Digital Passport Photos—Ultimate Guide (2024)

In 2022, the U.S. Department of State briefly tested an online application system, which is expected to be fully operational in 2023. This way, applicants would be able to complete renewals online just like it is done in the case of the Green Card today. However, this means that it would become necessary to provide digital passport photos.

In this article, we’ll see which services can provide a digital passport photo and how PhotoAiD®—an online tool mentioned by both National Geographic and Forbes—can help in taking your own digital passport photo.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Where to get a passport photo with digital copy
  • Can you get digital passport photos at Walgreens?
  • Can you get digital passport photos at CVS?
  • Does Staples do digital passport photos?
  • Taking digital passport photos at home

Where to get a passport photo with digital copy

Since the U.S. State Department does not currently accept a digital photo for the application, many passport photo providers, such as Walmart, only offer hard copies. However, getting digital copies can be useful to have them ready for the next application and for any other documents you might need.

So, let’s see which ones of the most popular passport photo services allow customers to get a digital picture.

Can you get digital passport photos at Walgreens?

With more than 8,800 pharmacies in the U.S., Walgreens is one of the most common choices for Americans to get passport photos. They also provide a printing service that allows customers to upload files and pick up the prints at one of their locations. On Walgreens’ official website it is also stated that the photo centers can take pictures following the requirements of 30 countries, including the U.S.

However, Walgreens’ passport photo services are limited to printed copies as they do not provide a photo in digital format.

Learn more about Walgreens passport photos.

Can you get digital passport photos at CVS?

CVS has over 9,000 stores in the U.S. covering all 50 states. Just like many other similar businesses, they offer CVS passport photo services on site. The online service is restricted to regular pictures and other kinds of larger prints. Currently, CVS only provides 2 x 2 inch passport photos following U.S. standards.

When getting passport or ID photos from CVS, customers will only receive 2 (two) hard copies, the digital file is not included in the deal.

Interested in finding out more about CVS passport photos?

Does Staples do digital passport photos?

Staples has about 1,000 locations on U.S. territory, with the highest concentration on the East Coast. To have a passport photo taken, customers need to find a store participating in the photo service and just walk in.

Once done, users can opt to receive either printed copies or a digital file for $14.99 (note that Staples specifies that prices may be higher in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, and Virginia). Customers have to supply their own USB drive or buy one on site, as the staff cannot send the biometric photo file by email.

Staples’ official website also states that they take pictures following passport photo requirements for about 40 countries and that they can also accommodate children and babies.

Taking digital passport photos at home

Did you know that it’s possible to take digital photos for official documents at home? Any smartphone or digital camera with 5 megapixels or more will do great.

All users need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Find a room with plenty of natural light
    Sunlight will ensure that the picture is properly exposed without creating shadows on the face. Just make sure that the light is not completely direct and you’re good to go.
  2. Set the camera about about 3 feet away away
    Officially, selfies are not accepted by the relevant authorities, so users have to take the photo from an appropriate distance. The camera can be set up on a tripod or handled by someone else.
  3. Pose for the photo
    According to the official requirements, the head needs to be centered and parallel to the lens. While smiling is allowed, the authorities still recommend applicants maintain a neutral facial expression. Other than that, make sure to take off any glasses or head coverings not worn for medical or religious purposes.
  4. Take the picture and adjust it with a passport photo maker. After snapping the photo, it has to be adapted to digital image requirements. With the right tool, users can perfect their passport photo online without any effort.

Related reading:

  • How to Take Passport Photo at Home
  • How to Take a Passport Photo With an Android Phone?
  • Taking Passport Photos with Your iPhone

Hassle-free digital passport photos with PhotoAiD®

With PhotoAiD®, you can prepare passport photos anywhere 24/7, as over a million users have done before. Our app is available for both iOS and Android.

Here’s how it works:

  • The image gets adapted to the appropriate size and the background automatically turns plain white. Our customers don’t need any specific location to take passport photos—any place will be just like a photo booth.
  • Both an AI system and one of our experts scan the picture. They can find even the smallest mistake. Our approval comes with a 100% guarantee of compliance with the requirements.
  • Unlimited tries! The first shot doesn’t satisfy you? Just take another one at no additional cost. Works great for babies and children of all ages.

The photo in JPEG file format will be immediately sent by email. For those who need more than just the digital version, we can ship the prints on demand.

Digital Passport Photos—Ultimate Guide (1)


Still have some questions? In the section below, we’ll address some of the most common questions about getting digital passport photos in the U.S.

What is a digital passport photo?

A digital passport photo, also known as a soft copy, is an electronic version of your U.S. passport photo that should be saved in the .JPEG format. Digital photos can be stored on the computer or other memory devices and used for online passport applications. U.S. citizens can also print them in any photography studio or printing shop.

Can I get a digital copy of my passport photo?

Technically, yes, but only a few places offer digital passport photos along with printed ones. Staples is one of them; however, you can also prepare your U.S. passport photos at home and get a digital copy sent immediately to your email address. Try PhotoAiD® to see how easy it is!

Does CVS do digital passport photos?

No, CVS only provides printed photos.

Does Walgreens give digital passport photos?

No, Walgreens does not offer an electronic copy of the passport photo.

Does FedEx do digital passport photos?

No, they only provide printed copies.

Does Costco take digital passport photos?

Not anymore, all Costco Photo Centers have been shut down.

Can I get digital passport photos at Walmart?

No, the store only offers printouts.

Where can I get digital passport photos taken in the U.S.?

Staples offers passport photos in both hard and soft copies. Alternatively, you can use PhotoAiD® and prepare digital pictures without having to go anywhere.

Can you take digital passport photos with your phone?

Absolutely! Just use PhotoAiD® and get a 100% guarantee of compliance with the requirements.

Wrap up

Not many stores offering photo services also provide customers with digital passport photos. Staples is one of the few that sell the file in addition to the hard copy. However, it is not as widespread as other larger chains and not all users are guaranteed to find one in the vicinity.

With PhotoAiD®, you can prepare for the passport office from anywhere 24/7. The perfect passport photo in digital format will be available immediately.

Rate my article:

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 23

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Digital Passport Photos—Ultimate Guide (2)

Riccardo Ollmert

Riccardo Ollmert is a biometric photography expert at PhotoAiD. He studied languages and publishing industry at La Sapienza University of Rome. He is deeply passionate about travel and creative writing.

Digital Passport Photos—Ultimate Guide (2024)


Why is my passport photo not good enough? ›

Most Common Reasons Passport Photos Are Rejected

Having reflections in your glasses. Wearing headgear that covers your face (unless you have a valid reason) Having a photo that is too dark or too bright. Having a photo that is blurry or out of focus.

Why do they give you 2 passport photos? ›

While traveling abroad, you must carry extra passport photos with you. This is because you are required to submit passport photos for a Visa or for any other application forms.

Do Walgreens passport photos get rejected? ›

If your photo doesn't meet the passport requirements, it could be rejected.

Can I take a digital passport photo myself? ›

Yes, you can use your iPhone, Android device, or other smartphone to take your passport photo. Make sure you follow all guidelines when taking the photo to include a white background, good lighting, and a friend for assistance (selfies are not allowed).

Can I download my digital passport photo? ›

online you can enter your personal code to access and download your digital passport photo. Your also need your personal code when you go online to apply for a new passport, driving license or Visa.

How do I resize a photo to passport size on iPhone? ›

Resizing Photos on iPhone with the Photos App

Find the photo you want to resize and tap on it. Tap the Edit button in the top right corner. Tap the Crop and Rotate button in the bottom left corner. Use the slider at the bottom to adjust the size of the photo.

Should I smile for passport photo? ›

Yes, you are able to smile for a passport photo in certain countries, although almost all all countries in the world require you to keep a neutral expression when submitting a picture. The only country with an exception is the United States. If you're an American citizen, you can choose to smile or not.

Should I staple the 2 pages of my passport application? ›

Once everything is centered, staple the stack of documents so that everything is stapled together. The stack should include all documents related to the expedited passport renewal process.

Why can't you smile in a passport photo? ›

“Smiling wide with teeth makes it harder to verify eye color and general face shape by passport officials ― namely biometric technology ― who need to confirm your identity.

How do I resize a 2x2 photo passport? ›

To set 2x2 id photo size, use 1x1 (Square). Click and drag the crop selector so that it includes shoulders and ends above the top of the head. Adjust the width and height: as mentioned above, the 2x2 ID photo size in pixels is 600x600.

How do I know if my passport photo is correct? ›

Also, selfie photos aren't allowed "because they are often the incorrect size and have the wrong head position." You must have someone else take the photo or take it using a tripod. Your passport photo should be sharp — not blurry, grainy, or pixelated — and printed on photo-quality paper.

Is it OK if my passport photo is a little blurry? ›

Passport Photos Must Be In Focus

Blurry photos are not allowed. The picture should resolve all of the details of your face, including any blemishes.

Is it OK if my passport photo is blurry? ›

Tips for Submitting your Photo

Submit a high resolution photo that is not blurry, grainy, or pixelated.

What happens if I don't look like my passport photo? ›

Simply put, if your hair is a longer than before, that's okay; if you have a beard now, that's okay, or your ears are pierced now and they weren't before, that is fine. Any alterations to your looks that aren't completely redefining will not require you to get a new passport.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated:

Views: 5885

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.