Where to Get Cheap (or Even Free) Passport Photos 

Traveling abroad? Save some money for your trip by getting cheap (or even free) passport photos taken at one of these locations. 

free passport photos

Getting ready to take that epic vacation you’ve been dreaming of? Need a passport for your destination?  Read on to find the best places to get free or cheap passport photos! 

Passport Photo Requirements 

Before you head out to take your passport photo, make sure you keep in mind these U.S. Department of State key requirements for passport photos. If your passport photo doesn’t meet these guidelines, you run the risk of them rejecting your passport application. 

  • Must be a color photo taken within the last 6 months. Ensuring that it represents skin tones accurately and is properly exposed. 

  • Must be a clear image of your face. No filters allowed. Make sure the photo is sharp without any visible pixels or printer dots. The photo should be printed on glossy or matte-quality paper. 

  • Should be a 2-inch by 2-inch sized photo with the head centered and sized between 1 inch and 1.4 inches. (If you are renewing online, your digital photo must be in a .JPEG file format, at least 600 by 600 pixels.) 

  • Must be taken on a white or off-white plain background avoiding shadows, texture, or lines. Cropping out the background to make it white is not allowed. 

  • Remove your eyeglasses and hats. Applicant must be directly facing the camera with a neutral expression. Eyes are to be clearly visible. (You may not wear hats or head coverings, except for religious or medical purposes.) 

  • No selfies. Must be taken by someone else. 

Where to Have Your Cheap or Free Passport Photos Taken 

We’ve covered the important parts; now let’s tackle the ins and outs of where to have your photo taken! 

Rite Aid  

The price of 2 passport photos at Rite Aid comes in at $8.99.  While not as well-known or readily available as CVS or Walgreens, if you have one near you, this is THE top contender! You may come across a store coupon making it even cheaper. 



Head to CVS and you’ll pay $16.99 for two prints. But, you should look for in-store coupons to make it cheaper yet.  In the past, they have featured a coupon for $2 off in-store passport photos. 



Just like CVS, Walgreens prices come in at $16.99 for two prints. Walgreens often also has photo coupons and deals available for myWalgreens members. Speaking of myWalgreens, you could even use your rewards to offset the price. 



For a $15 fee, your passport photo may be taken at many of the Post Office facilities that accept passport applications. Simply check with your local Post Office facility to make sure it does offer photo service and whether an appointment is necessary if you need passport photos. The nice thing about this is that you’ll be taking care of everything at one time! 


AAA Members 

If you're an AAA member, you don’t want to overlook this perk!  Simply drop by your local AAA branch (no appointment needed) and depending on your membership level, grab some free or cheap passport photos. Classic Members will pay $8 for a set of two photos, Plus Members get their first two sets for free (for you and each of your children 15 and under), Premier Members will get all sets for free (for you and each of your children 15 and under), and even non-members can pay $12 for a set of two photos. 



Nothing is stopping you from successfully taking and printing your passport photos at home. Just know that your photo must meet the stringent requirements set by the U.S. State Department noted above and that any mistakes could delay your passport application.  



If you don’t have a printer or don’t trust your printer for quality, you could still take your passport photos at home and then utilize your local Walmart to print them as they have a notable deal.  They don’t take the photos, but they do offer photo printing and will have them ready within an hour for just $7.64. 


Libraries and Government Offices 

In addition to the USPS Post Office, you may live in an area where your local Libraries and Government Offices offer passport photo services.  Each will dictate its pricing, but you can quickly and easily look up the ones near you with this Facility Search from the U.S. State Department website. In most cases, like the USPS, this will be a one-stop option where you’ll get your photos and submit your application at the same time. 

Photo Vendors 

Local photo vendors or area photographers usually offer photo printing for a fee. By calling around, you might be able to find an affordable option. 

Cheap or Free Passport Photos: FAQs

How much are passport photos?
As you can see from the list above, the price varies. Shopping around can be beneficial to ensure you get the best price. You always have the option of taking them yourself if you adhere to all the requirements set by the U.S. State Department, which may be the most affordable route of all.

Is there a free passport photo app?
Several passport photo apps will help walk you through taking your passport photos. In most cases, they will help you to take your photo and make sure they meet the requirements, but you would need to pay to have the photo printed. Most of the free passport photo apps include some form of advertising or in-app purchase, but you should still be able to get what you need to update your passport photo ID. If you’re considering using an app, read the reviews to get a feel for what the pros and cons might be.


- Melissa