View Full Version : Recreation Passport replaces the state park sticker

September 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
Beginning Oct. 1, the $10 Recreation Passport replaces the state park sticker for access into all state parks, recreation areas and boat launches. To get the Recreation Passport, Michigan residents can check "YES" on their license plate renewal forms. The Recreation Passport also helps preserve forest campgrounds and trails, historic and cultural sites in state parks, and local parks. Where can $10 take you? Visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport for more information.

September 28th, 2010, 04:48 PM
I suppose I'll have to look up the options for out of state folks??

September 28th, 2010, 07:36 PM
I suppose I'll have to look up the options for out of state folks??

Q. How do out-of-state visitors participate in this program? A. Out-of-state visitors will still be required to purchase non-resident stickers at a cost of $29 annually or $8 daily, as they do now.

From: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10365_55798-234654--,00.html

September 29th, 2010, 07:09 AM

Renegade II
September 29th, 2010, 08:27 AM
It'll be interesting to see how this all works out. I never bought more than a day pass to go to a park cause we'd only go a into a state park 3-4 days a year. Now with the day pass no longer available to residents they're loosing out on an extra $8 to $14 they'd make off of me. We may go more times this way, but that would just cause more park use with less income. It may backfire like their permanant trailer plate did. And bikes should pay $10 just like everyone else.

Recreation Passport Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the "Recreation Passport"?
A. The Recreation Passport is a new way to fund programs for state parks and forest recreation and to augment local government recreation programs. The $10 optional fee paid when you renew your license plate registration (or $5 for motorcycles) replaces the traditional state park and boating Motor Vehicle Permit (MVP) system in place since 1961 at state parks, recreation areas and boat launches. The DNRE has created an informational Web page at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Q. Why is this being proposed now? What's wrong with the current system?
A. The funding model for state parks was not adequate to meet current and future operational and maintenance needs. State parks and recreation areas lost all taxpayer support in 2004. Since then, park operations have been funded primarily from user fees. Currently, we are able to address less than 1 percent of critical infrastructure repair needs (in total, roughly $38 million annually), and are about $4.8 million short of adequately funding day-to-day park operations. Without an alternative funding structure in place, drastic cuts to park programs and services would be inevitable.

Q. How does the Recreation Passport program work?
A. Instead of purchasing a Motor Vehicle Permit for park or boat launch entry ($6/day or $24/year) motorists will be asked to pay a voluntary $10 fee when they renew their vehicle plate registration. The voluntary fee added on to a motorcycle registration will be $5. This fee will authorize entry into state parks and boat launches for the period of the registration). Camping fees at state parks and state forests will remain in place. This program will provide an affordable method for the public to invest in the assets of the state park, boating, state forest and local recreation programs.

Q. Will I still need a park sticker in 2010? A. Yes. Motor vehicle permits will be on sale through Sept. 30, 2010 and all 2010 motor vehicle permits are valid for entry through Dec. 31, 2010.

However, beginning Oct. 1, the Recreation Passport funding model begins. This means that if you plan to use state parks or state-administered boat launches after your vehicle registration is due, you will need to pay the $10 fee ($5 for motorcycles), which will cover that vehicle for the registration period.

Further details will be coming soon to explain how the DNRE will manage the internal processes for the months of October through December 2010.

Q. What do I do if I purchased a 2010 Motor Vehicle Permit sticker under the old system, and my vehicle registration expires before Oct. 1, 2010?
A. Your 2010 motor vehicle permit is good through Dec. 31, 2010. Then, when you renew your vehicle registration (license plate) during 2011, check "Yes!" to support the Recreation Passport and have access to all of Michigan's state parks and recreation areas for the period your vehicle is registered.

Q: But what if I want to use the parks in 2011 before my registration renewal date - will I have to pay twice?
A. The Recreation Passport funding model is no longer tied to the calendar year - instead, it will be a rolling income for state parks, state forest campgrounds and non-motorized trails. Every month, an average of 680,000 visitors will have the opportunity to check "Yes!" to support the Recreation Passport, which will hopefully generate a more stable income (instead of being tied to our heavy-use months).

Here is an example of how it will work the first year of the program:

Your vehicle registration renewal is in April
You want to visit the park in January
If you want to use the parks before your vehicle registration is due (for example, in January), then please do! Our staff will see that your chance to pay the $10 will not occur until April, and you will not be asked to purchase anything on-site. However, if you don't pay your $10 in April ($5 for motorcycles) and you visit a park in September, you will have to buy a Recreation Passport at a state park or recreation area.

Q. Can I still just buy a resident daily state park permit once the Recreation Passport program is in place on Oct. 1, 2010?
A. No, after Oct. 1, 2010, the Recreation Passport program replaces all park entry permits for Michigan residents.

Q. Our school has a field trip scheduled after Oct. 1, 2010 to a state park, how will the bus gain admission into the park?
A. After October 1, 2010, any school bus entering the park will be required to purchase/display a Recreation Passport. This $10 window sticker will expire on December 31, 2010.

Q. I don't use state parks, so why should I choose the Recreation Passport? Yes, your Recreation Passport replaces the state park sticker and gets you into all 98 state parks and recreation areas. In addition your $10 also helps to maintain and preserve:

133 state forest campgrounds
Nearly 1,000 miles of hiking, biking and skiing trails
More than 1,000 boat launches
Historic and cultural sites in state parks
Parks in your community
Healthy economies that benefit from recreational visitors
The ability to attract new businesses and jobs to the state
When you check "YES" for the Recreation Passport, your $10 will help keep campgrounds open, trails maintained and green spaces available for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Q. Why should I give the state more money? I already pay too much in taxes.
A. Taxpayer support of the state parks ended in 2004. Over the past four years the state park budget has been reduced by $2.8 million each year. Permanent staffing of state parks has diminished nearly 15 percent since 2000. Yet, despite those challenges, Michigan is repeatedly recognized for operating one of the most efficient state park systems in the country.

Michigan has 98 state parks and recreation areas and maintains over 1,000 boat launches. The park system is one of the largest in the nation, but, is tied for dead last in public funding support. The park system has been unable to keep up with infrastructure repairs and replacements and it is only a matter of time before the failure of a critical support system in a state park puts that park out of business. With stable, predictable funding, we could offer a higher quality of service. Participation in the Recreation Passport program is optional, but we hope residents will see the annual $10 fee as a smart investment for Michigan.

Q: I heard the DNRE's Park Endowment Fund just received a large sum of money from the oil and gas lease auction of state-owned land parcels. If that's true, why do we still need the Recreation Passport?
A: The dollars going into this fund are certainly a windfall and great news for Michigan but the final amount has yet to be determined. Even if this endowment fund were to receive the maximum amount allowable, that funding would cover just 10 percent of the cost of a years-long backlog of needed infrastructure repairs at our state parks and recreation areas.

The real difference is this: the Park Endowment Fund offers much-needed support for Michigan's state parks and recreation areas, but does so for a narrowly defined list of fixes and in amounts that vary widely year to year. The funding is really a drop in a bucket that's overflowing with needs that must be met in a more sustainable and predictable way.

Michigan's new Recreation Passport, on the other hand, is a chance for Michigan residents to say clearly each and every year that quality outdoor recreation opportunities are of value to them. It is an opportunity to provide ongoing, stable funding that will be used for day-to-day operations and staffing of state parks and forest campgrounds, to support community recreation through grants, to support community cultural and historic resources, and to maintain and improve our state forests' non-motorized pathways and trails.

The Park Endowment Fund and the Recreation Passport are both critical sources of funding for Michigan, but neither can sustain the system alone. Together, they will help Michigan cement its standing as one of the country's premier destinations for outdoor recreation.

Q. When will this happen?
A. The Recreation Passport will take effect on Oct. 1, 2010.

Q. How will park rangers know that I paid the Recreation Passport fee?
A. The license plate renewal sticker received from the Secretary of State will have a designation that indicates the Recreation Passport payment. If an individual purchases the Recreation Passport at the park, the park will provide an identifying sticker.

Q. If I forget to pay the Recreation Passport fee when I register my vehicle, can I still get into the park?
A. Yes, however, you will be required to pay the Recreation Passport fee upon entry.

Q. I have an antique car/veterans plate that doesn't get renewed every year. How do I get the Recreation Passport?
A. You will need to purchase the Recreation Passport at the park. The passport will be valid for the calendar year in which it was purchased.

Q. I have a commercial vehicle. How do I get the Recreation Passport?
A. The Secretary of State's system will not be offering the Recreation Passport to owners of vehicles with a GVW of over 24,000 pounds or vans/buses with a capacity of 16 or more. These vehicles as well as tour buses will be required to purchase a $15 daily permit upon park entry. If you have a commercial vehicle without a Recreation Passport and you are using the vehicle for non-commercial, recreational use in the park, you will need to purchase the Recreation Passport at the park.

Q. Do I need a Recreation Passport to visit a state forest trail or stay at a state forest campground?
A. No, but you are still required to pay the camping fee at state forest campgrounds.

Q: Why doesn't my local marina accept the Recreational Passport for the launch fees? It seems that if the state provides the funding for construction then they should honor the Recreational Passport.
A. While State funds may have been used in the construction of a marina, the ongoing management of the marina is handled by the local municipality. They will not be receiving money from the Recreation Passport fund, and therefore still need to collect fees to help offset their ongoing operational costs.

Q. Does the Recreation Passport get me into my local county parks, too?
A. While there will be grant monies made available to local recreation agencies through the Recreation Passport, your local park system still needs to raise money for their daily operations, which is why the Passport does not provide access to any township, city or county managed facilities - only state parks and recreation areas.

Q. How does the Recreation Passport program benefit state forest recreation?
A. State forest campgrounds have experienced decreased funding, resulting in the closure of 12 campgrounds in the last two years. The Recreation Passport program requires that 7 percent of the net revenues received by the DNRE is dedicated to support state forest campgrounds, pathways and non-motorized trails.

Q. I have more than one vehicle. Do I need the Recreation Passport for every vehicle?
A. Yes. Starting Oct. 1, 2010, vehicles will not be admitted to state parks, recreation areas or boat launches that were traditionally fee-based without the Recreation Passport. Remember, great states have great state parks. Registering more than one of your vehicles is an affordable way to contribute to the vitality of the state, because the Recreation Passport will be key to:

Funding outdoor recreation facilities and opportunities
Providing stewardship of our unique natural resources and protection of critical habitat
Stimulating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact for local communities from tourism
Enhancing the quality of life for Michigan residents
Attracting new businesses and jobs to the state
Contributing to local economies near state parks, state forests, trails and boating facilities
Protecting our beautiful natural resources for future generations
Q. The Recreation Passport provides funds to my local community recreation agency. Does that mean my $10 Passport also covers the entry fee into boat launches and parks run by my county or township?
A. No. While funds will be available to help maintain and improve your local parks through a grant program, use fees at those sites will still be in effect.

Q. How do out-of-state visitors participate in this program? A. Out-of-state visitors will still be required to purchase non-resident stickers at a cost of $29 annually or $8 daily, as they do now.

Q. What will happen to staff that sold stickers?
A. Staff hours that were used to collect and remit entrance permit funds will be used to enhance guest experiences through improved programs and services. Redeploying staff hours will allow flexibility and improve efficiency. For example, some parks and recreation areas can use more safety and security help; others may add programming, maintenance and janitorial assistance.

Q. Who developed the Recreation Passport program?
A. This initiative grew out of a proposal developed by the Citizens Committee for Michigan State Parks seeking to establish a long-term, stable funding source for the state park system and other public recreation entities.

Q. Will I need to pay the $10 for my ATV/ORV when I go to the Silver Lake Dunes?
A. The entrance procedure to the dunes at Silver Lake is still in the planning phase. When the plan is formalized the answer will appear here.

Q. Will the $10 fee ($5 for motorcycles) increase each year?
A. The fee may increase based on the Consumer Price Index rounded to the nearest dollar.

Q. Right now, senior citizens (age 65+) can get a yearly pass for $6? Will that program continue?
A. With this new funding model, the yearly $10 rate will be the same for all Michigan residents. Maintaining one Recreation Passport rate for all registered automobiles is intended to reduce confusion during vehicle registration. The Citizens Committee carefully reviewed all aspects of the proposals before they were submitted. There were seniors on the committee and this matter was discussed in detail. The senior citizen members felt that the program needed to be kept as simple as possible and unanimously agreed the Recreation Passport was an easy way to leave a legacy for their grandchildren and future generations. The committee also felt that the $6 rate for a Motor Vehicle Permit had not increased for many years and a slight adjustment to $10 was appropriate.

The Bridge Pass park permit (designed, at a current cost of $18, for qualifying low-income Michigan residents) will also now cost $10 ($5 for motorcycles).

September 29th, 2010, 09:24 AM
I see this as a potential money loser for the State - we have 2 Jeeps, and at some point during the year both of them end up somewhere where we need a state park sticker. For 4 years I have purchased 2 annual permits for $48, now I am only going to pay $20/year? Are that many more people going to pay $10 knowing they will need a $8 day pass at least once? Or buy the $10 pass just for "feel good"? I am guessing no.

September 29th, 2010, 11:52 AM
I agree with Paul. While now I will be able to take both my vehicles for less than was for 1 I don't think that people who don't use the parks now are going to pony up the extra $10 when they buy their plates. I hope I am wrong but if they are going to make this work they need to push it and push it hard.

September 29th, 2010, 06:10 PM
The article I read said that there are a couple of states that incorporated this a few years ago and they found that they had more people pay the $10 than they did when they had the higher fee and had to sport a decal on the windshield. It seemed more people are willing to pay less to possibly use something they weren't willing to have to pay a higher fee for. The big plus they found was people found taking those decals off a pain and decided that in itself was a good enough reason not to participate. Man we are a lazy society at times. Oh yeah, asked what are those whose birthdays are months away are suppose to do it said they can enter the parks for free until it is time to renew their plates. I thought that was kind of cool. Bottom line is those other states claim their revenue is up by quite a bit.

Renegade II
September 29th, 2010, 09:00 PM
I have non expiring, same year plates on most of my vehicles. Guess I'll get in free from here on out :lmao:

September 30th, 2010, 07:30 AM
I will only have to pay $20 vs. $48 from my two vehicles as well. I visited Montana this summer and they have had a similar program for about 5 yrs. I did talk to a ranger about it and she claimed the program has worked out well for them.

September 30th, 2010, 08:54 PM
Only thing I don't get is do I understand it right that I can't buy a day pass if I don't have the plate?

September 30th, 2010, 09:27 PM
Correct. You'll pay $10 for a sticker version of the Passport and be good for the year instead.

October 1st, 2010, 09:12 AM
I have non expiring, same year plates on most of my vehicles. Guess I'll get in free from here on out :lmao:

Q. I have an antique car/veterans plate that doesn't get renewed every year. How do I get the Recreation Passport?
A. You will need to purchase the Recreation Passport at the park. The passport will be valid for the calendar year in which it was purchased.

joe & jeep
October 2nd, 2010, 04:02 AM
I renewed my plates yesterday and got the "Recreation passport ", only designation is a "P" in small size letter, and I don't see saving a lot of money when someone now has to look at the little tag.

Ridin Dirty
October 4th, 2010, 11:00 AM
In the past, I only purchased a day permit when I needed one, which was not very often. Now, I will just spend the extra $10 on all 5 of my plates, just in case. They will make more money from me doing it this way, but it will just be easier for me.

October 13th, 2010, 03:59 PM
Well this will save me $42 annually. I purchase 3 stickers for my truck & Jeeps. I hope the model works so they collect more funds for the parks.