REGION– Starting next year, Michigan residents will pay $14 for the Recreation Passport – just a dollar more for a year’s worth of vehicle access to state parks and recreation areas and a host of other state-managed outdoor destinations.
The moderate fee change is the result of a statutory provision that ensures Recreation Passport funding keeps pace with the economy. Basically, the law says that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not determine the cost of the Recreation Passport; instead, adjustments are based on the Detroit Consumer Price Index, as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Recreation Passport is valid for 12 months when purchased at time of license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State. Although some residents have already received their registration renewal notices (reflecting the old fee), the new rate takes effect Jan. 1 for all in-person and online transactions.
The nonresident Recreation Passport fee annual pass also will increase slightly, from $39 to $40, but the nonresident daily pass will stay at $11.
The monies generated by the Recreation Passport goes into a restricted fund that supports state park infrastructure and operations, a local grant program for community recreation agencies, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized pathways and trails, cultural and historic resource restoration, and marketing and promotion.
Even at $14, the new resident Recreation Passport fee is more than 40% lower than the $24 people routinely paid in 2010 for the state parks window sticker – the program that the Recreation Passport replaced. Compared against the cost of annual state park passes in other states – Indiana ($50), Minnesota ($35), New York ($80) and Wisconsin ($28).
Learn more about the Recreation Passport – what it costs, associated fees, how to get it, what it supports and where it can take you and what it supports – at Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.