Create a passport photo for freeMy oldest needs an updated passport complete with a new photo. At a local pharmacy, that would cost $14. JUST FOR THE PHOTO? Ca-razy. If all 5 of us needed one, that’s 70 bucks! So I needed a way to create our own passport photos for free.

Even worse. On that photo, when we took the paper work in for the renewal, the clerk was concerned the image wasn’t sized correctly and likely would NOT be accepted. Did we still want to proceed? Sheesh! We sent the photos in anyway, and surprisingly all was well.

I figured if the local shop barely gets it right I could do the research and create a photo for a passport on my own for less than $10 right? Hey, FREE would be nice?

What You Need to Know to Create Your Own Passport Photo for Free

PLEASE read directly the passport information.


But here’s what I found MOST important.

  • PassportPhoto4Photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches
  • The height of the head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure between 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm – 35 mm)
  • Make sure the eye height is between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm – 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo
  • Use the FREE online Passport photo digital adjustment tool: (HINT: I liked the website below better for this step)
  • Find Your Local Passport Facility  usually your County Clerk’s Office.
  • Use a white background.
  • Face should be in a neutral position facing directly forward.


4 Ways To Create Your Passport Photo

1) FREE Print Yourself

By Far the Easiest  and Cheapest: DIY Take and Print yourself via : Following the State Dept. guidelines above or use to resize exactly and then print on your own high quality photo paper at home.

(TIP: Literally measure your photo after printed with a millimeter ruler.) You can use the photo adjustment tool from the State Department as well, but is much easier and printing a 3.5×5 inch finished product was clear and easy to do.


2) Is there an app for that? YES

iPhone ($ .99) | Passport Photo Booth
Android (FREE) | Passport Photo, from Jumpad Solutions
{See a good example of this method via Kristen Howerton.}

3) Under $10, Have Printed ONLINE

PassportPhoto5Upload a photo and receive a print back for under $10 via Walmart:
$7.44 when upload your own image. I liked their upload system and the markings made it very easy to get the image correct. (Note: In my Walmart photo example the background isn’t white.)

4) Most Expensive—In Store

Here’s a CVS $2 off coupon. Also check Fred Meyers, Target and most drug store photo departments.

Something I did NOT know…

Can I remove the red-eye from my own passport photo?

Answer: NO
It is acceptable to use the red-eye reduction option on your digital camera when you are taking the photo. However, you cannot use any photo editing tool to digitally remove the red-eye from your photo. In general, you are not allowed to digitally enhance or alter the photo to change your appearance in any way.

I totally wanted to remove that zit on my chin!? But I was surprised about not being able to remove red eye digitally, (simply retake until there is no red eye in your photo).

4 More TravelingMom Passport Tips

How to Create Your Own Passport Photo For Free (or Cheap)