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Park Pass Exchange FAQ's

Q: What is the Park Pass Exchange?
A:  The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) is modernizing the way it manages the Distinguished Veteran (DVP) and Disabled Discount (DDP) pass programs. On June 1, 2017, State Parks began issuing new credit card design passes for current DVP and DDP pass holders as part of its transition to California’s new reservation system: ReserveCalifornia™.

State Parks is asking current pass holders to visit one of 47 designated state park locations to work with department staff to create a new online profile and exchange their current pass for the new credit card design pass. It is important to note that current pass holders under the DVP and DDP programs may continue using their passes for ReserveAmerica camping reservations through July 26, 2017. Individuals may also use their current pass for walk-up (first-come, first-serve) camping and day use through Feb. 28, 2018. Old passes will not be valid after these dates. View Participating Locations

Note: Beginning at midnight on July 26, 2017, the Pass Exchange program for California State Parks’ DVP and DDP will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1, 2017.

During this time, all existing reservations will be honored with your old DVP or DDP passes. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017.

The 47 designated locations will be unavailable for the Pass Exchange and issuance of new DVP and DDP discount passes from midnight July 26, 2017 through July 31, 2017, and will resume pass exchanges and issuing new passes on August 1, 2017.  

Q: If I am a Disabled Discount pass holder, what documents do I need to present for the Pass Exchange?
A: If you have a Disabled Discount Pass, please bring the following documentation to a designated state park location:

  • Disabled Discount Pass (copies not accepted) AND
  • Valid state-issued driver license or suitable photo identification (interim/temporary not accepted) issued by the state, federal government or a school AND
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Permanently Disabled Status. Valid non-joint vehicle registration stating disabled status/license or valid Disabled Person Placard Identification Card/Receipt containing the name of disabled person (copy of placard will NOT be accepted) OR
  • Ask your physician to complete the Doctor Certification in Section III of our Disabled Discount Pass application. The DDP application is located on DPR’s website at www.parks.ca.gov/passes.

Q: What happens if I am a Disabled Discount pass holder and I live out of the state or country and I do not have the supporting documents to do the exchange?
A: You will have to reapply with a new application, current/valid supporting documents and application fees. Old DDP pass must be submitted with the application (photocopies of old pass will not be accepted; including faxes). Applications may be submitted to the department by mail or in person at one of the designated locations.

California Department of Parks and Recreation
Attn: Disabled Discount Pass Program
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Q: If I am a Distinguished Veteran pass holder, what documents do I need to have for the Pass Exchange?
A: If you have a Distinguished Veteran Pass, please bring the following documentation to a designated state park location:

  • Disabled Discount Pass (copies not accepted) AND
  • Valid California Driver License or California Identification Card showing veteran’s current California residence address (interim/temporary not accepted) AND
  • Valid U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Identification Card.

Q: What documents do I need if I am a Distinguished Veteran pass holder and I have a P.O. Box Address?
A: You will need to provide proof of current California residency, using one of the methods below. Dates on acceptable document must be current (dated within 90 days) and bear the veteran’s name and corresponding physical address provided on the exchange application form:

  • VA Disability Compensation/Pension monthly statement for most recent month will applicant’s name and California residence address clearly displayed; OR
  • Current property tax bill showing homeowners property tax exemption filed in California; OR
  • California Voter Registration card or affidavit from Registrar of voters; OR
  • Form 1098T, Tuition Payments Statement showing California resident in-state tuition paid for most recent tax year; OR
  • Utility bill (electricity, gas or cable) statement of charges for most recent month; OR
  • Signed, dated and notarized rental agreement/contract.

Q: I am currently a Golden Bear or Limited Use Golden Bear pass holder. Do I need to exchange my pass?
A:  No. 2017 Calendar Year Golden Bear or Limited Use Golden Bear pass holders do not need to exchange their passes. When you apply for the 2018 Calendar Year Golden Bear or Limited Use Golden Bear Pass, you will receive the newly designed credit card style pass.

Q: What will happen if I do not exchange my pass before August 1, 2017?
A: DDP and DVP pass holders must exchange their passes by August 1, 2017 in order to access to the new reservation system, ReserveCalifornia™.  Below are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • You may continue using your current pass for camping reservations through July 26, 2017.
  • You may also use your current pass for walk-up (first-come, first-serve) camping and day use through February 28, 2018. Old passes will not be valid after these dates.

Note: Beginning at midnight on July 26, 2017, the Pass Exchange program for California State Parks’ DVP and DDP will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1, 2017.

During this time, all existing reservations will be honored with your old DVP or DDP passes. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017.

The 47 designated locations will be unavailable for the Pass Exchange and issuance of new DVP and DDP discount passes from midnight July 26, 2017 through July 31, 2017, and will resume pass exchanges and issuing new passes on August 1, 2017.  

Q: Can I exchange my pass by mail or online?
A: No. DDP and DVP pass holders must exchange passes at one of the designated Pass Exchange locations:

Pass Exchange Locations:    Alphabetical   I   Geographical

For individuals that cannot visit a designated location, a new application will have to be completed with current/valid eligibility documents and application fees (if applicable) and mailed to the department. The old pass must be submitted with your application packet (photocopies of old pass will not be accepted, including faxes). Applications may be submitted to the department by mail:

California Department of Parks and Recreation
Attn: Pass Exchange Program
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA  94296-0001

Q: Do I have to renew my new credit card design (plastic) card?
A: Yes. You will need to renew your plastic card every five years with current supporting documents as referenced on the Distinguished Veteran and Disabled Discount passes applications available on our website at www.parks.ca.gov/passes

Q: How much does it cost to exchange my Disabled Discount or Distinguished Veteran Pass?
A: There is no fee associated with the pass exchange.

Q: What do I do if I lost my original/old Disabled Discount Pass?
A: You must reapply in person at one of the 51 designated pass exchange locations or by mail at:

California State Parks
Attn:  Disabled Discount Pass Program
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA  94296-0001

The Disabled Discount Pass application is available at: www.parks.ca.gov/passes. You must provide the required documentation and pay the $3.50 application fee. Check/money order must be payable to California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Q: When is the last day I can exchange my old pass for the newly-designed credit card style pass?
A: The last day you will be able to exchange your old pass for the newly-designed (plastic card) will be February 28, 2018. Old passes will not be valid after this date and you will be required to reapply as referenced above for lost passes.

Q: Where can I get a Pass Exchange form?
A: Pass Exchange forms are only available at the 47 designated pass exchange locations.

Pass Exchange Locations:    Alphabetical   I   Geographical

Q: Where do I go for more information about the Pass Exchange?
A: For questions and/or more information, please connect with the Park Pass Sales Office via:

Q: I am interested in other passes provided by California State Parks, such as discount passes. Where can I find more information about them?
A: State Parks offers several types of passes including the Annual Day Use Pass, the Disabled Discount Pass (Pass Exchange) and the Golden Bear Pass. For questions and/or more information, please connect with the Park Pass Sales Office via:

Q: Can you please give me more information on California’s new state park reservation system? Most importantly, what will happen August 1, 2017 to my existing reservations for tours and/or camping made through Reserve America?
A: Over the last two years, California State Parks has strengthened policies, procedures, guidelines, and organizational structures to support a sustainable entrepreneurial, service-oriented, creative and collaborative culture. Part of this effort included a new comprehensive reservation system to support field operations and enhance the experience of visitors with a modern platform.

Starting August 1, 2017, you can start booking your reservations using ReserveCalifornia™.

Booking a reservation on the new system will be easy-to-use and similar to booking hotel rooms, airline tickets and other similar services. It is also similar to the booking window for facilities in the National Park Service.

All existing reservations made through Reserve America for stay-dates through February 2018, will be transferred to the new system and accessible to visitors on August 1, 2017. 

For detailed information on the new system, please visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com.