CVS stores are abundant in the United States. A single visit to a CVS store helps you collect many essential materials from one place. But does CVS take passport photos? And how well do they know about the government requirements? Let’s find out.
CVS does take passport ID photos. They have a unique system and a dedicated group of employees for this purpose only. So, anyone looking to get their passport photos urgently can walk into a CVS pharmacy and let them take care of the rest.
What should someone do if they want to take a passport photo at CVS? And what makes a photo acceptable or invalid to the authorities? Find out in the following discussion.
How To Take A Passport Photo At CVS
CVS pharmacies are one of the most reliable options for taking passport photos. You can get your pictures taken and printed out very quickly. Plus, you don't have to worry about fulfilling Government requirements. Because CVS complies with those rules when taking the photo.
Find A CVS Store
First, find a CVS store. This can't be difficult as CVS has close to 10000 stores across the United States. You can take Google's help. If you search for 'CVS stores near me on Google, it will use GPS to pinpoint your location and show the nearest stores in the search result.
You might also use the CVS store locator. Type in the city's name you are currently in. Or you might also enter the area code or a landmark. Here you will find all the details you need. For instance, business hours, exact address, phone number, and other essentials.
After finding the location, you might want to call them. Usually, CVS stores don't require an appointment to take passport photos. You can walk into the store and have your picture taken. But sometimes there might be too many customers looking to take their photos on the same day. So, calling beforehand can be helpful.
At The Pharmacy
After you get to the pharmacy, get an attendant to help you. However, sometimes there might be lines. So, patience is a requirement in this scenario. The good thing is, you don't have to bring anything to the store. You can walk in and take a photo.
A CVS employee will take your photo using a KODAK Biometric ID Photo System. This is one main reason you would want your picture taken at CVS. Because the system can provide an automatic government evaluation.
As a result, you can instantly know whether your photo is acceptable to the authorities. If it's not, you can quickly make the necessary changes. Plus, CVS employees are trained in taking pictures according to government regulations. So, don't worry about anything.
Cost Of The Service
Taking passport photos at CVS will cost you 16.99$. At this price, CVS will give you two prints of your passport photo. You will also receive a verification certificate. This document is proof that your photo meets government standards.
In addition, you get the service of professional photographers. Which ensures you take the best ID photo possible. And it is a well-known fact that your passport photo plays a significant role in creating the first impression.
However, if the authorities reject your photo for some reason, CVS will be happy to take it back. In return, you can again take the passport photo free of cost. But they require you to present the proof of purchase.
If 16 dollars for two photographs seems too much, you can take an alternative way. First, you can take a selfie. Then download a passport photo template from the internet. Or, you might use the CVS mobile app to prepare it. After that, get it printed from a CVS store. This will cost you a lot less.
Although, for this, you need to be well aware of the government standards regarding passport photos. Find them out in the following discussion.
General U.S. Requirements For Passport Photo
The main government requirement for your passport photo is to be machine-readable. Now, you can use the same devices to take a machine-readable photo. Because the machine readability of the photo doesn't depend on the device you use to take it. Instead, it depends on how you take it.
Condition of the Photo
You can choose between a glossy and matte finish for your photo. Make sure the photo is fresh and in good condition. For instance, it shouldn't be worn out or have spots on it.
Plus, it needs to be the most recent. This means the photo can be a maximum of six months old. Needless to say, you should look like what you are looking like right now in this photo.
You need to take a 51x51 mm photo. The head shall occupy 25-35 mm of the picture. This includes the bottom-most part of your chin and the topmost portion of your head. And all the contents of the photo should appear sharp and clear. A blurry or pixelated image will face rejection.
Color, lights, And Background
It goes without saying that you can't use black and white photos anymore. So, your passport photo should be in full color. In addition, the place where you take it should have adequate lighting. Remember, a shadowy image is not acceptable. This is why visiting a professional studio works best.
As for the Background, avoid colors. You should take your photo before a pure white or slightly off-white surface. Also, make sure the background doesn't have any patterns or designs. Your passport should only have a clear, sharp picture of your face and a colorless background. All other elements and objects are prohibited.
How To Pose For Passport Photos
For posing, the main thing is how you look at the camera. Look directly at the camera with eyes fully open. You should maintain a straight alignment between the camera and your face. In other words, you cannot prefer one side of your face as one does in a typical selfie or casual photo.
Machines that read passport images do not care for a smile. In fact, it can be pretty distracting for them. So, the authorities require that you do not smile or grin in your passport photos. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to sport an angry face. Just keep a neutral expression. And remember to keep your eyes wide open. But don't exaggerate it.
Enhancing Your Passport Photos
You may have occasionally sent digitally enhanced passport photos for job interview CVs. The purpose wasn't anything illegal. You were innocently trying to erase a few acne spots or a scar. But in the case of passport ID photos, this is forbidden. Because oftentimes facial marks can become an important identifying feature of a person.
The main idea is that you shouldn't look any different in real life than in the photo. If you have wrinkles or pimples, they stay. Avoid the use of filters and any photo improvement tools.
Dressing up For The Session
The government doesn't require specific attire for your passport photo. So, you can wear whatever you want for the picture. However, certain things are forbidden. First of all, you cannot wear anything that hides your facial features. So, you shouldn't have a face mask, hat, sunglasses, or headphones in the photo.
Apart from that, you can wear anything. In the past, people preferred only formal or official attire for their passport photos. But you can easily wear other clothes, like t-shirts, dresses, etc. these days. However, you cannot appear in any uniform. These include military and school uniforms too.
Beards And Hair
You might have had some beard when you took the photo but later shaved it off. Or you might have taken the picture while clean-shaven and grew some rubble later. In either case, you don't have a problem. Because a little beard won't affect your appearance. However, if you grow a thick full beard that significantly changes your face, a new photo will be necessary.
The same goes for hair. A simple haircut won't require you to take a new photo. But suppose you had long hair in the picture and later you chose to shave it off then you might need to take a new one.
Tattoos, Piercing, And Make-up
Facial tattoos and piercings are permanent features of your face. So, if you get a new tattoo or piercing on your head, neck, or face, you must take a new photo. Similarly, a new photo will be required if you remove a tattoo from these parts.
As for make-up, you can wear it naturally. Which means don't overdo it. Just consider if you will still be identifiable without this make-up. So, avoid anything extreme.
Surgery And Weight Loss
You may undergo facial reconstructive surgery after an accident. Sometimes disease or cosmetic goals can also put your face under the plastic surgeon's knife. In all these cases, your appearance can radically change. And that will require you to take a new passport photo.
Another similar situation is extreme weight loss. You may lose an incredible weight due to disease, diet, or exercise in as little as a few months. As a result, you may become unrecognizable from your past self. So, in this case, you have to retake your passport ID photo.
Glasses And Hearing Aids
Glasses can effectively hide your true identity (consider Superman and Clark Kent). Therefore, your passport ID photo prefers that you don't wear one. However, sometimes you might be unable to remove your glasses for medical reasons. If that's the case, be prepared to present a note signed by your doctor. This will allow you to keep the glasses on.
Headphones or earphones are not allowed in passport photos. This is why people wonder if hearing aids are subject to the same rules. Well, no. Hearing aids are medical devices. So, you can keep them on.
Does CVS take passport photos? Hopefully, you have found your answer from the above discussion. CVS stores are one of the best places to take your passport ID photo. Because you can get the help of trained professionals.
However, it is also helpful to educate yourself about the government requirements. This will ensure that none of your time goes to waste.