Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I purchase?
Parks Canada's seasonal, annual and national passes & permits offer excellent value.
They pay for themselves quickly, making multiple or longer visits more affordable, and leaving you free to continue enjoying your favourite locations at no additional cost. They offer faster access and greater convenience, and may free you from having to detour to a payment location.
Finally, your fees paid stay with Canada's National Historic Sites, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Parks to help us maintain & improve the places you love.
If I buy online, can I go to a participating location immediately? How long does my purchase take to arrive by mail?
No. You must have your pass with you upon arriving at a participating location if you purchase it online.
Parks Canada will ship your purchase the next business day. The following timelines are provided by Canada Post (First Class) & FedEx (Express):
5-7 Business Days
2 Business Days
5-7 Business Days
2-3 Business Days
(other than USA)
10-14 Business Days
3-4 Business Days
** Please add 2-3 Business days for remote locations
Where else can I purchase?
Parks Canada visitors who prefer to purchase in advance of their visit can:
- Purchase online * .
- Call Parks Canada's National Information Centre 1-888-773-8888.
Visitors can also purchase a Parks Canada Discovery Pass (and seasonal or annual pass, where available) upon their arrival at any of the participating national parks, marine conservation areas or historic sites.
Boating permits are available upon arrival at participating locations
*Discovery Passes, seasonal mooring, seasonal & 6-day lockage permits, and select single-location annual passes only
Can I purchase for someone else?
Yes! The purchaser of an online pass or permit does not need to be the pass holder, and in fact these make excellent gifts. A special gift folder, only available when you buy online, allows you to personally dedicate the gift that keeps giving.
It is important to note however that single-location annual passes and Discovery Passes must be signed by the pass holder once received, and are not transferable. In the case of the family/group pass, only one member of the family needs to sign it.
If you are purchasing a lockage and/or mooring permit for someone else, you will need to have their vessel length and vessel registration number, as indicated by Transport Canada.
How do I display my pass or permit?
Parks Canada Discovery Passes and single-location annual passes should be hung from the rear view mirror of the vehicle with the date decal facing forward or it can be placed on the front driver side dashboard with the date decal facing up when visiting a national park. A Parks Canada Discovery Pass must be presented by hand at the entry kiosk of the national historic site.
Lockage or mooring permits:
- Sailboats: affix permit to the bottom of your mast, facing the bow
- Powerboats: affix permit to the bottom of windshield, in the middle, facing the bow
- Dinghies: affix permit to the inside of transom, facing the bow
Who qualifies as a family/group?
For the Parks Canada Discovery Pass, the family/group category includes up to seven people arriving in the same vehicle at any participating national park, marine conservation area or historic site.
For single-location annual passes, the family/group category includes up to seven people arriving in the same vehicle at the National Park indicated.
For how long is my pass or permit valid?
Discovery Passes and single-location annual passes purchased in 2016 are valid for a minimum of two full years from the date of purchase, expiring on the last day of the month in which it was purchased. Therefore, a pass can be valid for a period of up to 25 months if purchased on the first day of the month. Seasonal Passes are valid for the operating season of the calendar year indicated.
Seasonal lockage and mooring permits are valid for the entire navigational season of the year in which they are purchased. 6-day transit lockage passes are valid for any six days of the navigational season of the year in which they are purchased – these days do not need to be consecutive.
Can I transfer or resell my pass or permit?
No. Parks Canada Discovery Passes and single-location annual passes must be signed by the pass holder, are rendered void if resold, and are not transferable.
Lockage and mooring permits are sold for specific vessels and are rendered void if resold, and are not transferable.
What do the letters and numbers on my pass or permit refer to?
The letters (A, SI/AI, Y/J, F/G) on a pass refer to the category and are bilingual: Adult Individual, Senior Individual, Youth Individual, Family/Group.
The numbers (e.g. 04/2011) refer to the expiry date of the pass. This date is written based on the mm/aaaa model, and the pass is valid through to the last day of the month indicated. For example, a Discovery Pass with the characters, "A 03/2013" on it would be an adult pass that is valid until March 31, 2013.
Seasonal lockage and mooring permits show the 2-digit year of the navigation season of validity, along with the vessel length in feet.
I've already paid the daily fee today. Can I upgrade to an annual pass or permit?
Parks Canada's visitors can upgrade to a higher-value pass or permit within 30 days of the original purchase. This includes upgrading a daily entrance pass from any National Park, National Marine Conservation Area or National Historic Site to a Seasonal/Annual Pass (if applicable) or Discovery Pass, or upgrading from a Seasonal/Annual Pass to a Discovery Pass.
Upgrades can be done at any participating Parks Canada location. You will need to present the receipt for your previous daily pass/permit and this amount (if within 30 days) will be applied against the purchase of the higher value pass.
Are there any other discounts/benefits that come with having a Parks Canada annual pass or permit? Is camping included?
Seasonal permits, annual and Discovery Passes provide the holder with all of the opportunities and services that normally come with a daily entry pass or permit.
Activities such as camping, boat launch or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be included in the price.
These passes and permits represent excellent value and make multiple or longer visits more affordable. As well, they will save you valuable time when visiting a park, marine conservation area or site.
Please feel free to browse your favorite National Park, National Historic Site or National Marine Conservation Area to see which benefits are included with your pass or permit.
Is there an annual pass available just to visit National Historic Sites?
Unfortunately, we no longer offer the Pass to the National Historic Sites of Canada. However, the Discovery Pass grants access to all these sites and more! You can purchase it online or at any participating National Park, National Historic Site or National Marine Conservation area.
I've arrived at the park/site/marine conservation area, and realized that I forgot my pass or permit at home. What should I do?
If you do not have your pass or permit with you upon your arrival to a participating location, purchase the required daily pass or permit and keep your proof of purchase. Next time you return to that location, show them that receipt with your seasonal, annual or Discovery pass, and the cost of the daily pass or permit you purchased will be refunded. In order to be reimbursed, this receipt must be presented within 30 days of the purchase of your daily entry fees.
If you are not planning on returning to the location, contact them by phone (see our website) and ask how you can get a refund.
If you have any questions regarding the information above, please contact our Information Service at 888-773-8888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.