Recent changes in U.S. border policies require any U.S. citizen crossing into or returning from Canada or Mexico to have a valid passport, making this a perfect time to offer passport photos to your customers. Passport photo service is a quick and simple way to provide a basic, value-added service for any copy shop, printer or mailbox/shipping store. This equipment also works very well for creating company or school ID badges.
To start off, you’ll need a camera that can take the appropriate sized pictures. Currently available solutions are now made up of a digital camera & printer system. It seems that traditional, silver-based film has met its end – most manufacturers have stopped making film-based passport cameras. Most digital passport system printers produce ‘near continuous-tone’ colors, using methods like dye-sublimation – with no dots. Prints from ink-jet or color laser printers are not acceptable.
You’ll need a solid color, “white only” background or drop screen – off-white or very light-gray are accepted but white is preferred by the Department of State. The subject should be positioned right in front of the background to avoid as much shadow as possible.
Lastly, you need to cut 2 identical photos, each at a size of 2″ by 2″ squared. This can be done with a paper cutter – or very quickly and accurately using a passport photo cutter with just one push of a lever.
All passport photos must comply with the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of State. The 8 Passport photo requirements are as follows:
- Two identical, full color photos
- 2″ x 2″ inches in size
- Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
- Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
- Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Taken in normal street attire. Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
- Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
- Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are NOT acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.
Here are a few more helpful links when considering offering passport photos:
- U.S. Dept of State: Passport Home
- Where to apply in the USA
- How to apply for a passport in person
- Glossary of Passport Photo Terms
CFS provides a full line of passport photo items to help you including: passport cameras, films/papers, tripods, background screens and passport photo holders. Take a look at all that we have to offer: http://www.cfsbinds.com/pacaeq.html