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Recreation Passport FAQs

  • No. A Recreation Passport is only required for motor vehicles, motorcycles or commercial motor vehicles entering the facility. Walking or riding a nonmotorized bicycle into the facility does not require a Recreation Passport.

  • If your Recreation Passport was not purchased at the time of license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State, you can bring your registration to a SOS branch office to receive a replacement license plate tab with the Recreation Passport. You can also purchase a window sticker at a state park or DNR Customer Service Center. The sticker should be placed on the inside, lower right side of the passenger window.

    Please note there's a $5 convenience fee (except for Belle Isle Park) when the Recreation Passport is not purchased at the time of your license plate registration renewal.

  • Purchasing your Recreation Passport outside the time of your license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State will be more expensive. There's a $5 convenience fee when purchased at state parks, customer service centers and the SOS office. The most cost-effective option is to purchase the Recreation Passport when you renew your vehicle license plate tab, which ensures you can access Michigan's woods and waters year-round.

  • They are typically available by mid-December. 
    • Michigan-registered vehicles: Good until your next license plate registration renewal date, including license plate tabs and window stickers.
    • Non-Michigan-registered vehicles: Good through December 31 of the calendar year in which it was purchased.
  • If you have not purchased the Recreation Passport and a staff person is not present, some locations have a self-service pay station or a list of the closest facilities to purchase one.

  • Yes. The Recreation Passport is required for all motorized vehicles entering a state park/recreation area. The passport is separate from camping fees.

  • A Recreation Passport is not required to operate an ORV or ATV with the exception of Silver Lake State Park ORV Area.

  • No. The stature that regulates the Recreation Passport does not include a senior discount.

  • No, the Recreation Passport is linked to a vehicle's license plate, so it is not transferable between vehicles.

  • You would be required to purchase the Recreation Passport based on the state in which the vehicle is registered.

  • Even if you are a Michigan resident, you must purchase a nonresident pass for a vehicle with a non-Michigan license plate. This is because the Recreation Passport is tied to a vehicle’s license plate.
  • A Recreation Passport is tied to the vehicle license plate; therefore, a passport must be purchased for each leased (or company) vehicle.

  • Yes. To receive a replacement sticker, you would need to collect whatever pieces of the sticker you can get (it's recommended that you place them in an envelope to prevent injury from any loose glass) and visit a state park. A DNR staff person can help you.
  • When renewing/receiving your Michigan license plate through the Secretary of State, check “YES” for the Recreation Passport. 

  • You will still need a Recreation Passport. You can purchase a window sticker at a state park or customer service center. The sticker will be good for the rest of the calendar year. Because these plates are not eligible for purchase during the regular renewal process at the Secretary of State, the passport can be purchased without a convenience fee. This applies to any Michigan license plate that does not renew annually, including:

    • Antique car.
    • Manufacturer.
    • Municipal.
    • Non-profit organization (Y plate).
    • Tribal government.
  • Any motorized vehicle entering a state park, boating access site and/or state forest campground is required to have a Recreation Passport for entry. Please note that the passport is also required for trailhead parking and harbors.

  • Recreation Passports purchased online take approximately 2-3 weeks to be processed. Use your receipt of purchase as your passport until it arrives.

  • All vehicles are required to have a Recreation Passport. We can’t accept prepayment because there are restrictions in the law that prohibits us from doing that. In the past, event hosts have either put either money in an envelope and give them to the guests as reimbursement. Gift cards are also a good option. 

  • Annual resident and nonresident passes will be mailed to the address provided on the self-registration envelope, and will be processed as soon as possible. Until you receive your physical passport, the receipt portion of the envelope will serve as your Recreation Passport and can be placed on the dashboard of your vehicle.

    Nonresident daily permits will not be mailed. 

  • The Recreation Passport is not accepted at national parks in Michigan. NPS has their own entrance fee system.

  • The Recreation Passport is not accepted at county, township or other municipal parks.
  • A towed motor vehicle Recreation Passport (valid for length of entire stay) is available for purchase if a towed vehicle will be unhitched from the recreational vehicle (RV) and driven anywhere in the state park or campground. The following criteria must be met:

    • The recreational vehicle (RV) towing, trailering or carrying the motor vehicle has an annual, nonresident Recreation Passport.
    • The RV will be used as a stationary primary camping shelter.
    • If the RV is not used as a stationary shelter during the camping stay, nonresident Recreation Passports must be purchased for both the RV and towed vehicle.
  • No, only a motor vehicle, motorcycle or commercial motor vehicle that will be driven in the park require a Recreation Passport.

  • No, the Recreation Passport is linked to a vehicle's license plate, so it is nontransferable between vehicles.

  • A Recreation Passport is not required for any vehicle registered with the following Michigan license plates:

    • 100% disabled veteran.
    • Ex-POW or Medal of Honor.

    The exemption is tied specifically to the plate and registration and not to the person.

  • DNR staff will help you purchase the correct Recreation Passport, which is based on your vehicle type and state in which your vehicle is registered.