8 on Your Side: Passport Picture Problems

LAS VEGAS - Madalyn McKee is cute as a button. Just 14 months old, she's getting ready for her first big family vacation to Mexico.

Before she can board a plane and enjoy the sun and sand, she needs a passport. Getting her passport picture proved to be more difficult than her parents ever imagined.

Madalyn's father Bryan McKee says the U.S. Post Office employee in charge of taking passport pictures refused to snap one of his little girl.

"I was totally taken back that this was the approach he wanted to take with me," he said. "He said, ‘No, I don't do baby passports. I don't take baby pictures. That's not my job. That's a waste of my time.'"

That was news to the McKees. Nowhere online or in the Post Office did it say the agency didn't take children's photos. The family felt it was age discrimination.

"It was based totally on age. If I wanted to go get my picture taken, it wouldn't have been an issue," Bryan McKee said.

Shocked and dismayed, the McKees called 8 on Your Side which called the Post Office and received an explanation and apology. Post Office officials said they would look into the incident, and a representative would call the McKees to formally apologize.

"The apology that I got was more along the lines of, ‘I'm sorry for the bad explanation as to why we were told we couldn't take your picture,'" Bryan McKee said.

The Post Office claimed because of strict requirements by the State Department for photos, many pictures of infants and toddlers are rejected. The Post Office never explained why they refused service to the McKee family. Bryan says he's not the only one who's been treated this way.

"I am one of many, because the couple in front of us got turned away as well," he said.

In the end, Madalyn got her passport. The family went to a local CVS Pharmacy and received the photo after a few takes.

"We had it, and we're on our way," Bryan said.

Now, the McKees can be on their way to Mexico for some family fun.

Passport photos can be taken at a variety of places - from the Post Office to drug stores to warehouse stores such as Costco or Sam's Club. Some may offer cheaper options. The passport picture Madalyn got at CVS cost seven dollars - less than what the Post Office would have charged.

If you have a problem you'd like 8 on Your Side to look into, call the 8 on Your Side hotline at 702-650-1907.


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