Golden Age Passport/Card?

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13 years 3 months ago #520 by Pakeboy2
Golden Age Passport/Card? was created by Pakeboy2
How old do you have to be to qualify for this and where do I find one? ??? Thanks alot!

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13 years 3 months ago #521 by fiatspider79
Replied by fiatspider79 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
Golden Age Passport is no longer available anywhere.
It has been replaced by the "America the Beautiful" card which has replaced it. You can get the new card anywhere it is accepted (National Park Service, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and others). It still costs $10 for a lifetime and offers the same benefits at the passport--at least for now.
For the Golden Age Passport you must be able to prove that you are 62 years old or older. "America the Beautiful" cards also come in "access" for to replace the Golden Access Passport. It is the same as the other card except that there is no age limit but you must prove that you are receiving federal disabilty benefits (Social Security of VA mostly). The "access" card also is FREE.
For more information, go here: www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
Glenn

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13 years 2 months ago #589 by Joel
Replied by Joel on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
thanks Glenn for sharing information on America the Beautiful. I went to Shiloh National Military Park and was issued the Access card for life free of charge.

Joel

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13 years 2 months ago #590 by fiatspider79
Replied by fiatspider79 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
As I had anticipated, there are problems. We spent a week at a campground in the Ocala National Forest and the $6 per night fee became $3 per night with the ATB card. On our way out of the forest we decided to check out another campground and the woman there wouldn't even let us in, even after I flashed my ATB card. She said I needed a Golden Access Passport, even called her supervisor who confirmed the fact. As we were beginning a long drive that morning I didn't have time to educate her. But that is one of the things I am concerned about. The other is the opportunity for any or all of the participating agencies to just drop the 50% discount as the wording on the back specifically says "MAY" and is indeed in all capital letters.
Glenn

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13 years 2 months ago #592 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
And, am I correct that the GAP or the ATB is honored by the national parks but not the vendors inside?

I usually use NFs or NPs when I don't use the MWR and have never had one deny the GAP discount -- although the vendors almost never honor it for services. Some state parks even honor the GAP for a discount on the campsite ...

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13 years 2 months ago #622 by fiatspider79
Replied by fiatspider79 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
Yes, you are correct but with the addition of the all caps MAY to the back of the ATB card it leaves it wide open for the agencies to deny its use.

The Golden Passports have become understood over the years. We are told America The Beautiful is the same thing but not all of the agencies have properly informed their staffs.

Specifically, the Ocalla National Forest. Their literature says Golden Passports everywhere but on one sheet of paper where Golden Passports have been replaced with America The Beautiful. What was so ironic about my situation is that one campground in Forest accepted my card for a week's stay while one just down the road but still in the Forest wouldn't even let me through the gate without paying (which I refused to do but the only way they could get me out was to let me drive through the campground--which is all I wanted to do in the first place).

Enough of my rant. I just don't look forward to educating box people during the next couple of years.

Glenn

Box People (Noun)--Those gatekeepers at campgrounds and parks who live in little boxes and grant or deny access to those so applying.

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13 years 2 months ago #624 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
You forgot to add the adjective which usually modifies that noun Glenn -- and that is "puffy-chested" box people !!!

Guess I'm lucky tho, I have one of those GAPs and intend to keep it. Each will someday be a collector's item in yard sales, and be worth a fortune. Guess I better keep it in my safe when not in use !!!

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13 years 2 months ago #630 by fiatspider79
Replied by fiatspider79 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
I had a GAP which I did keep in my safe next to my State Department-issued passport until the puffy-chested, Smoky Bear hat-wearing green box person at the Grand Canyon extracted it from me and returned an America The Beautiful "access" card. Alas and alack, I am now condemned to a live of education in pursuit of the increasingly elusive 50% discount.

The real kicker is that the America The Beautiful "access" card is ugly--and I am stuck with it for life.

Glenn

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13 years 2 months ago #631 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
WOW -- did he actually take it away -- I thought they were just being "phased-out" ... no one has ever taken mine and I use it pretty frequently as I go into national parks pretty often when on the road.

Did you have Golden Access or Golden Age ?? 'Access' is a disabled pass for lifetime, while 'Age' is a buy once a year if I'm right ... is that true --

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13 years 2 months ago #632 by fiatspider79
Replied by fiatspider79 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
SHE just took it and handed me an ATB card.

I HAD a Golden Access Passport because I am a disabled vet. I understand that she would not have taken it if it had been the newer style of plastic with the magnetic strip. Mine was an old paper card that I had laminated. From what I hear they are taking the paper but letting people with the plastic cards keep theirs.

Monkey, we are going to have to stop meeting like this, people are going to talk.

Glenn

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13 years 2 months ago #634 by FastEagle
Replied by FastEagle on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
the web page below has the best informatin on all the federal cards including the Golden Ages pass.

store.usgs.gov/pass/general.html

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1127 by AdventPreacher
Replied by AdventPreacher on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
my wife and I visited Acadia National Park yesterday. While there I approached the Visitor's Information booth, where it was explained to me that in order to receive one of the new plastic Access cards, I would have to surrender the older, paper Golden Access card. I knew the questions to ask to get the answers I wanted because I had done my homework; most of it on this sight right here! all Federal sights that have historically accepted and recognized the paper Golden Age/Access cards will continue to do so. You are not required to surrended it for one of the new, plastic ones. They do not want you to have "two" cards, because they are afraid of the misuse and abuse of the privilege by people who are not qualified. If you approach the station with the intent and appearance of picking up your "first" ATB card, pretending never to have had one before, they will issue you a new one and you may keep your old one as well. This is unethical and dishonest, and cannot be recommended.

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1128 by skyking8
Replied by skyking8 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
the following info is from the two websites listed in this thread.

In addition, the Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Senior and Access Passes.

Only paper Golden Age and Access Passports may be exchanged free of charge for new plastic passes.


I have not been refused a discount at any Corp park. Wonder why the word MAY in the above statement?

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1133 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
Quote: "In addition, the Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Senior and Access Passes"

Because in general the Age & Access passes are for national parks and forests, and other entities sometimes honor them but are not required to do so. Some state parks honor them too ... in effect because they honor age and disabled discounts, and these cards indicate you fall into that category -- you just need to ask as it is a state policy decision ...

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1134 by AdventPreacher
Replied by AdventPreacher on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
I have learned that another reason that the capitalized "MAY" is listed is because each individual national park administration has the right to subcontract a vendor (concession) for the maintenance and provision of any service within the boundaries of the park. That privately owned concession (which will almost always be a for-profit entity) has the right to accept or reject honoring the use of the Golden Age/Access paper cards. The same is now true for the ATB plastic access cards. The common rule of thumb is that whenever the Federal entity is directly supervising and maintaining the particular service in question, there is a high likelyhood that the discount will be honored at 50%. Whenever a privately contracted vendor is engaged by the government, there might be a discount (set at whatever rate that vendor chooses) but there probably will not be a discount awarded. That helps to explain why, for instance, there might be a discounted (or free) access by use of the pass when government employees or volunteers are manning the gate; but that same pass will be for naught at the campground within the park where an outside concessionaire has been contracted to maintain and supervise that campground area.

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1135 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
Quote: "If you approach the station with the intent and appearance of picking up your "first" ATB card, pretending never to have had one before, they will issue you a new one and you may keep your old one as well. This is unethical and dishonest, and cannot be recommended."

So what does this mean?? Why would you write something like this?? Is this a hint or a complaint, or a "maybe you guys are crooks" seems a little disrespectful to me, actually, unless I'm misunderstanding your point.

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1137 by larryf
Replied by larryf on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?

That privately owned concession (which will almost always be a for-profit entity) has the right to accept or reject honoring the use of the Golden Age/Access paper cards.


I'm currently working for a concessionaire for the National Forest Service, managing numerous Forest Service campgrounds. The above statement is true. Here, we honor the 50% discount on camping, but not on day use or parking fees. Every place "MAY" be different.

Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website

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13 years 2 weeks ago #1140 by AdventPreacher
Replied by AdventPreacher on topic Re: Golden Age Passport/Card?
to the point: "So what does this mean?? Why would you write something like this?? Is this a hint or a complaint, or a "maybe you guys are crooks" seems a little disrespectful to me, actually, unless I'm misunderstanding your point."

I approached the ranger station at the visitor's center at Acadia National Park on Thursday, June 14th, and the statement in questions was shared with me by the ranger. If you present your paper Golden Access card for exchange for the America The Beautiful plastic card, they will not require proof of eligibility. They will assume eligibility, and take your paper card in fair exchange for the plastic one. They will take possession of the paper one. Upon surrendering the paper card, they will grant the plastic one. They do not want the eligible holder of any Golden card to have more than one copy of that card. If, in the case that your card has been lost or stolen, it may be replaced upon presentation of proof of eligibility. In this case, you do not have a paper card to return to them, which is their intent. Any other retention of a paper card AND plastic card is a violation of the intent of the service. To keep the paper card (e.g. to have a "souvenir" or hold onto something that someday may have value) in your possession while requesting the plastic card is unethical. That is my point, and I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding.

Forgive me for implying that anyone was crooked. My hope was to help explain the reason why the park service will not allow more than one card per possession, and to add to the dialogue and perhaps clarify why some services MAY or may not grant any discount.

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10 years 11 months ago #6276 by CathyJ1952
Replied by CathyJ1952 on topic Re:Golden Age Passport/Card?
We have a Golden Access Pass. My husband is a 100% disabled vet and it surprised us how EASY it was to get one! We got ours at Shenandoah National Park in VA. You can get them at ANY National Park and in fact, it's the ONLY way to get one. You can't apply for it by mail. We didn't have to submit any proof or anything (Unlike our NY State Access Pass). You just tell them that you're disabled and they give you your card! In minutes you have your card! And yes, it's called the America the Beautiful card now. We've received discounts at several military RV parks with the card.

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10 years 10 months ago #6340 by cdbbdc
Replied by cdbbdc on topic Re:Golden Age Passport/Card?
It would be nice to have a list of Military CG's that give discounts using the ATB card.

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