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MDNR Report

For just $11 (or $6 for motorcycles) a year, Michigan's Recreation Passport enables Michigan-registered vehicles access to more than 100 state parks, hundreds of miles of trails, historic sites, boat launches and other state-managed destinations. That's just 3 cents a day for a years' worth of outdoor exploration.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the Michigan DNR will add a $5 convenience fee for resident Recreation Passport purchases made at state parks. This is the same fee Secretary of State charges when a resident adds a Recreation Passport to a vehicle outside the annual registration renewal cycle.

To avoid paying the convenience fee, customers can buy the Recreation Passport online at expressSOS.com, by mail, at a self-service station or in person at a branch office at the time of registration renewal. If a customer wants to add a Recreation Passport to a vehicle after it's registered, they can return to Secretary of State or visit a state park and have it issued for $16 ($11 Recreation Passport plus $5 convenience fee for vehicles) or $11 for motorcycles ($6 Recreation Passport plus $5 processing fee).

An additional benefit for residents who purchase the Recreation Passport during registration renewal is 12 months of access and value, as opposed to buying at the park later in the year and missing out on a full year of outdoor recreation benefits.

To save time and boost convenience, the DNR has always encouraged residents to purchase their Recreation Passport at the same time they renew their Michigan vehicle registrations through Secretary of State, rather than at state parks, said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Reducing the number of Recreation Passport purchases on-site at state parks will improve visitor traffic flow by reducing waits at park entrances.

Olson said the $5 convenience fee will be assessed on Recreation Passport purchases at all state parks except Belle Isle, because that parks entry fee was introduced only recently into the state park management system.

Recreation Passport sales along with revenue generated from camping fees are a key source of funding for Michigan's state park system.