Enjoy NY State on the cheap with the New York State Empire Passport. It’s a little-known pass for unlimited visits and vehicle access to more than 200 state parks and forest preserves. The passport also includes access to most state-operated boat launch sites, arboretums and seashores.
If you drive to visit a New York state park more than three times a year, the $65 annual pass will save you money on parking and admission fees, since you are allowed to bring as many friends or family who fit in your vehicle. There’s also a three-year pass for $165.
Another perk is that Empire Passport holders can apply for custom I Love NY license plates.
The Empire Passport is valid from one year starting April 1 through March 31 of the following year, and there are no discounts for applying for part of the 12 months. Special activity fees for camping, golf and such are not included.
Unlike the National Park Service passport, which is a booklet much like your US Passport for travel, the NY State passport must be permanently attached to the driver’s side window in the front or rear of the car, or on the left side of motorcycles, or inside the hull of a boat.
Click here for information on how to register and purchase, online or by mail.
Click here to see where the NY State Empire Passport is accepted.
Note to Gov. Andrew Cuomo – This passport discriminates against New York City residents who do not own vehicles, but still like to visit NY State parks and forest preserves in a rental car. You should make this NY State Empire Passport portable, like EZ-Pass and the National Park Service pass.
If you agree with NYC on the Cheap about this, add a comment, below, and we’ll be sure the powers-that-be in Albany find out.