By Ursula Nizalowski
In April of 2021, the Colorado Legislature passed a bipartisan legislation that will give an automatic Colorado State Parks pass to anyone who registers or renews their vehicle’s registration in 2023. This legislation went into effect on New Year’s Day of this year, and is currently available. Why it was implemented was to “offer a lower-cost park pass option” and expand “accessibility to the outdoors for more Coloradans” according to The Coloradoan . But some of you might have questions about the specifics of this pass and aren’t sure whether it’s worth it or not. Fortunately, this article should be able to provide the answers you need.
What’s the Deal?
How the automatic pass works is that an additional fee will be added to the other fees that come
with the Colorado DMV’s vehicle registration/renewal process. This fee is $29, which may
sound like a lot but keep in mind that it “offers a 60% savings over the cost of a traditional
Colorado Parks and Wildlife pass” says Arapahoe County News . Plus, it can be opted out if the
person doesn’t want the pass. Now the downsides are that the pass can’t be transferred between
registered vehicles and it’s only offered to Colorado residents.
Where Does the Money Go?
Apart from making it more easy and affordable for people to visit Colorado’s beautiful state
parks, the other purpose behind the legislation is to fund state park maintenance and wildlife
preservation efforts . So that means every person who pays for the $29 fee for the automatic pass
will have that money go towards the state parks’ funds. Then depending on how much money is made, it will be placed into specific programs that accomplish different things. For instance, The
Coloradoan states “Revenue above $36 million will be split equally between the Parks Cash
Fund for projects like building new state parks and trails and the Wildlife Cash Fund to manage
vulnerable species, including wolves”.
How to Get Your Vehicle Registered
The vehicles that the parks pass fee is automatically applied to include “passenger vehicles, light
trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles” says The Coloradoan , while “other vehicles like
snowmobiles, boats or OHVs” don’t require purchasing the pass. As for vehicle registration, it’s
generally done through the DMV. But fortunately, there are many options where one can either
go to the DMV in person to register the vehicle, do it online, through the mail, or even with a
customer service representative on the phone.
Other Ways to Get a Parks Pass
For those who decide to opt out of getting the automatic parks pass, there are other means of
obtaining a pass for future park visits. Currently, the rate is $10 for a daily pass and $80 for an
annual pass . But if you want more information on the different park passes that are available,
feel free to check out the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website. And if there are any lingering questions about vehicle registration or park passes in general, be sure to contact attorney Rick Wagner .