How Much Does Costco Passport Photo Cost?

There are many theories regarding the history of passports. The earliest reference to the idea of “safe passage” across different sovereign territories can be found in the Bible (Nehemiah 2:7:9). In it, King Artaxerxes granted his envoy the first passport to his domains in the east of Euphrates, particularly in the tributary Kingdom of Judah.

Thousands of years later, the Mongols developed a similar system they borrowed from China of using “government seals” that allow travelers to enter from one Mongol station to another across their entire Eurasian empire in the late 13th Century.

The earliest form of passport incorporating documentation as we know it today first occurred during the rule of King Henry in the early 1400’s. It soon evolved into a more detailed profiling well until the late 20th Century where photographs can verify a passport holder’s identity.

The US Passport 

While it is widely believed that the US passport is the most powerful permit in the world, it pays to know that it actually only ranks third. Germany and Singapore tied for first place, with passports being able to grant entry to 159 nations without being required visas.

image of a passport

Second place was given to Sweden and South Korea with their non-visa access to 158 countries. Along the United States are the United Kingdom and Japan, with 157 countries no longer requiring each of them a visa. As of 2016, more than 16 million Americans already own a passport – around 46% of the total population.

Regardless of its global rank, it is still worth acquiring or renewing US passports whenever possible. However, doing so requires observing certain rules. In fact, passport photos are arguably the most highly regulated image one can get. Here are the basic rules that help pass the scrutiny of government officials:

  • Size: 2×2 inches
  • Taken within 6 months
  • Colored photo (no black & white)
  • Full face view in the center with white background
  • 600 by 600 pixel for digital photo
  • *Casual attire

The last *rule seemed ambiguous considering that the definition of casual is steeped with various cultural undertones. But to clarify, religious headwear (e.g. hijab) is allowable as long as it is noted in formal writing confirming the person’s official affiliation. It is also important to highlight that a general rule against wearing eye glasses and colored contact lenses is officially still in effect. This rule is being justified by the need to make natural eye color highly visible for examination.

Costco Price and Reviews

With North America’s giant retailer Costco often visible as a highly recommended provider of quality inexpensive passport photos, one would often ask – how much the Costco passport photos cost? Their current fee for 2 passport photos is just around $5.

One may find that the competitiveness of Costco photo prices in this particular market is nearly eclipsed by the scope of its national coverage. It is important to understand, however, that Costco branches are not available in these following six states:

  • Arkansas
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

In order to best understand the kind of impact Costco has in this niche of consumers, one would benefit from examining the feedback provided by multiple sources online. Regarding this subject, there are at least three pages that can attest to the prestige of Costco as a service provider.

According to Ifotosoft, Costco photo prices are definitely cheaper than most of its rivals. However, these costs are often subject to several changes – especially given that the sales dynamics are often inconsistent due to multiple coupon codes. In conclusion, Costco is one of the many companies wherein quality is not compromised by its low cost.

A review featured by Yelp defines Costco photo prices as “inexpensive” – with one out of four dollar signs emphasizing its economic scale. Costco’s photo service was also granted outstanding 5 stars by the 528 members of Sitejabber – underscoring the retail value as its strongest advantage.

Costco’s Competitors

With much discussion about the reputable Costco passport photos cost, it is often best to test this status by virtue of comparison. Granted, there are many places one may look for in terms of acquiring passport photos. But featuring the following rival companies and their corresponding prices makes a good case for promoting Costco in terms of retail price alone:

Costco Apps & Others

While the Costco passport photos cost is lower than it already is, there is still a way for any consumer to trim down the fee even way lower than $1. This is made possible by using mobile phone apps that are imbued with settings that transform snapshot photos into an image that allows users to follow the guidelines regarding passport photos.

Apart from reducing the price, these free apps make passport photo acquisition highly expedient – given the fact that almost everything is well within the reach of one’s fingertips. Here is a simple profile of a Costco customer’s mobile app via Play Google:

Costco Wholesale

Developer: Costco

Play Google Reviewers: 20,378

Play Google Ratings: 4.0

User Installs: 1,000,000 to 5,000,000

passport photo and ticket

By using the Costco Wholesale app, consumers are able to only pay around 17 cents for two standard passport photos. Although this app by itself provides an excellent bargain, it also pays to explore other options as well. These are some of the alternatives mentioned by The Droid Guy:

Passport Size Photo Maker

Developer: Z Mobile Apps

Play Google Reviewers: 2,125

Play Google Ratings: 4.3

User Installs: 100,000 to 500,000

Passport ID Photo Maker Studio

Developer: Andro Nepal

Play Google Reviewers: 14,707

Play Google Ratings: 4.2

User Installs: 1,000,000 to 5,000,000

ID Photo Free

Developer: JediSalat

Play Google Reviewers: 2,270

Play Google Ratings: 3.7

User Installs: 500,000 to 1,000,000

Passport Photo ID Studio

Developer: Handy Apps

Play Google Reviewers: 2,461

Play Google Ratings: 3.7

User Installs: 500,000 to 1,000,000

Passport Photo Booth

Developer: Travel Passport Photos Co.

Play Google Reviewers: 126

Play Google Ratings: 3.5

User Installs: 10,000 to 50,000

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