Annual and Lifetime Passes FAQs

What is the America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program?

A national pass program authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, that provides access to, and use of, Federal Recreation Lands. The program launched in January 2007.

Which Agencies will honor the new America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes?

The Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation will honor all three passes at sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fees are charged. In addition, the Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Senior and Access Passes.

What passes and collateral materials are included in the new program?

The Interagency Annual Pass (anyone can purchase); Interagency Senior Pass (62+ older); and Interagency Access Pass (requires documentation of permanent disability); Hangtags (as a means of display); and Decals (for open-top vehicles in un-staffed areas only). There are separate FAQs for each type of pass, the Hangtags, and the Decals.

Why are the new passes being developed? Aren't the new passes just the same as the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports?

The new passes were mandated by Congress. They will be similar to the old passes, but we hope to build on the lessons learned in all of our previous Federal recreation pass programs. We expect that the new passes will incorporate technological characteristics that will make the passes convenient to use and purchase.

What will happen to all the existing passes i.e. National Parks Pass, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports?

Once the new passes are introduced the existing passes will no longer be sold or issued, but they will continue to be honored for as long as they are valid.

Does the legislation that authorized the new Interagency Passes affect the Federal Duck Stamp?

No. A valid Federal Duck Stamp will still provide entry into FWS National Wildlife Refuges that charge an entrance fee.

Who can I contact for specific information about an agency or a site that participates in the Interagency Pass program?

What will the new passes cover?

The passes admit pass holder/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per-person fee areas. Children under 16 always admitted free. The Senior and Access Passes will allow entry as described above, as well as provide the pass holder a 50% percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees. Senior and Access Passes may only be signed by the qualified individual.

Will there be any changes in the way that the new passes are honored?

Yes. Pass holders will be allowed to access a recreation site that charges a per-person fee with a specified number of persons, rather than specified family members (spouse, parents, children). Additionally, according to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), motorcycles are vehicles. At sites with per vehicle entrance fees the Annual Pass will cover access or use for the pass holder/s (individuals who signed the pass) on two motorcycles. The Senior and Access Passes will cover access or use for the pass holder for one motorcycle.

Where can I obtain an Interagency pass?

The passes can be obtained in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office. The Annual Pass will also be available to the public via 888-ASK USGS, ext 1;; or via the Internet at or Additionally, it is expected that the Annual passes will be available through some third-party partners.

Senior and Access passes are also available by mail. For details and instructions, click here.

Do I have to use cash to purchase a pass at a Federal recreation site or can I use a credit card?

It is a good idea to have cash with you as many federal recreation sites are not equipped to process credit cards or checks.

Can lost or stolen passes be replaced? Is there a way that the serial numbers can be tracked?

Passes cannot be replaced if lost or stolen; a new pass must be purchased. Although the goal of the new pass program is to install technology at each site that allows for tracking and replacements, we are unable to do so at this time.

If my pass is tattered and worn, can I get a replacement?

Yes. As long as a portion of the pass is identifiable it may be exchanged for a new one.

If I forget to bring my pass to a site and pay the daily entrance or use fee, can I mail in the entrance or standard amenity fee receipt and a photocopy of my pass and get a refund?

No, you are responsible for bringing your pass with you each time you visit a recreation site. If you forget to bring your pass you will be required to pay the entrance or use fee and a refund is not possible. Additionally, order confirmation letters, pass credit card receipts, credit card statements, or hangtags without passes are not valid for entrance or use.

If I visit a site and have a receipt, can I apply the receipt towards the purchase of an Annual or Senior Pass?

Generally no, however there may be some limited circumstances where an individual agency will allow the receipt to be applied toward the cost of a new Annual Pass. Inquire at local recreation site.

I have a school bus that has been converted into a motor home will the Annual Pass cover my entrance into a Federal recreation site?

Yes. Your Annual Pass will cover entry into sites with your converted school bus. You may get questioned if the vehicle still looks like a school bus, but just let agency staff know that it has been converted into an RV/motor home and is privately owned (pass covers entrance for a single non-commercial vehicle).

What about bicycles?

Bicycles are handled differently within the five agencies. Sometimes they are charged as a per-person or walk-up fee; other times they are discounted at vehicle fee sites; while some sites allow them in for free. Because fees and rules vary regarding bicycles across the agencies and sites across the country, please contact a local site specifically for information.

Last updated: February 20, 2013

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Shenandoah National Park
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Luray, VA 22835


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