Minnesota state parks vehicle permit

Image of the 2021 Minnesota State Park Annual Permit.

Buy a vehicle permit online

A $35 year-round vehicle 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 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!

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

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. Please call ahead to check availability. 

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 vehicle permit before I can go to the park?

We strongly recommend you purchase your vehicle permit before leaving home. If you need to buy one at the park, you may purchase a year-round or one-day vehicle 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 vehicle 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 vehicle 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 vehicle 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 vehicle permit?

Yes! For day use visitors, one-day vehicle 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 vehicle 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 vehicle permit 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 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.

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 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 vehicle 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 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.

Are there any other discounts, like for seniors?

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

My year-round vehicle permit got lost. 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 staffed state park or by calling Gooseberry Falls State Park at 218-595-7101.

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 a staffed state park, or you may mail it in.

For more information about replacement by mail, call Gooseberry Falls State Park at 218-595-7101 or email [email protected]. Please put “replacement permit” in the subject line.

If your car was in an accident and you cannot remove the vehicle permit to return it, please contact Gooseberry Falls State Park.

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 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.