Recreation Passport vehicle fee to increase on March 1

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 12:04 PM EST
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MICHIGAN (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Friday, Feb. 10, that the Recreation Passport resident vehicle fee is to increase by $1 on March 1. This is the first increase since 2020.

The Recreation Passport gives year-round vehicle access to 100-plus state parks and recreation areas, more than 1,000 state-managed boating access sites, 140-plus state forest campgrounds, and parking at thousands of miles of trails and other outdoor spaces.

“The Recreation Passport model, introduced in 2010, provides a unique funding opportunity for the state’s parks and recreation system,” said Ron Olson, DNR parks and recreation chief.

The fee change is a result of a statutory provision that ensures Recreation Passport funding keeps pace with the economy. Fee adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The notice of change was provided by the Michigan Department of Treasury in Nov.

“The annual resident Recreation Passport was tied to the Secretary of State’s vehicle registration process,” Olson said. “Not only was the purchasing opportunity put in front of more residents, but the cost per vehicle also dropped significantly. That shift resulted in more purchases that ultimately better support these outdoor spaces and protect natural and cultural resources for the next generation.”

Starting March 1, the fee will increase:

  • From $12 to $13 for vehicles.
  • From $6 to $7 for motorcycles.
  • From $24 to $26 for two-year vehicle registrations.

All revenue generated by Recreation Passport sales goes into a restricted fund that supports state park infrastructure and operations, a local grant program for community recreation agencies, state forest campgrounds and nonmotorized pathways and trails, cultural and historic resource restoration, and marketing and promotion.

Olson also said Michigan state parks are largely self-supporting. Approximately 97 percent of state parks funding is generated by user fees, which includes the Recreation Passport. Royalty revenues, which makes up the other three percent, comes from Michigan’s General Fund tax dollars.

To learn more about the Recreation Passport, how to get it, where it can take you, and what it supports, visit the DNR’s website.

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