Dear Sun Spots: Could you please find me information on where or with whom to apply for a Golden Eagle free passport for older people to use at federal parks, etc. I believe you must be 63 years of age. Are they also honored by the state of Maine? – Edward S. T., Otisfield.

Answer:
Sun Spots has learned that both the Golden Age Passport and the Golden Access Passport can only be obtained in person at a federal area (national park, historic site, wildlife refuge, etc.) where an entrance fee is charged.

You can apply for your passport in person at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, (207) 288-3338. Acadia is on Mount Desert Island along the eastern coast of Maine. The park is 264 miles from Boston and 50 miles from Bangor. Take I-95 north to Bangor; from Bangor, take Route 1A east to Ellsworth; from Ellsworth take Route 3 to Mount Desert Island. You can also take I-95 north to Augusta; from Augusta take Route 3 east to Ellsworth and on to Mount Desert Island.

Sun Spots also checked with the Maine Department of Conservation, which says anyone over 65 is eligible to receive a free Senior Citizen Pass to Maine state parks. To apply, send a copy of your birth certificate or driver’s license (anything showing your date of birth) to Department of Conservation, Parks and Land, 286 Water St., Key Tower Plaza, Augusta, ME 04333. Mark it to the attention of Charlene Daniels or Reservations Office. You also could pick up an application form at your local state park or by contacting the department. This pass is only available for day use, and camping fees are charged.

Golden Age Passport

Sun Spots has learned that the Golden Age Passport (for citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are age 62 or older), is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. This passport admits the pass signee and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle if a park has a per-vehicle entrance fee. Where a per-person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Age Passport admits the pass signee, spouse and children.

The Golden Age Passport also provides a 50 percent discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching and tours. In some cases where use fees are charged, only the pass signee will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The passport is nontransferable and does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.

A Golden Age Passport must be obtained in person at a federal area (national park, historic site, wildlife refuge, etc.) where an entrance fee is charged. There is a one-time $10 processing charge to obtain the Golden Age Passport. It is available only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older. You
must show proof of age, such as a state driver’s license, birth certificate or similar document.

Golden Access Passport

The Golden Access Passport (for citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are blind or permanently disabled), is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. The Golden Access Passport admits the pass signee and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle if a park has a per vehicle entrance fee. Where a per person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Access Passport admits the pass signee, spouse, and children.

The Golden Access Passport also provides a 50 percent discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. In some cases where use fees are charged, only the pass signee will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The passport is nontransferable and does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners. A Golden Access Passport must be obtained in person at a federal area where an entrance fee is charged. It is available only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled. You may obtain a Golden Access Passport by showing proof of medically determined permanent disability, or eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law.

Information about the Golden Age and Golden Access passport is on www.nationalparks.org or call toll-free 1-888-467-2757.

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