While they used to offer the service in-store, Costco stopped their passport photo program in 2021 due to a lack of customers and now only offers the option online.
I have been an avid Costco customer for almost all of my life. It is my experience with the brand, as well as additional research on their different services, that allowed me to lay out and explain the following sections.
This guide analyzes the history of Costco’s passport photo process. It does so by seeing why the brand used to do passport photos, why it stopped, as well as covering other great options for getting your picture done.
- Costco’s in-person photo services are now closed. However, their additional photography options, as well as their official website, mean you can still technically print a passport photo with them if you so wish.
- If you want to create a photo with Costco, all you need to do is go on their website, access their photo center, and then upload whatever high resolution images you wish to print.
- There are several popular places where you can get a passport photo taken, including stores like FedEx, UPS, and Walmart. Government offices, post offices, and libraries offer the service as well.
The End of Costco Photography
Costco used to be one of the biggest and most easily accessible places to get your passport photo taken. You would make an appointment, pay the money, and then go in and get your picture without any issues. However, that changed a few years ago.
Though it was one of their staple services for a long time, Costco eventually decided to stop their in-store photo service back in 2021. That made it so all photos, including any passport options, were no longer available.
There were several reasons for that shift, with the biggest being that the company did not feel photos were worth it anymore. There simply wasn’t as big of a market for the pictures as there used to be, which then led to drops in both sales and customer engagement.
Discouraged, they eliminated any option for passport photos in store. However, that doesn’t mean they stopped completely. It just means that times changed.
Getting Photos with Costco
While customers can no longer get their passport photo taken at a Costco, they still offer the ability to print such photos out through their online photo center. Going this route will cost you almost nothing (roughly 20 cents) and give you a high resolution image to use.
Once that’s done, you can submit the photo to the passport service as part of the application process. Just be sure that someone else takes the picture (no selfies) and that it’s well-centered with a plain background free of any items or clutter.
It’s worth noting that the online photo center is also a good route to get photos developed. The company may not offer any in-store services, but you can get everything they used to offer in-store at their website. You can even use the service through the company’s official app.
You do have to wait for the photos to be shipped to you, which takes roughly 5 to 12 business days, but that’s a small wait compared to the convenience. It’s all about going the easier route possible.
Where to Get a Passport Photo
Many customers might be discouraged at having to find other places to get their passport photo taken, but there are still a wide range of options if you know where to look. In fact, almost anyone can easily get it taken with a quick trip to a local store or office.
One of the best places to get a passport photo is through Walmart. Not only is the retail giant known for their low prices, but they are almost everywhere. Getting your photo printed through them costs less than $10, and you get two copies that both meet all of the deadlines.
Another great option is the UPS store. Though their costs are a little more expensive than Walmart’s, they make the process extremely easy. You can get in, take the picture, and then have it in no time thanks to their guaranteed on-time delivery and easy scheduling process.
The FedEx Office store falls into a similar category as well. You can walk into the building and walk out in less than ten minutes. It’s pretty cheap, doesn’t take a lot of time, and you can even retake your photo for free if there’s an issue (such as not being centered).
If those options aren’t right for you, many public facilities like post offices, libraries, and local government buildings offer passport options.
These are some of the most common questions users ask about the Costco photo process.
How Does Costco Photo Take?
If you’re uploading to their website, each photo will take about 45 seconds to post on a high speed connection. Then, delivery will be anywhere between five and twelve business days.
How Do I Take Passport Photos at Home?
If you want to take passport photos on your own, you need to stand in front of a white background, make sure there’s plenty of light, and have a family member or friend take a centered, close-up shot of your head and shoulders.
Does Costco Still Do Same Day Photos?
Unfortunately, no. The company got rid of all of their on-site photo departments, which means the only way to get pictures through the company is online. It takes a few days for everything to process.
While Costco no longer does passport photos, you can still print them online. In addition, there are plenty of great vendors who offer the passport service as well. Though the company’s process used to be convenient, there are many convenient options still out there if you look.
Did you ever get passport photos taken at Costco? Where do you get them done now? Let us know in the comments below!