From the iconic Niagara Falls and the gorges of the Finger Lakes, to the Thousand Islands region and the oceanfront beaches of Long Island, New York State’s park system provides year-round, affordable outdoor recreation and educational opportunities to more than 65 million visitors each year. Today, the system totals 215 state parks and historic sites encompassing 335,000 acres.
- Unlimited day-use vehicle entry to most facilities operated by New York State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Learn where the Empire Pass is Accepted. Empire Passes are available for different lengths of time: choose from one year, multi-year or lifetime.
- Special one-time bonus: Those purchasing a Lifetime Empire Pass can select to receive a free $100 State Park Gift Card with their order. The gift card can be used at more than 8,300 campsites, 800 cabins and 50 cottages in many regions throughout the state and selected public golf courses set within some of the most beautiful state parks in New York. The gift card has no expiration date, so you are free to escape, explore and experience all New York State Parks has to offer at your convenience. If you prefer, you may also choose to not receive the gift card, just select "No thanks" during the ordering process.
- As part of our Adventure License program, Parks has teamed up with DMV to offer 3 beautiful "I love NY Parks" license plates that allow you to show off your pride and passion for state parks and the great outdoors. These plates are an additional fee, to learn more visit The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
- For questions about the one-time bonus redemption contact New York State Parks at 518-486-1868.
Does the Empire Pass expire?
The annual Empire Pass provides unlimited access to New York State Parks and is available for different lengths of time:
- Annual Empire Pass Card: Available for $80, the 2017 Empire Pass Card is a new wallet-sized card that can be shared within a household and not assigned to a specific vehicle.
- Annual Empire Pass Decal: Available for only $65, the 2017 Empire Pass Decal is affixed to a vehicle and non-transferable.
- Multiple Year Empire Pass: Love parks? Get a 3- or 5-year Empire Pass.
- Lifetime Empire Pass: Once and for all, purchase a lifetime Empire Pass for full access to New York State Parks.
Annual, 3 Year & 5 Year Empire Passes expire March 31st of the following year or as printed on the decal. Lifetime Empire Passes do not expire.
Who can Purchase an Empire Pass?
Empire Pass is available to everyone, both New York State Residents and Non-State Residents. Fees are the same.
Do I need an Empire Pass to visit a park?
No, however visitors can pay per visit, if they don’t have an Empire Pass.
Can someone else use my Lifetime Empire Pass?
Since the Lifetime Empire Pass is an icon on an individual’s Driver License or Non-Drive ID, it can only be used by that individual. That person need not be the driver, but must be present in the vehicle.
Is this a 4x4 or fishing permit?
No, 4x4 and fishing permits are exclusive to the Long Island Region. Information is available at Long Island Permits or at 631-669-1000 ext. 223 during ordinary business hours. Learn more about Long Island regional permits on the NYS Parks website.
Refer to this step by step process to buy an Empire Parks Pass:
- Go online
- Login or create an account
- Choose which Empire Pass you’d like to buy
- Enter your contact information (If purchasing a Lifetime Empire Pass enter in your NYS DMV photo document information (Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit or Non Driver ID) (Lifetime purchasers only - choose bonus offer.)
- Enter your credit card and billing information
- Confirm the information is correct
- Enter an address for where the Empire Pass(es) should be mailed to
- Place the order
- An email confirmation will be sent to you
Please note: The online order confirmation letter is not acceptable for admission. Only the permanently affixed Empire Pass decal, Empire Pass card or the NY Driver License or Non-Driver ID with the Lifetime Empire Pass icon will provide the Empire Pass vehicle use fee waiver benefit.
Ready? Have with you:
- Valid NYS DMV Photo ID (Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit or Non Driver ID)
- Valid credit card
Annual Empire Pass Card: Available for $80, the 2017 Empire Pass Card is a new wallet-sized card that can be shared within a household and not assigned to a specific vehicle.
Annual Empire Pass Decal: Available for only $65, the 2017 Empire Pass Decal is affixed to a vehicle and non-transferable.
Multiple Year Empire Pass Card:
- Purchase a 3-year Empire Pass for $205
- Purchase a 5-year Empire Pass for $320
Lifetime Empire Pass: $750
Do certain groups qualify for free or reduced fees?: New York State Parks offers certain discounts through the admission programs listed here. See if you meet the qualifications: http://nysparks.com/admission
Depending on the type of Empire Pass, other options include:
In-Person: (Annual only) For fastest service, visit your nearest state park (call for hours) or state park regional office. Pay by cash, check or money order payable to "NYS Parks". Most facilities will also accept credit card, though there are some exceptions.
Mail: (Annual & multi-year only) Download an application for an Empire Pass. Mail the completed form with check or money order to "NYS Parks" to your nearest state park, State Park regional office or to:
New York State Parks
Albany, NY 12238
Do Not Send Cash
By Phone: (Annual & Multi-year only) Telephone orders using a credit card will be processed by any NYS Parks regional office or by calling 518-474-0458, during normal business hours.
If placing you order for an annual or multi-year pass by mail, phone or online you will receive your pass within 7-10 days.
The Lifetime Empire Pass is issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles as an icon that will appear on your New York State Driver License, Non-Driver ID or Learner Permit. This eliminates the need for a separate document.
Upon payment and verification by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles that your New York State Motor Vehicle Client ID has no pending holds, a new Driver License, Non-Driver ID or Learner Permit will be mailed to you with the Lifetime Empire Pass icon.
You may purchase the Empire Pass icon online at: https://shop.parks.ny.gov/empirepassport
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