Do you need to get a passport photo for 2022? If so, Costco is not an option. The company has closed its photo center, but other options are available if you want to take the next step in your travel plans.
If you’ve been getting travel discounts through your Costco membership, you will need to explore these other stores for passport photo services.
Why did Costco close its photo center?
Just like the laws of demand and supply govern every other industry, the same is true of the photo industry.
As smartphones and social media became increasingly accessible, it was no longer worth Costco’s time to continue operating its own in-house center for taking passport photos due to a steep decline in demand for those services.
Costco has been gradually scaling down its photo operations since 2019, and by February 2021, it had closed its in-house photo centers entirely.
Because of this closure, Costco members who still need to get passport photos have the option to use the services at other stores that are just as reliable.
The fall in demand affected not only the photo-taking services but also other photo services, including passport photo printing and scanning.
As a result, the company has since shut its doors to make room for all other photo services except a few that can be accessed through Costco’s Photo Center website.
The available services include banners, enlargements, stationery, calendars, wall arts, and customized services like photo gifts, photo blankets, invitations, and greeting cards.
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What stores take passport photos?
With Costco discontinuing its passport photo services, several other stores ranging from groceries to drugstores to post offices offer passport photo services.
The best-known names include Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, UPS, Target, and Rite Aid.
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You can also choose to take your passport photos in other offline physical stores. Here are a few offline alternatives to Costco’s in-house photo centers:
Walgreens Passport Photos | Walgreens Photo
Walgreens charges $14.99 for passport photos, but customers who crop their photos themselves and then print the template 35 cents per photo.
FedEx Office FedEx Office Increases Its Passport Photo Services
FedEx Office charges $14.95 to take and print your passport photo. If you just need the printing service, it’ll cost you much less.
For just $11.99, the U.S. Postal Service offers you a passport photo service that includes taking your picture and printing it. Photo printing costs less than 35 cents.
Rite Aid charges $8.99 for taking and printing a passport photo, but customers can save money by cutting their own pictures to size and printing for just 19 cents. This is one of the cheapest passport photo services.
Target and CVS Pharmacy Target Photo
Target allows customers to crop their own photos and print them for as low as 25 cents instead of the usual $9.99 price. CVS Pharmacy has a similar model, allowing customers to print passport photos for as low as 33 cents if they crop their pictures.
Walmart offers passport photos for $7.44, but customers who cut their own pictures to size and print them at Walmart will only be charged $0.19!
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This online photo service allows you to upload your passport photos and other pictures for printing. It offers several different templates that are perfect for passports and charge upwards of $12.
Walgreens offers an online option to print your passport photos and save money. Here, you can upload the images to get them printed for $14.99.
This service charges differently to print your passport photos and is an excellent option for those who don’t want the hassle of printing their passport photos for different countries.
This website offers passport photos at $14.99, including printing, or $2.99 with AI-powered processing and download (no printing).
This online service offers a simple process with no hidden costs or surprises. You can utilize their ‘free service’ for as low as $0.99 per photo.
Cheapest places to get passport photos?
Going through Costco’s in-house photo centers used to be the most affordable way of getting your passport pictures.
However, with Costco discontinuing its photo center, other stores offer the same service at cheap rates. Here’s a look at some of the most affordable places to get your passport photos:
For just $7.44, Walmart takes and prints your passport photos. Customers who want to cut their own pictures can have them printed for as low as 19 cents!
Target offers the same service as Walmart for only $9.99, including taking and printing passport photos. Printing a single image only costs 25 cents.
Rite Aid charges $8.99 for taking and printing a passport photo, but if you choose to only print, it’ll cost you only 19 cents.
Can I take my own passport photo?
Yes, you can, and this is by far the cheapest option. However, you need to go through the specific passport photo guidelines to ensure that your photo meets the requirements.
These requirements vary from nation to nation but generally include taking your picture against a plain light-colored background with the proper lighting.
You also need to ensure that your face is clearly visible and that your eyes are open.