Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Legislature expands Washington State Parks Discover Pass, but needs Governor's signature first

The Washington State House and Senate have agreed on several amendments to last year’s Discover Pass requirement. The House approved the bill last week; the Senate approved it earlier. The legislation is now awaiting theGovernor's signature. The following are some highlights of this legislation.

The most significant change will be the transferability of the pass between two vehicles. New passes will have two lines for two license plate numbers. If you have a current pass, you will be able to write an additional license number on it. The pass may be used only with one vehicle at a time.

The Discover Pass in its original "one vehicle" version had flopped, in large part to its restriction to one vehicle.

The new legislation also clears up confusion over two key items:
•Currently, the pass is required only in designated and developed recreation areas on some DNR-managed lands. The new legislation will require the pass on ALL DNR-managed state trust lands, natural area preserves, and natural resources conservation areas.

•The new legislation also states that if your street-legal vehicle, such as a motorcycle, doesn’t have a windshield, then you must display the pass in a “prominent location.”

By the end of 2013, the three agencies responsible for implementing the Discover Pass must prepare a report to the legislature that identifies opportunities for simplifying the administration and use of the pass.

If the Governor signs the bill as is, as expected, the changes will go into effect immediately.

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