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  • Writer's pictureArwen Rasmussen

Veteran Benefits & News

Military-Lifetime National Parks Pass

- Gold Star Families are next of kin of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost his or her life in a “qualifying situation,” such as a war, an international terrorist attack, or a military operation outside of the United States while serving with the United States Armed Forces, as explained in Department of Defense Instruction 1348.36

- Gold Star Family members must self-certify by applying for a Military-Lifetime Pass online at or downloading and printing a special voucher to either present to the ranger, exchange for a Military Pass in person, or place on the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites. Gold Star Vouchers may be downloaded from

  • Obtained in person at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.

  • Covers entrance fees at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites and covers Standard Amenity Fees at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation sites, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites.

  • Admits the pass owner and any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults (16 and over) at sites that charge per person.

  • If purchased from the USGS Store, your name will be printed on your pass.

Required Documentation 

Individuals who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and are able to present one of the following valid non-expired forms of identification when entering or using federal lands:

  • Department of Defense Identification Card (DD Form 2, DD Form 2765, or Next Generation USID replacement)

  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)

  • Veteran ID Card

  • Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S.driver’s license or identification card

- When acquiring a pass in person, the actual IDs listed above must be presented. As of September 2022, the VA only provides a digital version of the #3 Veteran ID Card. When acquiring a pass online, photocopies or digital images are accepted. Form DD-214 is not accepted.

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