Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Access Pass

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In 2024, all Access Pass applicants, regardless of age, will be required to submit proof of NYS residency in the form of a NYS DMV issued Driver’s License or Non-Driver ID card. Temporary Non-Driver ID cards will be accepted as proof of residency when applying.

Information on a NYS DMV issued Non-Driver ID, which can be obtained at any age, can be found at: https://dmv.ny.gov/id-card/get-non-driver-id-card-ndid.

Your NYS DMV issued ID will need to be presented with your Access Pass upon request by NYS Parks staff. Valid Access Pass laminated cards will be accepted until their expiration.

The Access Pass permits New York State (NYS) residents with disabilities, as defined in the application, free or discounted use of state parks, historic sites, and recreational facilities operated by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS Parks) and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The pass holder must be present when attempting to use it for free or discounted use of facilities.

The Access Pass is not valid for amenities, including some services or locations operated by an outside concessionaire.

The Access Pass benefits includes free vehicle entry to most state parks and DEC-operated day-use areas, as well as numerous state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums and park preserves; free greens fees at State Park golf courses; free swimming pool entrance at State Park pools, and discounted camping and cabin rentals at most State Park and DEC campgrounds. To see a complete listing of benefits, restrictions and rules please view the Access Pass Guidelines.

Individual Access Pass

To apply for an Access Pass, the individual must submit three documents to accesspass@parks.ny.gov or by mail:

  • A photo or copy of your NYS DMV issued identification (for proof of New York State residency)
  • A supporting document of the qualifying disability, dated within one year.
  • A completed application

According to law, only the following categories are eligible for an Access Pass. Please select the category for further information and suggested documents to submit:

A person who has a developmental disability and is eligible to receive services from the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities or a program they license, operate, certify, or fund.

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • A Level of Care Eligibility Determination (LCED)
  • A Life Plan, or portion of a Life Plan that has the applicant's name, date of birth and review or evaluation date.
  • A Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver.
  • A Notice of Eligibility letter dated within one year.

A person who has a mental disability and is currently receiving services from the NYS Office of Mental Health, or a program they license, operate, certify, or fund.

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • A letter from the provider on their letterhead, stating you are currently receiving services licensed, operated, certified, or funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health.
  • A letter from the NYS Office of Mental Health stating you are currently receiving services through their office.

A person who has profound hearing loss causing the person to primarily rely on visual communications (sign language, lip reading, gestures) and assistive technology.

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • Physician's stamp on the application
  • A letter from the physician on their letterhead.

A person who has a permanent disability which prevents them from being able to walk, and therefore requires the use of a wheelchair at all times.

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • Physician's stamp on the application
  • A letter from the physician on their letterhead.

A person who is blind has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, or their field of vision is 20 degrees or less in the better eye.

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • Documentation from the Commission for the Blind
  • Physician's stamp on the application
  • A letter from the physician on their letterhead.

A person who has a fully or partially amputated or congenitally absent arm or leg, excluding the extremities of the hand (fingers) and feet (toes).

To qualify, submit one of the following:

  • Physician's stamp on the application
  • A letter from the physician on their letterhead.

A veteran with a 40% or greater service-connected disability. Please visit the Lifetime Liberty Pass Program page for additional information. Lifetime Liberty Pass

To qualify, please submit one of the following:

  • A Summary of Benefits letter from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs
  • A rating decision
  • A letter from the NYS Department of Veteran's Services


A copy of our most recent application can be found below:

Review the guidelines of the program:

Find answers to your frequently asked questions:

Group Access Pass

To qualify for a Group Access Pass, all members of the group must be residents of New York State. The group's authorized representative must provide a certificate of operation from a qualifying NYS Agency; or have a physician submit a letter that all users, other than staff, qualify for an Access Pass in one or more of the categories listed on the application.

A Certificate of Operation can be submitted to satisfy Part 2 of the Group Access Pass Application.

When you have all the documents needed to apply, please submit your application to accesspass@parks.ny.gov


Or mail your application to:

Access Pass
State Parks
Albany, New York 12238

For more information, contact 518-474-2324 during normal business hours or email accesspass@parks.ny.gov

Demand for Access Passes vary throughout the year. It may take up to one month for you to receive your pass. Please apply well in advance of your planned visit.