Discover Pass transferability bill passes state Senate

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OLYMPIA — Legislation to allow the Discover Pass to be transfered between two vehicles has passed the state Senate unanimously.

Senate Bill 5977 is sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island.

A survey in November by Washington State University at the request of state natural resouce agencies showed the lack of transferability was discouraging people from buying the new pass.

The Discover Pass costs $30 for a year or $10 per day, but the amount goes up to $35 and $11.50 if bought where dealer and transaction fees apply.

The pass must be displayed on a vehicle when using state recreation lands managed by the state parks, natural resources, or fish and wildlife agencies. A Department of Fish and Wildlife recreational use permit also suffices at that agency's boat ramps and wildlife areas.

Most of the revenue goes to keeping the financially strapped state parks system operating. Sales since the Discover Pass rollout in July have been behind projections.

“After hearing from citizens statewide, it's clear that a non-transferable pass places too large a burden upon already strained family budgets," Ranker said on Friday.

The measure now heads to the state House. If passed into law, the change would be retroactive, allowing current pass holders a second vehicle as well.