WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBOY) – Starting Veterans Day 2022, veterans and their dependents can get lifetime free passes to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks and forests.
Current members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents can get a free Military Annual Pass, and veterans and Gold Star Families are eligible for a Military Lifetime Pass through the America the Beautiful program.
The pass admits the veteran, servicemember or Gold Star Family member and their vehicle’s occupants—up to three people—to day-use areas at USACE-managed sites. It does not cover fees for other amenities like camping, tours, recreation permits, or reservation fees, but it may provide the pass holder with discounts.
In total, the pass gives the holder access to 400 million acres of public lands for free within national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests. A full list of sites that are covered by the pass can be found here.
To obtain a lifetime pass when visiting one of the federal recreation sites, veterans can present one of the four forms of acceptable ID:
- Department of Defense ID Card
- Veteran Health ID (VHIC)
- Veteran ID Card
- Veteran’s designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or ID card
Current military members must provide the following to get the annual pass:
- Current members of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Space Force and National Guard with valid DoD CAC card
- Dependents of current U.S. military members with valid DD Form 1173
- U.S. Military Cadets with a valid CAC card
- U.S. Active Reservists (Do not need to be deployed) with a valid CAC card
Gold Star Families can download a voucher by visiting the USGS’s online store to confirm that they qualify.
USACE also offers fee-free days for everyone throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration, including the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Juneteenth National Independence Day; Veterans Day; and National Public Lands Day.