Breaking News
More () »

CPW explains how state park pass tied to vehicle registration will work

Starting in January 2023, the fee will be added to vehicle registrations through the DMV unless owners opt out.
Credit: CPW
Boyd Lake State Park

COLORADO, USA — Colorado Parks and Wildlife provided additional details Friday about how the $29 Keep Colorado Wild Pass (KCW), which will be added to annual vehicle registrations in Colorado, will work.

Starting in January 2023, the fee will be added to vehicle registrations through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). CPW first announced the plan in March but details about how they would work were still being ironed out.

On Friday they provided the following details:

  • Pass is only offered to Colorado residents during the Colorado vehicle registration process
  • $29 pass fee is included in the vehicle registration price total unless the owner opts out
  • Pass is not transferable between vehicles and is linked to the vehicle license plate and registration card
  • CPW logo will be printed on the vehicle registration card which will give access to state parks
  • You can decline or subtract (opt-out) the cost of the pass when you register your vehicle with the Division of Motor Vehicles online, through a kiosk, through mail-in options or with a customer service representative in-office.
  • All regularly priced Colorado state park passes are still available

RELATED: Coloradans will be charged $29 for state parks pass when registering vehicle starting in 2023

The $29 pass is less than half the $84 price of a current annual pass for access to all 43 state parks.

Since vehicle registrations occur throughout the year a refund policy was created for those who might still have a valid annual pass when they purchase the Keep Colorado Wild Pass. At its September meeting, the CPW commission approved the refund options to cover that overlapping time.

For annual passes, the refunded amount will be based on a flat prorated refund structure. The prorated amount will be based on the price of the original pass divided by 12 months and rounded up to the nearest dollar. 

The prorated amount per month will range between $3 - $10, depending on the originally purchased pass type for that vehicle. The refund amount is based on the number of remaining months with no refund for passes that had been used for nine months or more.

Residents will have 60 days after the Keep Colorado Wild Pass purchase date to file for a refund through an online platform managed by CPW.

Customers will then be refunded to the card on file in the system used for online or phone purchases. All other pass refunds will be paid in the form of a CPW Shop gift certificate or a check if purchased at a park, office or agent, based on the customer’s preference.

The refund will only be available for the first two calendar years after the Keep Colorado Wild Pass implementation (2023 and 2024). CPW said that should cover all of the gaps and overlaps that could potentially exist before all noncommercial Colorado-plated vehicles have the option to purchase the pass.

RELATED: Sweetwater Lake: Meet Colorado's 43rd State Park

Funds from the KCW Pass go to park maintenance, search and rescue programs, avalanche awareness, wildlife conservation, and education and equity programs, according to CPW.

Qualifying tax-exempt military plates will receive the Keep Colorado Wild Pass free of charge during the registration process. All currently free and reduced-price CPW passes (Blue Spruce, Independence, Columbine and Centennial) will continue to be available to customers through application and authorization from CPW. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out