USGS - science for a changing world

America The Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

Overview of the Senior PassPass Use | Benefits

Message Center:

Due to an increase in Pass Sales, please allow six weeks for the processing of a Senior or Access pass order. Remember, you can also purchase a Pass at many of the recreational sites. Please click here for a list of sites that issue passes.

Please note that we do not expect changes to the Senior pass price or program within the next few months. Further information on changes to the Senior pass price and program will be coming soon.

  1. Where can I get a Senior Pass?

    You can buy a Senior Pass in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office. See Site Locations that issue the Senior Pass.
    You can buy a Senior Pass using the USGS online store. Applicants must fill out the Online Application and upload proof of residency and age. This may be done by photographing your document and uploading it to the order. You will need to provide a credit card payment of $20.00 ($10.00 fee for the Senior Pass, and an additional $10.00 document processing fee). Once the documentation is verified and payment is received, a pass, with the pass owner’s name pre-printed on it, will be issued to the applicant. If you cannot order a Senior pass online, you can submit a Paper Application by mail to the USGS using the paper application and enclosing the same documents and $20 fee.

    Online Senior Pass applications are processed and shipped within 3-5 business days from the day they arrive at USGS. Transit time varies, and is dependent upon the service selected:

        • USPS - typically 5-10 business days
        • FedEx Ground - typically 3-5 business days
        • FedEx 2nd day - typically 2 business days
        • FedEx Overnight - typically 1 business day

    If you need your pass within 15 days or less,  it is recommended that you either obtain your pass at the first site you visit, or request expedited shipping services for your order.

  2. What is the Senior Pass?

    A $10.00 lifetime pass that provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

    At many sites the Senior Pass provides the pass owner

  3.  on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).

    See Senior Pass Benefits section.

  4. Who qualifies for the Senior Pass?

    U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are 62 years or older. (You must have turned 62 before you can buy the pass).

    NOTE: Owning property or paying taxes in the U.S. does not automatically qualify you for a Senior Pass. You must be a permanent U.S. resident, or a U.S. citizen with identification such as U.S. Driver's License, Green Card or U.S. Passport.

  5. Are Golden Age Passports still valid?

    Yes, Golden Age Passports are valid for a lifetime.

  6. If my spouse was the pass owner and s/he passes away, does the Senior Pass automatically transfer to me?

    No. The Senior Pass is not transferable.

  7. Where can I use my Senior Pass?

    Please contact a site directly if you have a question about pass acceptance and fees.

    The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USACE, and Bureau of Reclamation honor the Senior Pass at sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee(s) (Day use fees) are charged.

    In addition, the Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Senior Pass for entrance or camping discounts.


Senior Pass Use

  1. Who is admitted with a Senior Pass?

    The Senior Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.)
    Note: Photo identification will be requested to verify pass ownership.

  2. If I have more than four people in my car, how many passes do I need?

    • One pass covers the vehicle at sites that charge "per vehicle".
    • At "per person"; sites, the applicable fee will be charged for each additional person.
  3. My family is traveling in two vehicles; will one Senior Pass let all of us into the site?

    No. Only the vehicle with the pass owner is covered. The second vehicle is subject to an entrance fee, or must have (or buy) a second pass.

  4. What about motorcycle drivers who purchase a Senior Pass?

    A Senior Pass permits entrance for one motorcycle.

  5. What if I forgot to bring my Senior Pass?

    You can either buy another Senior Pass with proper documentation, or pay the applicable Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee(s) (Day Use Fees).

  6. What if my Senior Pass is lost, stolen or damaged?

    • If lost or stolen, you'll need to buy another one.
    • If damaged, it can be replaced as long as a portion of the pass is identifiable and you show proper identification.
  7. How do I show my pass at a site that doesn't have an entrance station?

    At Federal recreation sites that don't have entrance stations you need to display your pass or show proof of pass ownership to compliance officers via one of the two following methods:

    A pass can either be displayed on your rearview mirror using a free hangtag or on your dashboard with the signature side showing. Remember, the hangtag itself is only a way to display your Pass, and is not valid for entry unless it holds a valid Pass.

    If you own an open-topped vehicle (jeep, motorcycle, etc.) you may obtain a free decal to attach to your vehicle that will serve as proof of payment at sites that don't have a staffed entrance station.

    • Decals are issued on annual basis, even for owners of lifetime Senior/Access passes
    • Decals are NOT valid for entry at staffed entrance sites - you MUST show your pass
    • Decals must be obtained in person and you must show the following: your Pass, driver's license and vehicle registration. The name on all three documents must match.
    • All sites that issue passes issue free hangtags
  8. Can I use my Senior Pass at state parks or local city/county recreation sites?

    No. The Senior Pass is valid only at participating Federal recreation sites. Visit for information about Federal recreation sites.


Senior Pass Benefits

  Please contact a site directly if you have a question about pass acceptance and fees.

  1. Does the Senior Pass include any discounts at Federal Recreation sites?

    At many sites the Senior Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).

  2. What are the discount guidelines?

    The pass program is managed by six Federal agencies that operate under different regulations and have different fees. Therefore, the discount program for the Senior Pass is not handled in the same way on all Federal recreation lands.

    In general discounts are honored as follows:

    • Individual Campsites: The discount only applies to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass owner, not to any additional campsite(s) occupied by members of the pass owner's party.
    • Campsites with Utility Hookups: If utility fees are charged separately, there is no discount. The discount may apply if the utility fee is combined (seamless) with the campsite fee.
    • Group Campsites and Facilities: (including, but not limited to, group facilities, picnic areas or pavilions): There is no discount for group campsites and other group facilities that charge a flat fee. If the group campsite has a per person fee rate, only the pass owner receives a discount; others using the site pay the full fee.
    • Guided Tours: The pass offers discounts on some guided tours. Only the pass owner receives a discount if one is offered.
    • Transportation Systems: (Inquire Locally)
    • Concessionaire Fees: (Inquire Locally)
    • Special Use Permit Fees: (Inquire Locally)
  3. Does my Senior Pass provide any discounts at Cooperating Association bookstores or gift shops that are located in the Federal Recreation sites?

    No. The Senior Pass does not cover discounts in on-site bookstores or gift stores.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: January 09, 2013