Retail

Does Costco Take Passport Photos?

Updated on October 27, 2021 by
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costco photo center

Costco Wholesale is well known as a one-stop shop for most of its members’ shopping needs. From its famous and affordable rotisserie chicken and pizza to eyeglasses, tire services, and even vacation packages — Costco has it all.

Costco’s vacation packages feature affordable and convenient itineraries with destinations all over the world.

If you’re thinking about booking an international getaway, you might also wonder if you can get your passport photos taken at Costco.

Does Costco Take Passport Photos?

No, Costco does not take passport photos for its members anymore.

As of early 2021, Costco has closed all of its photo centers and no longer offers warehouse photo services, including passport photos.

Costco decided to close its photo centers because of the rising popularity of social media and the increasing quality of cell phone photos.

Where Can I Have Passport Photos Taken?

There are many other places to have your passport photos taken. Stores like Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS offer passport photo services. AAA, UPS, and FedEx centers are other places that take passport photos.

You can also have your passport photos taken at many USPS locations before you file your passport application. Make sure to tell the clerk you need your pictures taken when you schedule your passport appointment.

Can I Take My Passport Photos at Home?

Yes, you can take passport photos at home. Just make sure you follow some specific guidelines.

  • Stand in front of a solid, white background.
  • Face directly forward.
  • Make sure the lighting is bright with no strong shadows on your face.
  • Don't use filters or any photo editing.
  • Remove glasses, hats, head or face coverings, and anything else that might block your face.

The picture you use for your passport should be recent—less than six months old—and full color. The printed photo must measure 2×2 inches, and your head should measure between 1 inch and 1.3 inches.

Can I Smile in a Passport Photo?

In many countries, your passport photos will be rejected if you smile. The facial recognition software used for biometric photos measures the distance between your facial features to match you with your picture. This requires a neutral expression to accurately “read” your photo.

In the U.S., you might hear conflicting advice about smiling in your passport photo.

Currently, according to the U.S. Department of State, smiling is fine as long as it is natural and your eyes remain open and visible. Photos with exaggerated expressions or closed eyes will be rejected.

What Should I Wear for My Passport Photo?

In general, your everyday attire should be okay. Both casual and business styles are acceptable. You may not wear a uniform or anything that can look like a uniform, including camouflage print.

Be sure to remove your eyeglasses, sunglasses, hats, head coverings, or anything that might obscure your face. If you wear any facial or head covering for religious or medical reasons, be sure to include a signed statement of your belief or a doctor’s note.

You can also wear jewelry and don’t have to remove facial piercings as long as your face is still clearly visible.

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