lastly, no glasses (see here for specifics on glasses)

Simply have someone take the photo, print it on photo paper at your home and you're all set.

Now, of course you do run the risk of possibly taking an incorrect photo because of some of the above mentioned requirements, so later on we share where to get cheap passport photos taken!

Also, if you don't have a printer at home, you can simply print “Passport Photo Size” at these local stores!

Next Best Option – Print at Stores

If you insist on taking your own passport photo to keep costs down, but you don't have a printer at home, don't worry – you can print them at the store.

Recently, my wife and I took photos from our cloud and Facebook and printed them at our local Walmart. Anywhere you can find a “Kodak Kiosk” you can print a passport photo for cheap!

Typically, you can print your own passport photo at the following spots:

  • Walmart
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Costco
  • Sam's Club
  • Local grocery stores & pharmacies

Printing a 2 by 2 photo should cost you less than $4 no matter where you get it! But if you don't want to take a passport photo nor print it on you your own, your next best option is to have it taken and printed for you!

Other free things & life hacks:

Best Places to Take Passport Photo:

If you're like me and you find yourself in a hurry and need to simply get your photo done and taken care of, here are the best places to get your passport photos:

  • Walmart – $7.44
  • UPS Store – $11.99
  • Target – $12.99
  • FedEx – $14.95
  • Walgreens – $14.99
  • CVS – $14.99
  • USPS – $15
  • Other locally owned shipping stores, be sure to call ahead

Another option to find cheap passport photos near you is to simply type in these exact search terms in your Maps app on your phone: Passport photos by me.

This should net you plenty of results if you're in an area with multiple pharmacies and stores. From there, select whatever option you feel best with!

Final thoughts:

Me personally, I think if I did it again I would do the photo on my own and print it at a CVS and just ask the employees if it looks good to them. That being said, it really boils down to time.

If you have time to take your own photo and print it, go for it so long as if for some odd reason you don't meet the requirements you still have time to resubmit your passport application!

If time is of the essence, I would advise going to the store and paying the $8-$15 to have someone who has taken hundreds of passport photos do it for you. The cameras and background is set up for you and they will guide you through the process correctly! Be sure to plan ahead because sometimes stores (like the CVS $2 off Passport Photos) offer discounts!

There are ways to make money fast online these days to compensate you for the $15. You can even earn a few dollars for your trip when you knock out a few surveys, play games on your phone, or even “Trim” out your bills. Sometimes the hassle of saving money is best solved by just making more!

Either way, I hope you enjoy your trip and if you have a tip that can help others find cheap passport photos by them, be sure to comment below!

Frequently asked questions

Where is the cheapest place to get a passport photo?

The cheapest place to get a passport photo taken and printed is Walmart. If you're looking to JUST print your passport photo there are plenty of options. Typical costs range from under $1 to print and take yourself, to $15 if you have someone do it for you.

How can I get a cheap passport photo?

The cheapest option to get a cheap passport photo is to take the photo yourself and print it at home or at the store for less than $2. However, if you don't want to take it yourself, the cheapest option to get it done is to visit your local Walmart. Passport photos cost anywhere from $7.50 to $15.

How much is a passport photo at CVS?

CVS charges $14.99 for a passport photo. This includes taking the photo, printing it, and making sure you meet the passport application photo requirements.

Should I take my own passport photo?

As long as you can meet the passport photo requirements, there is no reason why you cannot take your own passport photo with modern cameras and technology. Be sure to meet all the requirements and don't wear white. You can either print your photo yourself or go to a store and print it there.

What are the rules for passport photos?

First, your passport photo must be recent in the last 6 months when submitting your application. You must not wear glasses or white. If you take it yourself, the photo should be taken with a white background and the passport photo size is 2 inches by 2 inches. You must use a clear photo and your head should consume 1 & 3/8 inches of the photo. Be sure to check all additional requirements prior to submitting your photos.

What color should I wear for my passport photo?

Do not wear a white shirt. The background must be white for your passport photo, so do not wear a white shirt. Also, you cannot wear glasses in your passport photo.

Where can I print my passport photo?

Anywhere that allows for photo printing is a place to print your passport photo, including:
-Sam's Club
-Local grocery stores