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 74 million visitors each year. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation operates more than 250 state parks, historic sites, boat launches and nature centers encompassing over 350,000 acres.
A wallet-size Empire Pass Card that can be shared within a household is now available. It's a family-friendly alternative to the traditional window decal, and not assigned to a specific vehicle. The card can be used by parents, grandparents, caregivers and others.
NEW! Available Online Only — We are now offering the option to purchase a Digital Empire Pass available for immediate use with the NYS Parks Explorer App at an additional discount! Simply choose the digital option when you order, navigate to our Digital Pass Lookup Page, and provide the information requested. A QR code will be provided which can be scanned into the NY State Parks Explorer App. For instructions to download the app, please view the brief how-to video.
- 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 season, multi-season or lifetime.
- 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.
- Please refer to the Empire Pass Guidelines for Use and the Empire Pass Frequently Asked Questions for pass replacement, volume sales and other important information.
When does the Empire Pass Card expire?
Empire Pass Cards expire December 31st of the final year for which they are purchased.
Lifetime Empire Passes do not expire.
What type of technology does the Empire Pass Card contain? Does it store any personal information?
The Empire Pass Card contains an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. This technology allows the card to be scanned and accepted at facilities with automated pay stations and/or scanners used by staff. The RFID chip does not contain any personal information. It stores only the card's 6-digit serial number, and whether the card is in an active or inactive status.
Can I use the Empire Pass Card to gain facility entrance for multiple vehicles at the same time?
The Empire Pass is usable for one vehicle (including motorcycles) entrance fee at a time. It cannot be used for other vehicles entering the park with that vehicle/shortly after that vehicle has entered.
I purchased a multi-season Empire Pass, will I still receive a new card?
No, you will no longer need to wait for your card to be mailed each year. Your card will be active until December 31st of the last season of your multi-season purchase. When your multi-season pass expires after the allotted time, you can simply renew the card again.
How do I know if my pass is due to expire?
Follow this link to check on your current pass(es). Check Pass Expiration Date
Can I use the Empire Pass for special events, camping or overnight parking?
The Empire Pass does not guarantee vehicle entry into the park when special events occur and are operated by other organizations. It excludes camping, overnight parking, golf, museum or historic site admission and other special activity fees.
What happens when I purchase the Empire Pass or want to renew the Empire Pass as a gift?
There is no name printed on the Empire Pass so the recipient of the card as a gift can use it immediately. If they choose to reuse the card next season, they will need email [email protected] to renew their pass and request that the identifying information be changed. This will allow us to maintain accurate records should the pass need to be renewed or replaced.
Can someone also use my Lifetime Empire Pass?
Each Lifetime Empire Pass holder is issued an Empire Pass Card for use at our facilities. The Empire Pass Card can be shared within a household. The maple leaf icon on an individual's New York State Driver's License or Non-Driver ID is a vanity icon.
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 normal business hours. Learn more about Long Island regional permits on the NYS Parks website.
For answers to other frequently asked questions, visit:
Please refer to the Empire Pass Guidelines for Use.
All Empire Pass products are non-returnable and non-refundable after purchase.
- Online: Order Online Renew My Pass Online
- In-Person (annual pass only): Sales begin April 1st. Visit your nearest state park (call for hours and credit card capability) or state park regional office. Pay by credit card, check or money order payable to "NYS Parks" or cash.
- Mail: Complete and mail an application with check or money order payable to "NYS Parks" to:
New York State Parks
Albany, NY 12238
Please note: Empire Passes purchased by check will be processed after the check is cleared for sufficient funds. Please allow for a longer wait time for delivery. (2-3 weeks)
- Purchase a 1-season Empire Pass for $80
- Purchase a 3-season Empire Pass for $205
- Purchase a 5-season Empire Pass for $320
- Purchase a Lifetime Empire Pass for $750
GO GREEN! If you saved your Empire Pass card, you now have the option to renew and receive a discount! Offered Online ONLY. Click here and follow the instructions to Renew My Pass! If you have an existing empire pass card check my expiration date
Lifetime Empire Pass
The Lifetime Empire Pass is issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles as a a vanity icon that will appear on your New York State Diver License, Non-Driver ID or Learner Permit.
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 Maple Leaf icon.
Note: The online order confirmation letter is not acceptable for admission. Only the physical or digital Empire Pass will waive the vehicle entrance fee. The Lifetime Empire Pass is not refundable and not transferrable.
You may purchase the Lifetime Empire pass online at: https://shop.parks.ny.gov/store/passes/lifetime-empire-passport