Last Updated on 25/08/2023 by UPS_ Admin
Navigating the world of passport preparations can be a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to the all-important passport photo. Where can you get one taken? How much does it cost? Does it take long? One place that might spring to mind is UPS – renowned for its varied services, designed to compete with the likes of USPS. But does UPS offer passport photo services? The short answer is yes! Dive into this article to explore the ins and outs of getting your passport photo taken at UPS, how to streamline the process, and some alternatives if you’re looking to pinch pennies.
Does UPS Take Passport Photos In 2023?
Yes, UPS does offer passport photo services in 2023 through its UPS Store franchise. However, not all UPS Store locations provide this service. It’s vital to understand that while UPS and the UPS Store are affiliated, the latter operates as individual franchises, which means services and pricing can vary between locations. Typically, a set of two passport photos at the UPS Store costs around $11.99 to $12. The process is quick, often taking less than 10 minutes, and you might need to schedule an appointment to avoid wait times. It’s recommended to contact your local UPS Store in advance to confirm availability and specifics of their passport photo services.
What Is the Wait Time to Get a Passport Photo From UPS?
At the UPS Store, getting a passport photo is a quick and efficient process. Typically, the process of having your passport photo taken takes about 10 minutes. If you make an appointment in advance, the experience might be even faster. Most UPS Stores operate primarily on an appointment basis for passport photos, ensuring minimal wait times. If you were to walk in without an appointment, given that most UPS Stores aren’t overly crowded, you might expect a wait of around 5 minutes or so.
However, how you receive the photo varies. If you opt for an electronic copy, it’s usually sent to you within 24 hours. On the other hand, if you are receiving the physical photos it may take up to 6 weeks as they’ll be returned with your new passport. Always make sure to schedule in advance to streamline the process.
What Do You Need to Get a Passport Photo Taken at UPS?
When heading to the UPS Store to have your passport photo taken, the requirements and guidelines are as follows:
- Documentation Requirements:
- Electronic Copy: If you’re simply having your photo sent to you electronically, there’s no need for any additional documentation.
- However, always keep in mind that when you eventually submit your passport application elsewhere, you’ll need to provide proper documentation like a valid photo ID and evidence of citizenship.
- Photo Appearance and Attire Guidelines:
- Face & Expression: Maintain a natural expression without smiling.
- Background: It should be white or off-white.
- Attire: Regular clothing is preferred. Avoid uniforms and extreme clothing styles. Religious attire is permissible.
- Accessories: Remove glasses and headphones.
- Photo Age: The photo shouldn’t be older than six months.
- Face Orientation: Look straight into the camera, ensuring the full face is visible without any obstruction from hair or jewelry.
- Attire Tips:
- Prefer business attire or a collared shirt. This can be beneficial if your passport is viewed in a professional context.
- Ensure your top’s neckline is visible in the cropped photo.
- Avoid solid white clothing to prevent blending with the white background.
- Steer clear of clothes with logos or writings.
- Hair and Accessory Guidelines:
- Ensure hair doesn’t cover your eyes or eyebrows.
- If you have long hair, place it behind your shoulders to show your attire.
- Avoid large hair accessories. Religious headgear is allowed but might require a justification letter.
- Do not wear uniforms or glasses, especially with glare-prone lenses.
To ensure your passport photo is accepted without any hitches, dress appropriately and consider having your photo taken at a UPS Store where professionals are familiar with all passport photo requirements.
Can I renew my passport at UPS?
No, you cannot directly renew your passport at UPS. UPS is a for-profit company and does not have the authority to renew passports. However, some UPS stores offer services related to passport renewal:
- Supportive Services: You can print off the renewal forms and get a new passport photo taken at some UPS stores.
- Shipping Limitations: While you can ship documents, UPS does not deliver to P.O. boxes, which is where passport renewal forms typically go. Moreover, shipping via UPS might be more expensive than using USPS. For instance, sending renewal paperwork to Philadelphia via UPS’s second-day air might cost around $23.54, whereas USPS offers a nearly identical priority mail flat rate envelope for $7.35 that delivers in a similar time frame.
- Renewal Application: The actual passport renewal application process has to be done through authorized channels. If you need to apply in person for your renewal due to specific circumstances (e.g., passport issued more than 15 years ago, passport damage, or if it was issued when you were under 16), you must visit an authorized passport application acceptance facility. The UPS store is not qualified as such a facility.
- Alternative Methods: It’s important to note that renewing a passport is a straightforward process. While UPS and other establishments might promote “passport renewal services,” these usually consist of providing support like taking passport photos or printing out forms. You can handle these tasks independently with access to the internet and a printer. Photos can also be taken at various other locations such as Walgreens, CVS, Kinko’s, AAA, and more.
- Using UPS as a Courier: While UPS cannot renew passports, it can be used as a courier to send your documentation, including your passport, application, photo, and more. Still, you should be cautious and consider applying directly through a passport office, post office (in the USA), or relevant consulate or embassy to minimize the risk of document loss.