People With Disabilities may be Entitled to a Free Lifetime Pass to National Parks
If you or your child has a permanent disability you may be entitled to a free, lifetime pass to visit the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands. Qualifying disabilities include physical, mental or sensory impairments.
The pass can be used at over 2000 federal recreation sites across the nation. Those include National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and other federal recreation lands. It also extends that same privilege to everyone in the vehicle with the pass holder. So, if one person in your family qualifies, you can all visit a park for free with that person’s pass.
In order to get a pass you’ll need:
- A statement signed by a licensed physician attesting that you have a permanent physical, mental or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and stating the nature of the impairment; OR
- A document issued by a Federal agency, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive Federal benefits as a result of blindness or permanent disability. Other acceptable federal agency documents include proof of receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); OR
- A document issued by a state agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation agency benefits or services as a result of medically determined blindness or permanent disability. Showing a state motor vehicle department disability sticker, license plate or hang tag is not acceptable documentation.
You’ll need to fill out this application, and then either mail it in with a $10 processing fee or go to a federal recreation site in person with proof of disability and residency. The Access Passes can also be purchased online through store.usgs.gov/access-pass, which is the organization’s preferred way to receive applications.
Once your application is processed, you’ll receive a physical card that can be used for park admission.