June 22, 2021

After a year off, you can’t wait to take to the air and explore the world. But before you head to the airport, make sure that your passport is still valid. If you need to renew your passport or apply for a new one, you’ll also need to have a new photo taken. 

While that might sound easy enough, thousands of applications are denied every year due to a problem with the photo submission. Many of these applicants take their own photo without knowledge of the strict federal guidelines. The easiest way to avoid this situation is to have someone with experience take care of the process. Here are a few options for where to get your passport photo taken.

Where to Get Passport Photos Taken

AIM Mail Centers: The most reliable solution for taking an approved passport photo is going to an AIM Mail Center in your area. Our experts have experience with the passport process from beginning to end, including preparing all the required documentation and taking professional photos. Independent businesses like AIM Mail Centers are also able to offer photos at a more affordable price than a federal outlet. The combination of experience, convenience, quality, and full service puts AIM Mail Centers at the top of the list.

Passport Acceptance Facility: Another reliable solution for a high-quality passport photo is a passport acceptance facility. These offices are federal facilities that are specifically dedicated to submitting and processing passport applications and passport renewal applications. Using these facilities usually requires scheduling an appointment weeks in advance, and associated fees for photos are more expensive than private companies.

Pharmacies: Large pharmacy brands offer passport photo services. These are popular places to get a passport photo taken due to their convenience and quick process. But they aren’t equipped to handle any other part of the passport application process.

Retail Chains: Many large retail brands offer passport photo service, but the extent of their service is often misleading. You will still be required to take the photo. These stores will simply format and print the photo. Similar to the big-brand pharmacies, retail chains are not equipped to handle any other part of the passport process.

Private Photographer: Hiring a private photographer is a reliable solution if they have experience with passport photos. But using a professional studio, even for a relatively simple photo, can be costly.

U.S. Passport Photo Requirements

The following are the official requirements for a U.S. passport photo, per the U.S. Department of State.

  • Photo must be in color
  • Photo must be taken within the last 6 months
  • Photo must include a clear image of your face
  • Photo must be taken by someone else
  • Do not wear eyeglasses in your photo
  • Photo must be taken with a plain white or off-white background

For more information on applying for a passport, renewing a passport, or submitting a passport photo, call 1-800-989-MAIL, or visit a location in your area.