One of the perks of turning 62 has long been the privilege of buying a Senior Lifetime Pass that covers you and your traveling companions at all 417 National Park Sites only $10—but don’t wait till you’re planning a trip to get yours. The price for a senior pass price is about to go up dramatically, and the rush is on.
The National Parks Department will raise the price of the Senior Lifetime Pass to $80 on August 28; a new $20 annual Senior Pass will become available at the same time.
On its website, the Parks Department promises that all eligible senior pass orders placed online before 11:59pm EDT on August 27, or mail orders postmarked on or before the 27th, will be processed at the $10 price. (There’s also an additional $10 processing charge.)
Why the steep increase? Blame Congress. It’s an indirect result of the America the Beautiful parks pass going up as legislated by Congress in 2016.
How to Get Your Senior Lifetime Pass
Unless you plan to visit a National Parks site before August 27, fire up your computer now.
- Click here to access the store’s Senior Pass Page, where you’ll find all the info about the pass.
- On the Senior Pass Page, you’ll see a link to “Purchase your pass via Your Pass Now.” This is a digital validation service that’s helping the department handle the rush of applications by automatically verifying your age against public documents. That’s good news for you, because it saves you having to upload an image of your driver’s license or other state issued ID. You will have to enter your personal details, including Social Security number, but Your Pass Now says it deletes all information once your application has been processed.
- If you can’t bring yourself to enter your Social Security Number (or the site doesn’t work for you), you can use the standard application here and upload a photo or scan of your ID.
- Print or save your confirmation page—due to the last minute crush, it can take up to 12 weeks to receive your pass; meanwhile you can use your confirmation for entry to the National Parks.
- You can also apply by mail by printing and completing this application along with a photocopy of your ID.
Once you get your pass, hold on to it; the passes are non-refundable and can’t be replaced if lost or stolen.
Questions? Contact the National Parks Department at 888-ASK-USGS and press 3, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check the Senior Pass FAQ here.