New Fee Will Allow Connecticut Residents Into State Parks Without Paying At The Gate

Feb 8, 2018

Connecticut drivers renewing their vehicle registrations will pay an additional $10 fee starting this week. The fee will support a fund called "Passport to Parks."

Think of that passport as a "parking pass." Only you don't need to hang it on your mirror - it's already on your car.

“All vehicles with a Connecticut registration will be waved into state parks without a parking fee,” said Tom Tyler, director of state parks with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

That $10 fee will get Connecticut drivers free parking, while out of state cars will still have to pay. And it will also fund park maintenance and allow campgrounds to reopen, which were closed because of budget cuts.

Tyler said the hope is "Passport to Parks" will help reduce confusion.

“It will allow us to really be able to predict the funding we'll have for services,” Tyler said, “which will give us the ability to be very clear with people about what the camping seasons are for the coming year, when they can make campground reservations.”

“It will take a lot of the question mark -- that's really existed for the past couple years -- out of the system,” Tyler said.

For fiscal year 2019, Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing $11 million to the fund -- financed through that $10 fee.