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Interagency Recreation Passes - Frequently Asked Questions

You are here: Home > Passes & Permits > Recreation Fees and Passes > Interagency Recreation Passes - Frequently Asked Questions


 What is an Interagency Recreation Pass and where can I use it?

 What is the difference between an entrance fee and a standard amenity fee?

 Where can I obtain an Interagency Recreation Pass?

 Who is eligible and what documentation is needed to obtain an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass?

 Whom does my pass admit?

 How am I required to display my Interagency Recreation Pass?

 I have a motorcycle. How can I display my Interagency Recreation Pass?

 Can I use my Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass for a 50% discount on local or regional passes for day and annual use?

 My Interagency Recreation Pass is worn out/destroyed/lost/stolen. How can I obtain another one?

 Can another person use my pass?

 Can I buy more than one Interagency Senior Pass?

 Can a foreign visitor be issued an Interagency Recreation Pass?

 I only use my Interagency Recreation Pass for recreation sites near my home. If these recreation sites are closed due to fire, am I eligible for a refund?

 What happens to the revenue produced from the Interagency Recreation Pass Program?

 Can an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass holder buy a local/regional pass for a second vehicle and receive a 50% discount?

 Can I make a photocopy of my card to hang in the window so that my original will not get stolen?

 My son is a co-owner of my truck. Can my son use my Interagency Senior Pass in our truck?

 Can I upgrade my local/regional pass to an Interagency Annual Pass?

 What is the difference between a low developed boat ramp and a developed boat launch?

 





 What is an Interagency Recreation Pass and where can I use it?

Answer: The Interagency Recreation Pass Program is a federal interagency recreation pass program, comprised of four distinct Passes:

  • INTERAGENCY ANNUAL PASS : An annual pass honored at all National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance fees. Also honored at Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation sites charging standard amenity fees for developed day-use recreation sites (picnic sites, trailheads, visitor centers, and low development boat ramps). Interagency Annual Passes are valid for entrance or standard amenity fees ONLY and NO other discounts. This pass sells for $80.
  • INTERAGENCY VOLUNTEER PASS : An annual pass honored at all National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance fees. Also honored at Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation sites charging standard amenity fees for developed day-use recreation sites (picnic sites, trailheads, visitor centers, and low development boat ramps). Interagency Volunteer Passes are valid for entrance or standard amenity fees ONLY and NO other discounts. This pass is free to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who individually accrues 500 volunteer hours.
  • INTERAGENCY SENIOR PASS: A lifetime pass available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older. In addition to the benefits provided by the Interagency Annual Pass, the Interagency Senior Pass holders will continue to receive a 50% fee discount at Forest Service-managed and some concessionaire-managed campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services (More Information). This pass sells for a one-time $10 fee. An Interagency Senior Pass must be obtained in person. They are not available by mail. You must show proof of age in order to get an Interagency Senior Pass. This might be a state driver's license showing your birth date, a birth certificate, or similar proof.
  • INTERAGENCY ACCESS PASS: A lifetime pass available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who have been medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled and as a result, are eligible to receive benefits under federal law. An Interagency Access Pass must be obtained in person. They are not available by mail. You must show proof (Documentation Accepted) of being medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled and therefore eligible for receiving benefits under federal law. This pass provides the same benefits as the Interagency Senior Pass. This is a free pass.

The Interagency Annual Pass and Interagency Volunteer Pass do NOT include concessionaire services, however, concessionaires may honor the Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass according to the terms of their current permit (More Information on Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass Discounts).

Interagency Recreation Passes are NOT valid for fees related to facility or equipment rental (cabins, lookouts, day/overnight group sites), special conservation programs, managed off highway vehicle areas charging an expanded or special recreation permit fee, transportation systems, reservation services, or permits of any kind.

 

 

 What is the difference between an entrance fee and a standard amenity fee?

Answer: An entrance fee refers to fees charged for entrance into National Parks and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites (like national wildlife refuges). Standard amenity fees refer to using facilities and services at developed day-use recreation sites, such as picnic sites, low development boat ramps, trailheads and visitor centers that are managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Visitors may also encounter use fees that directly benefit them called "expanded amenity fees." This use fee pertains to campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming sites, cave tours, and specialized interpretive programs. (Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass holders receive a 50% discount for some of these use fees. Interagency Annual Pass holders do not receive a discount). (More Information on Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass Discounts)

Other types of activities not covered by the passes include: personal use or special use permits, cabin and lookout rentals, equipment rentals, group sites, optional transportation systems, and special conservation programs.

 

 

 Where can I obtain an Interagency Recreation Pass?

Answer: An Interagency Annual Pass can be obtained from a secure online web site at http://store.usgs.gov or by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS (Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Passes may NOT be ordered online or by phone, as they require documentation and have to be obtained in person.) All four passes may be obtained at any federal land management agency participating in the Interagency Recreation Pass Program, such as a Forest Service or National Park Service offices.

 

 

Who is eligible and what documentation is needed to obtain an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass?

Answer: Interagency Senior Pass is a $10 lifetime pass that is issued by the Forest Service to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older. The visitor must show proof of age, which may be state driver's license showing birth date, a birth certificate, or similar document.

The Interagency Access Pass is a free lifetime pass that is issued by the Forest Service to citizens or permanent residents in the United States, regardless of age, and who have a medical determination and documentation of blindness or permanent disability (Documentation Accepted). Interagency Access Passes may be obtained only in person and upon proof of medically determined blindness or permanent disability.

 

 

 Whom does my pass admit?

Answer:

Interagency Annual Pass: Admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. In those areas where a per-person fee is charged, the pass admits the pass holder and up to 3 persons (not exceeding 4 persons total).

Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass: Admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. In those areas where a per-person fee is charged, the pass admits the pass holder and up to 3 persons (not exceeding 4 persons total). In some cases where per-person expanded amenity fees are charged, the 50% discount will be given to the pass holder only: for example, cave tours, elevator services, or camping. (More Information)

 

 

 

 How am I required to display my Interagency Recreation Pass?

Answer: When at a per-vehicle site, visibly display your Interagency Recreation Pass in the free hangtag on your rear-view mirror. Hangtags for Interagency Recreation Passes are available at most Forest Service offices. When visiting a per-person site, or staffed National Park or National Fish and Wildlife site that charge an entrance fee, remove the pass from the hangtag and carry it with you so you are able to present it upon request.

 

 

 I have a motorcycle. How can I display my Interagency Recreation Pass?

Answer: Interagency Annual Pass holders may receive a free decal suitable for motorcycles and open-topped vehicles at unstaffed sites. Decals are limited to two per Interagency Annual Pass and require proof of ownership (vehicle registration). Decals are only available at agency offices, such as your local Forest Service office. Decals are not available with Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass.

 

 

 Can I use my Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass for a 50% discount on local or regional passes for day and annual use?

Answer: No. Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass holders already receive a significant lifetime discount. In an effort to minimize the potential for fraud, Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass holders will no longer be allowed to purchase local or regional passes for a 50% discount.

 

 

 My Interagency Recreation Pass is worn out/destroyed/lost/stolen. How can I obtain another one?

Answer: A destroyed, lost or stolen Interagency Recreation Pass will NOT be replaced, even if a receipt is produced. However, people can purchase a new Interagency Annual Pass for $80, an Interagency Senior Passes for $10 with proper documentation, and receive an Interagency Access Passes for free with proper documentation. A worn out or damaged card may be replaced if the visitor provides personal signature identification, and the signature on the damaged pass signature is identical.

 

 

 Can another person use my pass?

Answer: No. Interagency Recreation Passes are nontransferable, and proof of identification may be required when using your pass.

 

 

 Can I buy more than one Interagency Senior Pass?

Answer: No. However, you can purchase as many Interagency Annual Passes as you like.

 

 

 Can a foreign visitor be issued an Interagency Recreation Pass?

Answer: Foreign visitors may purchase an Interagency Annual Pass only. Foreign visitors may not be issued an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass because only citizens or permanent residents of the United States may use these passes.

 

 

 I only use my Interagency Recreation Pass for recreation sites near my home. If these recreation sites are closed due to fire, am I eligible for a refund?

Answer: No. The pass is still valid for other locations outside the closures.

 

 

 What happens to the revenue produced from the Interagency Recreation Pass Program?

Answer: When sold through any agency office, 80% of the revenue remains at the unit to use for their recreation fee areas. The remaining 20%, along with passes sold through the internet, are pooled. The Forest Service has a distribution strategy to ensure these funds benefit the recreation fee sites.

 

 

 Can an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass holder buy a local/regional pass for a second vehicle and receive a 50% discount?

Answer: No.

 

 

 Can I make a photocopy of my card to hang in the window so that my original will not get stolen?

Answer: No.

 

 

 My son is a co-owner of my truck. Can my son use my Interagency Senior Pass in our truck?

Answer: The individual who is issued an Interagency Senior Pass is the only person entitled to use the pass, even in a vehicle. However, the pass holder MAY display their pass in vehicles in which they are not the registered owner. The key is that the pass holder must be present for the pass to be valid. In the above case, the son may not use the Interagency Senior Pass in a jointly owned vehicle unless the pass holder is present.

 

 

 Can I upgrade my local/regional pass to an Interagency Annual Pass?

Answer: No.

 

 

 What is the difference between a low developed boat ramp and a developed boat launch?

Answer: A low developed boat ramp has a basic gravel or concrete ramp with few facilities. A developed boat launch has specialized facilities or services such as: mechanical or hydraulic boat lifts or facilities, multi-lane paved ramps, paved parking, restrooms and other improvements such as boarding floats, loading ramps, fish cleaning stations and/or attendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Forest Service
Last modified June 10, 2013
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