2015-2016 Minnesota State Parks Permit
Four seasons of outdoor fun!
A 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 a permit for other vehicles you own.
Why limit yourself to one day?
When you buy a $5 one-day permit, trade it in before you leave the park and get $5 off a year-round permit!* Already have one? Gift it—introduce a friend to unlimited good times with a year-round permit.
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What does it cost?
• $25 Annual vehicle permit
• $18 Additional annual vehicle permit
• $12 Annual special permit
• $20 Annual motorcycle permit
• $5 One-day vehicle permit
• $3 One-day group permit
• Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel can get discounted or free vehicle permits.
How can I purchase a Minnesota State Parks permit?
- DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 (Twin Cities area)
- Toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367)
- Any Minnesota state park, and purchase from self-serve kiosk* or the front office
- REI locations in Bloomington, Roseville, and Maple Grove
- Minnesota DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul
- Hennepin County Service Centers in Brooklyn Center, Edina, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, and Minnetonka
- Minnesota's Bookstore, St. Paul
* 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?
No, you may purchase either an annual or a daily permit when you arrive at the park, even if there is nobody in the office at the time.
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-registration kiosks at every Minnesota state park and recreation area for exactly this purpose, so you can always buy a permit or pay for camping, even if the park office is not staffed.
Self-registration envelopes can be used for daily or annual permits, and/or for camping. You can self-register using cash, check or credit card.
Follow the instructions on the self-registration form, put your cash, check, or credit card information for the correct amount in the envelope, and deposit it into the self-registration slot. There's a "user copy" section of the form for you to put on the dash of your vehicle as proof of compliance. Easy!
When does my annual permit expire?
A Minnesota state park vehicle permit is valid for one year, from the day it is purchased through the last day of that month one year later.
What should I do if I have more than one vehicle?
There is a reduced price annual permit for multiple vehicles. After you buy one full-price annual 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 motorcycle annual permit?
Motorcycle riders may purchase a "wallet card" type annual 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 annual 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! Daily vehicle permits that are purchased for one day expire at 10:00 p.m. and are dated the day of purchase. If you are camping overnight (or staying in a cabin or camper cabin), your daily permit will be dated with the following day's date and your vehicle may remain in the park until camping check-out time.
Can I credit my daily permit toward buying an annual permit?
Yes! You can only do this the same day you purchased your one-day permit. As long as it is still valid, a daily permit may be exchanged for a $5 credit toward the purchase of an annual permit, with a limit of one $5 credit per year-round permit.
Are there discounts for vehicles with disability tags?
Yes! If your vehicle has been issued Minnesota disability license plates or a rear-view mirror hang tag, or if you have a Federal Access Pass, you can get a reduced rate special annual vehicle permit with proof of disability and proof of vehicle ownership. If you have multiple vehicles you may purchase additional special permits at the same rate for your other vehicles. You can get the special permit from the DNR central office in St. Paul, or from a staffed office in a Minnesota state park.
If you qualify for the reduced rate special annual permit but do not have a vehicle, you may purchase a special permit "wallet card" for the same price as the special permit sticker, to be carried with you rather than affixed to a particular vehicle. Contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an application for the special permit wallet card. You will need to send the completed application back to St. Paul, and your permit will arrive in the mail.
Are there military discounts?
Yes! Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel can get discounted or free vehicle permits. Get the details.
Is there a K-12 educators' discount?
Yes! A daily 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 daily permit at the group rate of $3. Group daily 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 daily group permits in advance, and others will issue them as individual vehicles arrive at the park.
My annual 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 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 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 annual 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.