Access Pass

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The Access Pass

The Interagency Access Pass is a pass issued by the United States federal government at no cost to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. The pass grants the holder free lifetime access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five federal agencies: the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation.[1] A "permanent disability" is "a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working."[1]

At per-vehicle fee areas, the pass entitles the holder and all passengers in a non-commercial vehicle to admission.[1] At per-person fee areas, the pass entitles the holder and up to three adults to admission.[1] (Children under 16 are always admitted free.)[1] The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not sell or issue the pass, but does accept the pass as proof of eligibility for discounts related to disability.[1]

At some sites, the Access Pass provides a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees, such as campsite and guided tour fees.[1]

To obtain a pass, eligible persons must show documentation of permanent disability.[1] Documents issued by federal agencies - such as a VA award letter, VA summary of benefits, or SSDI notice of award - are accepted.[1] Document issued by a state agencies such as vocational rehabilitation agencies are also accepted.[1] However, handicapped tags are not accepted.[1] Eligible persons of any age may obtain the pass.[1]

The pass is not valid for admission to state parks,[1] but most U.S. states have similar programs providing free or discounted admission to all their state parks for disabled persons.[2]

The pass was first authorized in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, which is Division J, Title VIII of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Public Law 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809, an omnibus appropriations act.[3][4] The part creating the pass is Section 805(b)(2) of the Act:

The Secretary shall make the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass available, without charge, to any United States citizen or person domiciled in the United States who has been medically determined to be permanently disabled for purposes of section 7(20)(B)(i) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 705(20)(B)(i)), if the citizen or person provides adequate proof of the disability and such citizenship or residency. The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass made available under this subsection shall be valid for the lifetime of the passholder.[3]

This language is codified in 16 U.S.C. § 6804(b)(2).[5] Other parts of Section 805 reorganized the pass program for federal recreation areas.[3] New passes were first issued in January 2007.[6]

See also[edit]