Discover Pass Exemptions and Exceptions
Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, you may not need the Discover Pass if:
- You are camping in a Washington state park.
Your camping reservation stub or camping fee receipt serves as your permit for the duration of your stay in the park where you have paid for a campsite, vacation house, environmental learning center, yurt or cabin. If you visit other state parks in the area, you will need an annual or one-day Discover Pass.
- You already have one of the following passes or permits:
- A Vehicle Access Pass. This pass is issued with most hunting and fishing licenses and provides motor vehicle access to lands managed by WDFW. (You will still need a Discover Pass to access lands managed by DNR and State Parks.)
- State Parks pass (disabled veterans, people with disabilities, and qualified limited-income senior citizens). The Washington State Legislature created pass programs for certain visitors to Washington state parks. (You will still need a Discover Pass to access lands managed by WDFW or DNR.)
- Disability placards or license plates. The Department of Licensing issues Washington state disability permits and license plates, and holders of these are exempt from needing the Discover Pass on State Parks lands. Holders of these permits and plates will need the Discover Pass to access lands managed by WDFW and DNR. Learn more.
- Natural Investment Permit. This permit allows you to launch your boat from a State Parks boat launch. If you have this annual permit, you will not need a Discover Pass in a state park. You will need the Discover Pass for boat launches managed by DNR and WDFW, and you will need the Discover Pass if you are launching in a state park using a daily launch permit. Learn more.
Note: Federal recreational lands passes and the Northwest Forest Pass are not valid for access to state recreation lands.
- You are driving an off-road vehicle (ORV) with the required ORV tabs.
Generally, ORVs are non-street-legal vehicles. A Discover Pass is required for the street-legal vehicle that transports your ORV to a state recreation site. The trailer does not require a pass. Street-licensed vehicles, such as dual-sport motorcycles or four-wheel-drive vehicle, will be required to display a pass.
- You have a business agreement with one of the agencies.
Individuals with leases, easements and other contracts may not need a Discover Pass if their contract with the agency specifically exempts them from the pass. The agencies will issue an agency business pass in these circumstances.
- You drive or park on ocean beaches.
However, the pass is required in developed State Parks parking areas.
- You volunteer on state recreation lands.
Volunteers who work 24 hours or more on agency-approved projects are eligible for a complimentary Discover Pass. The pass is not needed to participate in eligible volunteer projects. Ask the volunteer coordinator for a temporary pass to use during your volunteer work. Learn more.
- You visit a Washington state park on a ‘Free Day.’
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission provides “free days” each year when you do not need a Discover Pass for day access to parks.The State Parks “free days” are chosen to provide some weekend, holiday and seasonal opportunities. Examples include:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. day (January)
- Washington State Parks Birthday (March)
- Earth Day (April)
- Warm-season weekend day
- National Trails Day and WDFW Free Fishing Weekend (June)
- National Get Outdoors Day (June)
A Discover Pass is still required on these days to access lands managed by DNR and WDFW.
Still have questions? Visit our frequently asked questions or call the Discover Pass customer service office at (866) 320-9933.