With Independence Day and the peak of the beach season here, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging beach-goers to buy seasonal passes to help ease traffic tie-ups. Temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s this week, bringing the potential for large crowds and traffic backups at state beaches. DEM offers the following tips to ease traffic lines at the entrance booths:
Have Payment and Vehicle Registration Ready. Nobody likes waiting, especially on a hot sticky day. But you can speed things up – for yourself and the people behind you – by having your cash or credit card and your vehicle registration ready when you reach the entrance booth. Your registration is not your license. It includes your vehicle identification number, registration fee, license plate number, and home address. (Most likely, it’s in the glove compartment along with your proof of insurance and related information.) By regulation, DEM relies only on vehicle registration to administer parking fees.
Buy Seasonal Beach Passes on Weekdays. Weekends and holidays are the busiest days at state beaches, so you’ll save time if you buy a seasonal pass on weekdays, when fewer people will be at the beach. The forecast over the next several days calls for hot and humid conditions with temperatures in the 90s inland and in the 80s along the coast. If the forecast does not hold and the weather is cooler than expected, take advantage of it and buy a seasonal pass when the beach will be less crowded.
Be Patient. Per-vehicle transaction times at beach entrance booths for sales of seasonal beach passes take three minutes a car while day pass sales take less than a minute. Even with these short processing times, you will likely have to wait in line to reach the entrance booth.
Daily and Seasonal Parking Rates. The fee structure for the 2018 season is the same as last year. The daily beach parking fee for RI residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The fee for a season pass for residents is $30 and, through September 3, will be available for purchase at state beaches. Non-resident parking is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for non-residents. A 50% discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies for senior citizens 65 years and older. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e., license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates.
Once You Have Your Seasonal Beach Pass. Please affix it to your windshield and do not transfer it to another vehicle. Your seasonal pass is not valid if it’s not displayed on your windshield. A receipt or proof of purchase will not be accepted in place of an actual pass. For questions, call the State Parks office at 667-6200 or email dem.riparks@