Minnesota State Parks Permit

Image of the 2020 Minnesota State Park Annual Permit. Photo credit: Kelly Povo.

Four seasons of outdoor fun!

Purchase an entry permit online

A $35 year-round permit provides unlimited visits to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.

By purchasing a 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.

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!

Minnesota State Parks and Trails specialty license plate

Not a fan of windshield stickers? Now there's another option; the new Minnesota State Parks and Trails license plate provides you with unlimited visits to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for an entire year, without requiring a separate vehicle permit. Plus it helps fund the operations and maintenance of Minnesota state parks and trails!

Common questions

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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.

 

How can I purchase a Minnesota State Parks permit?

 

Online

Visit

  • Any Minnesota state park, and purchase from self-serve kiosk* or the front office
  • REI Stores in Bloomington, Maple Grove and Roseville

Call

  • Call Gooseberry Falls State Park at 218-595-7101

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

 

 

Do I have to have my permit in hand before I can go to the park?

 

We strongly recommend you purchase your permit before leaving home. If you need to buy one at the park, you may purchase a year-round or one-day permit from the self-service kiosk when you arrive at the park, even if there is nobody in the office at the time. Leave the "user copy" section of the form on the dash of your vehicle as proof of purchase.

If you bought your permit online or over the phone, it will come in the mail. Until it arrives, 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 permit at the park but there's nobody in the office?

 

Not a problem! There are self-service kiosks at every Minnesota state park and recreation area for exactly this purpose, so you can always buy a permit, even if the park office is not staffed.

Payment envelopes can be used for one-day or year-round permits. You can pay using cash, check or credit card.

Follow the instructions on the sign and envelope, put your cash, check, or credit card information for the correct amount in the envelope, and deposit it into the payment slot. Leave the "user copy" section of the form on the dash of your vehicle as proof of purchase.

 

 

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.

 

 

Can I camp overnight if I only have a one-day permit?

 

Yes! For day use visitors, one-day permits are dated with the day of purchase and expire at 10:00 p.m.

If you are staying overnight, when you purchase your one-day permit it will be dated with the following day's date, and your vehicle may remain in the park until camping or lodging check-out time.

 

 

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.

To get the reduced rate, you will need to show:

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

You can get your discounted permit from the DNR central office in St. Paul, from a staffed office at a Minnesota state park, or by calling Gooseberry Falls State Park at 218-595-7101, or emailing [email protected]. Please put "Disability Tag" in the subject line.

If you qualify for the reduced rate 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.

Disability permit wallet card application

 

 

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, providing unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.

You can apply for a military permit at the DNR central office in St. Paul, at any staffed Minnesota state park office, or by calling Gooseberry Falls State Park at 218-595-7101, or emailing [email protected]. Please put "Military Discount" in the subject line.

Required documentation:

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

Bring your paperwork with you and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive to buy your permit.

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.

 

 

Is there a group rate?

 

Yes! If you have ten vehicles or more in your group, each one can purchase a one-day 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.

 

 

My year-round permit got lost or damaged. Will you replace it?

 

Damaged permits will only be replaced if you bring the actual damaged permit to a state park or to the DNR central office in St. Paul. It must be identifiable as a current year-round permit, show the type of permit (regular or special), display the month it expires, and contain at least part of the serial number. If these conditions are all met, you will be given a free replacement permit that is punched the same month as your damaged year-round permit.

Lost vehicle permits or vehicle permits damaged too badly to meet the above conditions will not be replaced for free. You may purchase a reduced price year-round permit for multiple vehicles as a replacement.

 

 

I'm here for contract work. Do I need a 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 manager well in advance to see if this is an option for your specific circumstances.

 

 

What vehicles are exempt from needing a permit?

 

The only vehicles not required to have some sort of valid Minnesota state park 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.

 

 

What is the image on the permit and who took the photo?

 

The 2020 permit photo features bloodroot, an early spring wildflower. It was taken at Kilen Woods State Park by Kelly Povo.