Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Empire Pass - FAQ

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Don't toss your Empire Pass card when the season is over! We are working on the technology that will allow the Empire Pass cards to be renewed for the 2019 season and each year after.

Details are coming soon, so remember... SAVE THAT CARD!

Is it too late to buy an Empire Pass?

For your convenience, Empire Passes are sold throughout the season.

Will the Empire Pass Decal still be available for purchase?

The Empire Pass Decal is no longer available for purchase at this time.

When does the Empire Pass expire?

Empire Pass Cards expire December 31st of the final year for which they were purchased.
Lifetime Empire Passes do not expire.

What is the benefit of having an Empire Pass Card instead of an Empire Pass Decal?

The new Empire Pass Card can be easily shared within a family as long as the Card is in the vehicle. The Decal limited use to only the one vehicle to which it was affixed.

In addition to being usable at traditional entrance booths, the Empire Pass Card will also be usable at facilities with automated entrances.

Tinted vehicle owners will not have a problem with their Empire Pass Card being visible at the park.

Leased vehicles drivers will not need to replace their Empire Pass Card when exchanging vehicles.

Drivers selling vehicles will not have to replace their Empire Pass Card.

What type of technology does the Empire Pass Card contain? Does it store any personal information?

The Empire Pass Card contains an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. This technology allows the card to be scanned and accepted at facilities with automated pay stations. The RFID chip does not contain any personal information. It stores only the card's 6-digit serial number, and whether the card is in an active or inactive status.

How many Empire Pass cards will I receive with one annual Empire Pass Card purchase?

Since the Empire Pass Card is shareable among the family, one card will be issued for each purchase. If additional cards are needed, they must be purchased at full price.

Can I use the Empire Pass Card to gain facility entrance for multiple vehicles at the same time?

The Empire Pass is usable for one vehicle (including motorcycles) entrance fee at a time. It cannot be used for other vehicles entering the park with that vehicle/shortly after that vehicle has entered.

I want to attach my Empire Pass Card to a lanyard/keychain/etc. Can I puncture a hole in the Empire Pass Card?

Do not puncture a hole in the Empire Pass Card. Puncturing a hole will destroy the technology inside of the card, and the card will become unusable. Damaged cards are subject to a $30 replacement fee.

I purchased a multi-year Empire Pass. When will I receive my Empire Pass for the following year(s)?

We are working on the technology to allow multi-year Empire Pass Cards to remain valid through their final year. Until then, you will receive an Annual Empire Pass Card in the fall of each year for which you paid.

How do I upgrade my current annual, 3-year or 5-year Empire Pass for a longer-term Empire Pass?

Upgrades are available for purchase. Those who wish to upgrade after June 1st are advised to wait until the following year's Empire Pass is available for sale and upgrade/purchase at that time. Contact the Empire Pass office at 518-474-0458 for information.

How do I replace an Empire Pass Card that is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or affixed to a leased vehicle that is being returned or a vehicle that is being sold?

Empire Pass Card replacement:

If the Empire Pass Card is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, it is replaceable with a $30 fee payable by credit card, check, money order, or cash (in person only).

A replacement may be ordered over the phone, by mail or issued in person at the facility. All require the following:

  • A completed Empire Pass Replacement Request form or a letter requesting replacement and explaining the circumstances.
  • The damaged or destroyed pass or, if the pass was lost, verification of the original pass purchase.
  • NOTE: If in the event the original pass is found after the purchase of a replacement, we will not refund the replacement fee. The original pass will have been deactivated, and is no longer usable.

Is my online order confirmation letter acceptable for admission?

No, the online order confirmation letter is not acceptable for admission. Only the Empire Pass Card, or the NY Driver License or Non-Driver ID with the Lifetime Empire Pass icon will provide the Empire Pass vehicle entry.

How do I use the Empire Pass with a motorcycle or boat?

The Empire Pass Card will need to be presented when a vehicle use fee is required, just as with other passenger vehicles. Each boat or motorcycle must present their own pass upon entry.

What if I own a pick-up truck with commercial plates?

The Empire Pass Card is usable for all motor vehicles except those used in the business of transporting passengers for hire including public or private buses, shuttles, taxis, limousines, or other livery vehicles.

While a vehicle with commercial plates such as a pick-up truck are permitted to purchase the card, keep in mind, commercial vehicles are generally prohibited on parkways in the State Parks system. Use of the card to enter a facility does not waive these restrictions on commercial vehicles from driving on parkways. Contact the appropriate regional office for information on parkway restrictions.

How do I use the Empire Pass Card at facilities with automated pay stations?

Most automated pay stations will have posted instructions.

Do you offer a further discount for Empire Pass volume sales?

Yes; for the Empire Pass Card, a discount of $4 per card will automatically be applied to the purchase of 25 or more. Orders of 50 or more will be discounted by $8 per card. Orders of 100 or more will be discounted by $10 per card. Orders of 250 or more will be discounted by $15 per card. Orders of 500 or more will be discounted by $20 per card.

Can I use the Empire Pass for special events, camping or overnight parking?

The Empire Pass does not guarantee vehicle entry into the park when special events occur and are operated by other organizations. It excludes camping, overnight parking, golf, museum or historic site admission and other special activity fees.

Is this a 4x4 or fishing permit?

No, 4x4 and fishing permits are exclusive to the Long Island Region. Information is available at Long Island Permits or at 631-669-1000 ext. 223 during ordinary business hours.

What happens when I purchase the Empire Pass as a gift?

The recipient of an Empire Pass as a gift should call 518-474-0458 requesting that the Empire Pass information be changed to him/her. This will allow us to maintain accurate records should the pass need to be replaced.

Can someone else use my Lifetime Empire Pass?

Since the Lifetime Empire Pass is an icon on an individual's Driver License or Non-Driver ID, it can only be used by that individual. That person need not be the driver, but must be present in the vehicle.

What happens to my Lifetime Empire Pass if I move out of state?

Since you may legally only possess one valid driver license, when your New York State Driver License is relinquished to get your new state's Driver License, you may apply through the NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles for a New York State Non-Driver Identification Card on which your Lifetime Empire Pass will appear.

Do I have to be a NYS resident to purchase the Lifetime Empire Pass?

No, however, you must first obtain a NYS Non-Driver ID Card by visiting a NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicle office. For more information, please visit https://dmv.ny.gov