Minnesota state parks vehicle permit

You can buy vehicle permits online.
Buy your permit now
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A $35 year-round vehicle permit provides unlimited visits to every Minnesota state park and recreation area for a full year from the month of purchase.

By purchasing a vehicle permit, you help maintain and improve the natural resources, facilities, and education and outreach programs that make Minnesota's state parks among the best in the nation.

Vehicle permits are valid for one year from the month of purchase. Plus, you can receive a discount on additional year-round permits for other vehicles you own.

Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast? Purchase a gift card!

The 2024 Minnesota state park annual vehicle permit, featuring a dragonfly silhouetted by the sunrise at Big Stone Lake State Park.

What does it cost?
  • $35 Year-round vehicle permit
  • $26 Additional year-round vehicle permit
  • $30 Year-round motorcycle permit
  • $7 One-day vehicle permit
  • $5 One-day group permit
  • Minnesota residents with disabilities that have a Federal Access Pass or a Minnesota-issued disability license or hang tag can get a $12 year-round permit. 
  • Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel can get discounted or free vehicle permits.
Where can I purchase a Minnesota State Parks permit?

Online

In person

  • At any staffed and open Minnesota state park office. Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week.
  • At the Minnesota DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. 
  • At REI stores in Bloomington, Maple Grove and Roseville. Please call ahead to check availability. 
Do I have to have my vehicle permit before I can go to the park?

We strongly recommend you purchase your vehicle permit before leaving home, as park offices can be busy places and may not be open when you arrive. If you need to buy a vehicle permit at the park and there is nobody in the office, you can buy one online following the instructions on the self-service kiosk.

If you bought your vehicle permit online, it will come in the mail. Print the temporary permit and use it until your permanent one arrives. If you can't print the temporary permit, or if you bought your vehicle permit over the phone, just write your purchase confirmation number on a sheet of paper and leave it visible on your vehicle dash when you are in a park.

What do I do if I need to buy a vehicle permit at the park but there's nobody in the office?

If you need to buy a vehicle permit at the park and there is nobody in the office, you can buy one online following the instructions on the self-service kiosk.* 

Follow the instructions on the sign to complete an online payment and display your confirmation number on the dash of your vehicle.

* NOTE: Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area and Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area do not have self-service kiosks.

When does my year-round permit expire?

Your year-round Minnesota state park vehicle permit is valid from the day it is purchased through the last day of that same month one year later.

What should I do if I have more than one vehicle?

There is a reduced price year-round permit for multiple vehicles. After you buy one full-price year-round vehicle permit, you may purchase as many multiple-vehicle permits as needed for additional vehicles you own. (Vehicles must all be under the same ownership to qualify.)

Regardless of when you purchase them, your multiple-vehicle permits will be punched with the same month as your first permit, so they will all expire in the same month.

What's different about the year-round motorcycle permit?

Motorcycle riders may purchase a "wallet card" type year-round permit. The motorcycle license plate number is written on the back of the card, which you will need to carry and present upon request.

Motorcyclists may also purchase regular and multiple-vehicle year-round permits, but these permits are not wallet style and must be affixed to your motorcycle.

What about the specialty license plate?

Not a fan of windshield stickers? Now there's another option! The Minnesota State Parks and Trails license plate provides you with unlimited visits to every Minnesota state park and recreation area for an entire year, without requiring a separate vehicle permit. Plus it helps fund the operations and maintenance of Minnesota's state parks and trails.

Do I need to buy a year-round vehicle permit if I just want to camp for one night?

No. If you are staying overnight you can purchase an overnight vehicle permit for the same price as the one-day permit. It will be valid for the date of purchase through 4 p.m. the following day. Your vehicle may remain in the park until camping or lodging check-out time.

You will still need a camping reservation to stay overnight; your vehicle permit provides park access but does not include or guarantee any kind of campsite access. 

I accidentally lost or threw away my year-round vehicle permit before I stuck it on my windshield. Will you replace it?

Lost vehicle permits will not be replaced for free. You may purchase a reduced price year-round permit for multiple vehicles as a replacement. This permit can be purchased at any open and staffed state park, or at the DNR license center in St. Paul. Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week.

Regardless of when you purchase them, multiple vehicle permits will be punched with the same month as your first permit.

I’m buying a new vehicle or need to replace my windshield. Can I get a replacement vehicle permit?

To request a replacement, you must bring the actual permit to an open and staffed state park office, or you may mail it to us. If your car was in an accident and you cannot remove the vehicle permit to return it, please mail a photo of the permit and the accident report to:
Minnesota DNR, Parks and Trails Division
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Are there discounts for vehicles with disability tags?

Yes! Minnesota residents can get a reduced rate year-round vehicle permit for $12. If you own multiple vehicles you may purchase additional permits at the same rate for other vehicles in your name.

You will need the following documents to prove eligibility:

  • A Minnesota-issued disability license plate OR disability hang tag OR Federal Access Pass; AND
  • Proof of vehicle ownership.

To get the discount, you will need to first show your documents to DNR staff. You can do this at the DNR license center in St. Paul, or at any staffed and open Minnesota state park office - be sure to bring your paperwork with you! Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week.

If you have questions, leave a voicemail for the permit fulfillment center at 218-595-7118. Be sure to mention "disability tag" in your message. 

If you qualify for the reduced rate vehicle permit but do not have a vehicle, you may purchase a "wallet card" for the same price, to be carried with you rather than affixed to a particular vehicle.  Wallet cards can only be purchased by calling the fulfillment center at 218-595-7118 or emailing [email protected] - they are not available at the DNR license center or in the parks.

Disability permit wallet card application

More information about DNR discounts for people with disabilities

Are there military discounts?

Yes! Active military personnel and their dependents in any branch or unit of the United States Armed Forces, veterans with a service-related disability, and Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a free year-round vehicle permit that provides unlimited access to all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.

You will need one of the following documents to prove eligibility:

  • Current military orders, plus military ID; OR
  • Federal government Access Pass to federal recreational sites, plus military ID; OR
  • A copy of your determination letter or Veterans Affairs Healthcare ID indicating a service-connected disability, plus a photo ID.

To get the discount, you will need to first show your documents to DNR staff. You can do this at the DNR license center in St. Paul, or at any staffed and open Minnesota state park office - be sure to bring your paperwork with you! Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week.

If you have questions, leave a voicemail for the permit fulfillment center at 218-595-7118. Be sure to mention "military discount" in your message. 

Military permit application

More information about DNR military benefits.

Is there a K-12 educators' discount?

Yes! A one-day vehicle permit will be issued free of charge for any vehicle transporting K-12 students, chaperones, teachers and coaches for school sanctioned activities.

This permit must be pre-arranged with the park you will be visiting. Contact park staff well in advance of the date of your field trip to work through any additional details. Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week. 

Is there a group rate?

Yes! If you have ten vehicles or more in your group, each one can purchase a one-day vehicle permit at the group rate of $5. One-day group permits expire at 10:00 p.m. on the day of purchase and may not be used for an overnight stay.

Contact the park at least 24 hours before you arrive. Some parks may issue one-day group permits in advance, and others will issue them as individual vehicles arrive at the park. Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week. Plan ahead, as you will need to speak to someone at the park before your group arrives. 

Is there a bulk rate for annual permits?

Yes! If you are buying 50 or more permits, they are $30 each instead of $35. 

To order a large number of permits - even if you are ordering fewer than 50 and do not qualify for the bulk discount - email [email protected] with your name, phone number, and the number of annual permits you'd like to purchase. Put "Bulk Permits" in the subject line. We will call you to complete your bulk permit order within the next ten business days. 

Is there a discount for tribal members?

Yes! Any member of the 11 federally recognized tribes in Minnesota is eligible for a free vehicle permit, providing unlimited access to all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. You will need to present one of the following forms of tribal identification at any open and staffed Minnesota state park office, or at the DNR license center in St. Paul:

  • Tribal ID; OR
  • Certificate of Indian Blood; OR
  • Tribal license plate; OR
  • 1854 Treaty Authority window cling; OR
  • 1854 Treaty Authority hunting, fishing, gathering card.
Are there any other discounts, like for seniors?

No, there are no discounts other than those listed on this page.

Can I check out a vehicle permit from my library?
Maybe! We are collaborating with regional library systems to provide free seven-day state park vehicle permits for checkout in select areas. This program is currently available at over one hundred libraries around the state - find out if your library is participating in the program.
I'm here for contract work. Do I need a vehicle permit?

Employee vehicles and contractors' vehicles are legally required to display a valid vehicle permit, just like any other visitor's vehicle. If you are working in the park under the direction of the park manager, you may be able to get a "work permit" to meet this requirement. Contact the park office well in advance to see if this is an option for your specific circumstances. Keep in mind that not every park office is staffed seven days a week.

What vehicles are exempt from needing a permit?

The only vehicles not required to have some sort of valid Minnesota state park vehicle permit associated with them are Minnesota state-owned vehicles that have white and black "Minnesota State Vehicle" license plates AND are at the park on official business; and law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances while they are on official business.

How do I get help accessing my online account?

If you're having issues creating a new account or logging into an existing account on mndnr.gov/reservations, call 866-857-2757.

Help! I have a problem with a permit I purchased online.

For the following issues, email [email protected] with your name, mailing address and purchase confirmation number. We'll look it up and get back to you. 

I purchased an annual permit online over 30 days ago but I haven't received it yet.

Put "Didn't Receive Permit" in the subject line when you email us. We will look up your purchase and send your permit to you. If you purchased your permit through a self-pay station at a park (not online), you will need to contact the park directly to resolve the issue. Continue to use your temporary permit or confirmation number until you receive your permit sticker.

I purchased a permit online but didn't receive a confirmation email/temporary permit.

Confirmation emails are sent from this address: [email protected]. It may have gone to your spam or junk folder - check there first before you email us. If you find your missing confirmation there, please whitelist that email address so it doesn't happen again with any future purchases. If you still can't find the confirmation, put "Confirmation" in the subject line when you email us, and we'll resend your confirmation email and temporary permit within three business days.

After placing my permit order online, I realized that my mailing address is incorrect.

Put "Wrong Mailing Address" in the subject line when you email us. Continue to use your temporary permit or confirmation number until you receive your vehicle permit.

I have a question that wasn't addressed on this page - what should I do?

Email your question to [email protected]. Please use the subject line to describe your issue, and be sure to share your name, phone number, and if applicable, your purchase confirmation number. We'll get back to you within two business days.

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