Californians Can Now Check Out a FREE Vehicle Pass From a Local Library to See 200+ Breathtaking State Parks w/Friends

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The California Department of Parks and Recreation is calling all Californians. The California State Library Parks Pass program allows individuals to check out a free vehicle day-use pass at various local public libraries. [i]
Mendocino Headlands State ParkSrishti Sethi/Wikimedia Commons

State Parks has recently partnered with the First Partner's Office and the California State Library. This partnership allows library-card holders to check out a free vehicle day-use pass. Typically, this pass would cost $35. Additionally, the pass allows individuals vehicle entry to more than 200 participating state park locations. [ii]
Emerald Bay State ParkJesseriver73/Wikimedia Commons

A quick visit to the local library can solve the issue of individuals who do not have a library card. Library cards are free to obtain. Each library has guidelines and policies for returning the pass. Individuals can find their local public library by visiting the library's branch's webpage. Passes are, unfortunately, not available at the California State Library. [iii]

The state also provides an interactive map for locating nearby public libraries and state parks that accept the California State Library Parks Pass. Nonparticipating parks are also listed on the website. The video below provides more information on obtaining a State Park Pass.

Once obtained, the pass entitles an individual to a free vehicle day-use entry for a single passenger vehicle. The vehicle must have a capacity of nine people or less. [iv]

There are, however, a few caveats that park-goers should be aware of. First, the pass is not valid at state park units "operated by federal or local government and private agencies or concessionaires." [v]

Additionally, the pass covers only the vehicle fee. It does not cover "per-person entry or tour fees (such as museums), boat use, camping, group use or sites, special events, additional/extra vehicle fees, sanitation disposal use or for supplemental fees." [vi]


[i] California State Library, Parks Pass Program, (2022)

[ii] California Department of Parks and Recreation, California State Library Parks Pass, (2022)

[iii] Id.

[iv] Id.

[v] Id.

[vi] Id.

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Currently pursuing a Juris Doctor at Western State, writer Charnell Gilchrist is writing her way through law school.

Aliso Viejo, CA

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