There are a few great places to go for a new passport photo. Unfortunately, Costco is no longer one of them. So if you were thinking of heading to Costco to get your passport photo taken, you need to come up with another plan. In this post, I will walk you through what you need to know about Costco’s photo center and where you can go to get an affordable passport photo taken. Let’s get into it.
When and Why Did Costco Stop Taking Passport Photos?
Costco’s in-store photo services came to a halt in February of 2021.
This includes their passport photo services.
The store decided to close its photo center in response to a decline in business over the past several years.
The Costco photo center just wasn’t turning enough of a profit, so they had to shut it down.
Although you can no longer get your passport photo taken in their store, you can still have them print out your passport-ready photo through their online photo center.
In fact, Costco only charges about 20 cents to print your passport photos through their website or app.
With that said, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when taking your own passport photos.
Essentially, the requirements include submitting a clear, well-centered, photo of your face with a plain background.
If you do not adhere to the passport photo guidelines, you will have wasted your time and money.
Because the guidelines are quite strict, I recommend getting your passport photo taken at one of the places I recommend later in this article rather than doing the online thing at Costco.
Does Costco Still Do Photos?
While you will no longer be able to bring your disposable camera into the store to be developed, you can still have your photos printed through Costco’s online photo center.
Here, you will find all of the same options that they offered in their store and more.
You can even access their online photo center through the Costco app.
Costco’s online photo center offers plenty of professional photo printing solutions.
The only difference is that you will have to wait for the photos to be shipped to you since there is no more store pickup available.
Costco photos will typically arrive at your address within 5 to 12 business days.
All you need to get started with Costco’s online photo service is a Costco photo account.
From there, you can browse their products and gift ideas and then select photos to print out with the click of a button.
Where Are the Best and Cheapest Places to get Passport Photos?
While it’s true you can no longer get passport photos taken at Costco, there are still plenty of options available for high-quality, low-cost passport photos.
Here are my 3 best recommendations.
Walmart is known as the cheapest place to get your passport photo taken.
They can also print it out for you on the same day.
At this time, the price for Walmart passport photos is $7.44.
This includes two copies of your passport photo that meets all of the guidelines.
Depending on how busy the photo center is, you can get these photos returned to you within 5-10 minutes.
2. The UPS Store
UPS makes getting your passport photo taken and printed out a breeze.
When you choose UPS, you will gain an additional level of convenience because you can mail in your passport photo and application from their store.
They even guarantee on-time delivery to the National Passport Processing Center.
The price for UPS passport photos is $11.99.
This is a bit more expensive than other passport photo services, but when you consider the convenience of the process, it is well worth it.
UPS ensures its customers that the passport photos they take meet all of the guidelines and expectations for a passport photo.
You can even schedule an appointment through their website.
3. FedEx Office Store
Formerly Kinko’s, FedEx Office is another great option.
My family of 5 actually used FedEx Office for our passport photos this past Spring.
Very easy to just walk-in and walk out with your passport photos within minutes.
It costs us $14.95 per person and that came with 2 photos and a free “retake” if needed.
Turns out my wife’s photo was not centered correctly and we had to take it back to FedEx and they retook it for free.
Very easy process.
With Costco’s photo center closing its doors for good in 2021, the options for getting a high-quality, yet low-cost, passport photo taken are more limited.
Thankfully there are still a few options left and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Ask the Reader: Have you recently had a passport photo taken at one of these places? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
By Kyle James