Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Access Pass (which replaced the Golden Access Passport in 2007)
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCESS PASS
What is the Access Pass?
It is a lifetime pass -- available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability -- that provides access to recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies. It also provides the pass owner a discount on some amenity fees such as camping (see Access Pass Benefits section).
What does it cost and how long is it valid?
The Access Pass is free, and it is valid for the lifetime of the pass owner.
Who qualifies for the Access Pass?
The pass may be issued to U.S. citizens or permanent residents that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability that severely limits one or more major life activities. A permanent disability is a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
If I am partially disabled do I qualify for the Access Pass?
The disability requirements for the Access Pass are not based on percentage of disability. To qualify for the Pass the disability must be permanent and limit one or more major life activities.
How do I prove I'm permanently disabled?
Some examples of acceptable documentation include:
- Statement by a licensed physician;
- Document issued by Federal agency such as the Veteran's Administration, Social Security Disability Income, or Supplemental Security Income;
- Document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.
If I have a Golden Access Passport is it still valid?
Yes, Golden Age Passports are valid for a lifetime and are equivalent to the new Access Pass.
What if I have a paper Golden Access Passport and want a new Access Pass instead?
Paper Golden Access Passports may be exchanged free of charge for the new Access Pass with proof of identification, e.g., driver's license, birth certificate, or similar document.
HOW TO OBTAIN THE ACCESS PASS
Where can I obtain an Access Pass?
An Access Pass can be obtained in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office. Participating agencies include:
Can my permanently disabled child get an Access Pass?
Yes. This allows the caregivers to enter Federal Recreation sites for free when accompanying the child.
Why cant I order an Access Pass online or through the mail?
You must obtain the Pass in person because the official issuing the Access Pass must review the documentation of your disability and verify your residency.
USAGE OF THE ACCESS PASSWhat does the Access Pass cover?
The Access 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.
The Access Pass also provides the pass owner a discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees such as camping (see Access Pass Benefits section).
Where is the Access Pass honored?
The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation honor the Access Pass at sites where entrance or standard amenity fees are charged.
In addition, the Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Access Pass. (Visitors are always encouraged to contact the site they plan to visit and inquire about pass acceptance before visiting).
Why is the US Army Corps of Engineers accepting Interagency Access Passes but not selling them?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) was not included in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, which gave agencies the authority to create the new America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. Although the Corps will not sell or issue the new passes, the Corps will accept the new Interagency Senior and Interagency Access Passes or previously issued Golden Age or Access Passports as proof of eligibility for age- and disability-related discounts. More information may be found at: http://www.CorpsLakes.us/fees.
What if I forgot to bring my Access Pass?
You can either obtain another Access Pass with proper documentation, or pay the applicable Entrance or Standard Amenity fee(s).
What if my Access Pass is lost, stolen or damaged?
- If your Access Pass is lost or stolen, you may be issued a new one in person with proper documentation.
- The Access Pass is replaceable if damaged as long as identification is provided to validate ownership and a portion of the pass is identifiable.
My family is traveling in two cars; will one Access 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.
My spouse and I are each riding our own motorcycle or scooter; will one Access Pass cover both our entries?
No. At sites with per vehicle entrance fees the Access Pass will cover entrance for the pass owner on one motorcycle only.