Applying for or renewing a passport can be a hefty expense for a traveling family. Believe me, I know. My family of five stepped inside our local post office several months ago and exited with our bank account $675 lighter. While there isn’t any way to get around the fee you pay for passports, I did discover three ways to save money on passport photos.
Take Your Own Passport Photos
The U.S. Department of State recommends that applicants submit photos taken by a professional photographer with your passport application, but if you prefer to take your own photos, this guide on how to create your own passport photo for free (or cheap) will walk you through the process. Keep in mind that you must carefully follow all the requirements so your photo is not rejected, which will delay the processing of your passport.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
I admit that I considered taking my family’s photos, but we were in a time crunch and I didn’t want to risk a rejected passport because our photos weren’t quite right. Instead, I called the passport photo providers in my area and asked their fees. The Passport Processing Center was the most costly, at $15 per photo. After calling around, I found the lowest price to be $8 per photo at a local super center. If you have a newborn, you may want to read these tricks to taking a newborn passport photo.
Ask the Store Manager for a Discount
I’m not always the most frugal shopper, but when I was comparing prices I also asked if any of the retailers were willing to offer a quantity discount. It was a long shot, but the manager of a drug store with a photo center offered to deduct $10 from the total price of our photos.
Do you have secrets on how to save money on passport photos?