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Getting a passport photo can be as easy as visiting your local pharmacy. 

Molly McArdle
August 31, 2017

One element of applying, or renewing a passport that hasn’t changed over the years is the photo: a small print of precise dimensions and particular rules. For travelers in need of a passport photo, it can be a challenge figuring where to take — and to print — the picture. Thankfully, many national pharmacy chains provide this service, including Walgreens. At locations nationwide, Walgreens employees can take your passport photo and print it for $14.99 in less than an hour.

Related: The 25 Most Powerful Passports in the World

What to Know Before Taking a Passport Photo

The U.S. Department of State requires two copies of the same photo for every passport application. They ask for photos to be 2 x 2 inches large, in color, against a plain white or off-white background, and on glossy or matte photo-quality paper.

Travelers are instructed to wear normal clothes, take off glasses and headgear (unless you wear a hat or head covering for religious or medical reasons, in which case you can provide a signed statement to accompany your photo), and face the camera directly.

Your face can be neutral or with a “natural smile," but no grinning. Your eyes, unsurprisingly, need to be open. Photos must be taken no more than six months before the application is submitted.

Everyone applying for a U.S. passport is required to provide a photo — even infants. Once you have been issued a passport, however, you do not need a new photo if your appearance has changed in a superficial fashion (say, dyeing your hair or growing a beard) or due to normal aging (if that infant is now a toddler, for example).

Exceptions to this rule include passport holders who have made a gender transition, who have gained or lost a significant amount of weight, who have undergone extensive facial surgery or trauma, or have received numerous or especially prominent facial tattoos or piercing. So long as you and your picture are recognizably the same person, you’re good.

Getting a Walgreens Passport Photo

Walgreens stores across the country can help you take and print your new passport photo. No appointment is necessary, but the pharmacy recommends calling your local store in advance to make sure they provide the service.  

Certain Walgreens locations may even be able to provide you with applications for your passport, though they will not be able to process the completed application.

In less than an hour, travelers who visit a Walgreens for passport photos can have their applications ready for submission (assuming all other supporting documents are in order). 

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