Can I Get a Free National Park Pass?
Spring is here and the weather is finally warming up. As part of our launch into April, we’ll be exploring five ways to get a free national park pass. Read below to find out who qualifies for a free national park pass. Want to just skip to the park page? Click Here!
1. You have a Qualifying Permanent Disability
Who is Eligible?: This free LIFETIME pass is available to people who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability.
To get the pass you can either fill out the online form, mail in a paper application, or apply in person. If you fill out the application online or mail it in, there’s a $10 processing fee. If you are planning to apply in person, then you do not need to fill out any forms in advance, just make sure to contact the site to ensure they have passes available. As with all of these passes, in addition to yourself, this pass also covers everyone in the same vehicle as you.
Documentation Needed for the Free National Park Pass
Here’s the requirements for documentation, directly from the form:
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;
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);
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.
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6. Discounted Senior Passes
Who is Eligible?: US Citizens and permanent residents 62 or older.
The Senior Pass is one of the very best bargains out there. For $80 you can get a lifetime pass or for $20 the annual pass.
$80 won’t even get you a day at theme park, but it will buy you lifetime access to every national park in the US sounds like a pretty great deal to me! Read more here.
2. You’re a US 4th Grader
Who Qualifies?: This is a really fun program available to all 4th Graders in the US.
Educators can even get the annual free national park passes for each of their 4th Grade Students. Here are the details! More rules and conditions can be found here!
3. You’re a Member of the US Military
Who Qualifies?: All current US military members and their dependents. Also most members of the US Reserves and National Guard and all of their dependents.
You’ll need your military ID when applying (CAC Card of DOD Form 1173). This’ll get you (and your dependents) a free $80 annual pass to the parks. Here’s the full FAQ for the annual military park pass.
4. You’ve Volunteered more then 250 hours at a
Who is Eligible?: Anyone who has volunteered 250+ hours at a national park.
This free national park pass is a really nice perk to reward your generosity and dedication. You do not need to complete all 250 hours in a single year. Read more about the volunteer passes here and here.
5. You Head to the Park on a Free Entrance Day
2019 Has a number of free entrance days to the National Parks
Straight from the nps.gov website ala the very journalistic copy-and-paste.