Support Northern Colorado Journalism
Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.Click to Donate
At its September meeting, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a refund policy for Colorado residents that purchase a Keep Colorado Wild Pass.
Beginning in 2023, Colorado residents will see a $29 Keep Colorado Wild Pass added to their annual vehicle registration through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This new annual pass gives all Coloradans easy access to all state parks and the added benefit of investing in our great outdoors and wildlife in a meaningful way.
Because vehicle registrations happen throughout the year, there will be situations where current Colorado Parks and Wildlife annual park pass customers will have overlapping annual passes. To address these issues, CPW has approved refund options that will cover the time between when a current annual pass expires and when a vehicle registration is due. To read the full proposed refund policy, visit cpw.state.co.us.
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.
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.
Annual pass refunds may be requested on an online platform managed by CPW which will require creating or updating an account in the agency’s integrated purchasing system. 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. Checks could take up to 90 days for customers to receive, so a CPW Shop gift certificate may be a more desirable option for some customers.
These refund programs will only be available for the first two calendar years after the Keep Colorado Wild Pass implementation (2023 and 2024). This time period should cover all of the gaps and overlaps that could potentially exist before all noncommercial Colorado-plated vehicles have the option to purchase the Keep Colorado Wild Pass.
“While we hope all Coloradans want to take advantage of the Keep Colorado Wild Pass and support the outdoor spaces we all cherish, we understand that our residents need purchasing options to make the best decision for their household,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan. “This newly developed refund policy aligns with our agency’s dedication to provide quality customer service for our parks system.”
Every purchase of a Keep Colorado Wild Pass contributes to keeping our landscapes healthy and shows our state’s passion to protect the natural resources that enrich our lives. Money raised will go towards state park maintenance, better support for the volunteers and equipment needs of the Colorado Backcountry Search and Rescue system, benefit avalanche safety programs, wildlife and habitat conservation work, and outdoor educational programs for local communities.
Keep Colorado Wild Pass takeaways:
- The pass is only offered to Colorado residents during the Colorado vehicle registration process.
- The $29 pass fee is included in your vehicle registration price total unless you choose to decline (opt-out).
- The pass is not transferable between vehicles and is linked to your license plate and registration card.
- A Colorado Parks and Wildlife logo will be printed on your vehicle registration card which will give you 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.
To learn more about the Keep Colorado Wild Pass and how it benefits Colorado, visit cpw.info/keepcoloradowild and cpw.info/keepcoloradowildpassspanish