LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation Passport is set to see a slight price increase beginning next month. The passport, introduced in 2010, gives drivers year-round vehicle access to over 100 state parks and recreation areas, over 1,000 state-managed boating access sites, 140-plus state forest campgrounds, and parking at thousands of miles of trails and other outdoor locations.

Starting March 1, 2023, the Recreation Passport will see the following changes:

  • Increase from $12 to $13 for one-year vehicle pass
  • Increase from $6 to $7 for one-year motorcycle pass
  • Increase from $24 to $26 for two-year vehicle registrations

An additional $5 convenience fee is also in effect when the Recreation Passport is purchased at a state park or recreation area instead of at the time of your license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State.

Fees for the passport last increased in 2020. Additionally, the annual price of an annual pass for non-Michigan residents increased from $36 to $39 on January 1, 2023.

The DNR wrote the following in a release regarding the reason for the increase in price:

The moderate fee change is a result of a statutory provision that ensures Recreation Passport funding keeps pace with the economy. Basically, the law says that the DNR does not determine the cost of the Recreation Passport; instead, 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 November.

“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. “In essence, the annual resident Recreation Passport was tied to the Secretary of State’s vehicle registration process. 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.”

The DNR says 40% of eligible Michigan vehicles has the Recreation Passport. Revenue from the program 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.

Last December, grants generated by the Recreation Passport were awarded for projects at Meadowbrook Arena in L’Anse and Ford River Township Park in Delta County.

You can learn more about the Recreation Passport here.