Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

November 19, 2018

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Parks Introduces Online Empire Pass Renewals at a $10 Savings Now Through March 31, 2019

Convenient New "Keep The Card" Option Continues Customer-Friendly Improvements for Annual Pass Program

Keep The Card - Get the Discount!

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced the introduction of online renewals for the 2019 Empire Pass beginning now through March 31, 2019. By renewing online, customers can now enjoy greater convenience by keeping their card and receive a special loyalty savings of $10 per card for the 2019 season.

The Empire Pass program provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, boat launch sites, arboretums, park preserves and Department of Environmental Conservation forest preserves. By renewing online, Empire Pass-holders will keep their existing card and not have to wait for the pass to be mailed to them nor face waiting in line at the park to pick up a new pass during peak season.

This latest "Keep The Card" enhancement to the program continues significant user-friendly improvements made over the last several years including: moving from an affixed vehicle decal to a wallet-size plastic card that can be shared within a household expanding access for families and caregivers; implementing bar code and embedded chip technology for easier entrance to park facilities, particularly those with automated entries; and shifting the valid dates of the Empire Pass to the calendar year.

"Our goal is to encourage people to visit state parks, and we continue to offer new options that make it easier and quicker to connect with the outdoors," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Opting to renew online is fast, better for the environment, and a now a value with the special renewal savings. With these refinements, it will be more affordable and more convenient than ever for New Yorkers to take advantage of the Empire Pass and enjoy the parks next season."

"The Office of Information Technology Services is pleased to partner with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to deploy technology that makes it easier for people to visit parks across New York State," said New York State Chief Information Officer Robert H. Samson. "Allowing park visitors to renew their Empire Pass online is the latest example of how we are harnessing the power of technology to deliver innovation that matters ... for all New Yorkers."

Existing pass-holders can now renew for next season (online only) at, saving $10 off the standard $80 price when they "Keep The Card". The special renewal savings is good through March 31, 2019, and applies to the single-year pass, as well as three- and five-year passes. On the Empire Pass page, pass-holders can simply find "Renew My Pass", enter their existing Empire Pass card number located at the bottom left of the card and their email address and then follow instructions for renewals and payment. Cards become activated 24-48 hours after purchase.

New customers can purchase Empire Passes for $80 online at, or by phone 518.474.0458. Three- and five-year Empire Passes are available to new customers for $205 and $320 respectively. The Lifetime Empire Passport can be purchased just $750. With no expiration date, people who love the outdoors can use the lifetime pass to enjoy the parks forever.

State Parks also encourages New York's seniors age 62 and older to take advantage of the Golden Park Program, which provides them free entry into state parks on weekdays (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) simply by showing their driver's license or state-issued non-driver I.D.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.