Military Veterans, Members, and POW’s

The Department of Natural Resources has several programs and special rates for military veterans, active duty service members, and prisoners of war. Below is a brief summary, with links to more information.

Maryland State Parks

Mountains and a Beach.Day Use Services

Many of our state parks are available for resource based recreation activities at no charge throughout the year. Others will vary the service charge with the day of week and season of year. There are several options for those facilities that do have a service charge.

For active duty military, you may enter free of charge by showing military I.D. For visitors with a disability, you may apply for our universal disability pass which is a free lifetime pass. For visitors over the age of 62, you may apply for our Golden Age Pass which entitles you to free day use entry. This pass has a one-time $10 administrative fee. Another option for families, is our Maryland Passport that can be purchased for a yearly fee of $75. This pass entitles unlimited day use entry for everyone in the vehicle (up to 10 people) to Maryland’s state parks, including unlimited boat launching. For more information and applications, visit our website on state park passes.

For visitors with a disability, you may apply for our universal disability pass which is a free lifetime pass.

Universal Disability Pass: Questions and Answers


Day-Use Waiver for Active Duty Military / Maryland National Guard - Any member of the Maryland National Guard and all active duty military personnel who display their active duty military identification card to the gate attendant at any Maryland State Park day-use area will have their day-use entrance service charge waived. The waiver is valid for the military identification card holder only. No other facility service charges will be waived.

Day-Use Waiver for Veterans - All applicable day-use entrance charges are waived year-round for all veterans. The waiver applies to both resident and out-of-state veterans. This waiver is applicable to the veteran only and not others in the same vehicle, unless a per-vehicle charge is in effect at the time. In that case, the per-vehicle fee is waived.

Veteran Designation on Maryland Drivers' Licenses - Maryland Veterans can add a special designation on their drivers' licenses. For additional information, visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration website.

Wounded Warrior and Veteran Outreach Program

Wounded Warrior and Veteran Outreach Program

This multi-faceted program provides our servicemen and women with unique opportunities in MD state parks. Take time to explore what’s available for you, including:

  • Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.
  • Warrior Canine Connection
  • OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program
  • Warrior Hike - "Walk Off The War" Program
  • Explore Your Parks Camping 101 Program
  • The Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Tour

Non-profit Organizations working with Maryland State Parks

The Greenwell Foundation, Inc.
http://www.greenwellfoundation.org/

The Greenwell Foundation offers veterans opportunities to participate in its inclusive and accessible programs including Horseback Riding, River Riders Kayaking, Vets Helping Vets, and Operation Warrior Refuge. All of these activities have therapeutic value for our nation’s recovering servicemen and women.

The Greenwell Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the Maryland Park Service to provide accessible and inclusive programs, services and facilities for all community members, with and without disabilities, in Southern Maryland. The Foundation is based in Greenwell State Park.

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB)
http://www.crabsailing.org/

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers sailing opportunities for physically and/or developmentally-challenged individuals.

They offer specially arranged sailing and racing events for Wounded Warriors and their families.  In cooperation with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, CRAB has offered two-day sailing clinics specifically for learning to sail and race.

They provide weekday and weekend sails for recovering warriors and their family and friends and schedule sails for individual family members/friends and group sails for multiple people. They operate out of Sandy Point State Park.

Please call  410-266-5722 or email: info@crabsailing.org  to get more information or to schedule a sail. 

Fishing in Maryland

If you are a resident of Maryland on active duty with the armed forces and are on leave with official leave orders, you may fish without a fishing license in Maryland.

BLIND
Complimentary annual tidal and non-tidal licenses are available to residents and nonresidents who are blind.

DAV/POW
A complimentary lifetime license is available to Maryland residents who are 100% service connected disabled veterans or former prisoners of war. The license incorporates both the non-tidal angler’s license and the Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license. It does not, however, include the trout stamp. Applicant must furnish a letter of disability or a letter of certification from the Veterans Administration with their initial application.

Resident Senior Consolidated License - $5.00
Resident Senior Consolidated License (available to MD residents only) allows a Maryland resident who is 65 years of age or older, or will become 65 years of age in the current calendar year, to fish in the fresh waters of Maryland (including trout) and in Maryland's tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, Atlantic coast and coastal bays 365 days from the date of purchase.

Discounted Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Purple Heart Recipients
Any Maryland veteran who has received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained defending our nation now qualifies for a 50 percent discount on Maryland hunting and fishing licenses.

Annual exemption to a governmental entity or not-for-profit to take individuals with physical or mental disabilities who are serving or have served in the armed forces in the tidal or nontidal waters of the state.


Hunting in Maryland

Complimentary POW/DAV Hunting Licenses

A complimentary lifetime hunting license is available to Maryland residents certified as a former prisoner of war or a 100% service connected disabled American veteran (Veterans Administration documentation required).

The lifetime license is available only at the department's Licensing and Registration Service Centers and includes the bow stamp, muzzleloader stamp, and furbearer permit. The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp is not part of the Complimentary License. The Migratory Game Bird Stamp, Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and the Big Game Harvest Record are required for each year and can be obtained from a Licensing and Registration Service Center, a sport license agent, or online at: https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal. For more information, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 410-260-3220.

Hunters in the Armed Forces

  • Maryland residents serving in the United States Armed Forces and stationed in Maryland must purchase a Resident Hunting License before hunting, unless they are on official leave and possess a copy of their official leave orders.

  • Maryland residents serving in the United States Armed Forces, while hunting during official leave in Maryland, do not need to purchase a hunting license, deer stamps, or the Managed Hunt Permit; however, they must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, a federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and a Furbearer Permit and comply with the Hunter Education and Safety Requirement.

  • Any nonresident serving in the United States Armed Forces whose duty station is in Maryland must purchase a Resident Hunting License before hunting.

  • Any nonresident serving in the United States Armed Forces who is on leave in Maryland, but not stationed in Maryland, must purchase a Nonresident Hunting License before hunting. Click here for more information, or call 410-260-3220

Special Permits for Hunters with Disabilities

Hunters with mobility impairments may obtain the Universal Disability Pass (formerly known as Hunt From a Vehicle Permit).  Click here for information about how to apply for the Universal Disability Pass. See the Public Hunting Lands or visit our Access for All website for public hunting areas that can assist hunters with mobility impairments.

Access for All

Maryland is making a special effort to insure that all of our facilities and programs are accessible to visitors with disabilities. This web page provides a link to an alphabetical listing of state public lands that provide accessible amenities. For your convenience, we also provide a link to accessible outdoor recreational opportunities on public lands, listed by activity. Please contact the appropriate facilities you are interested in visiting for additional information

Dept. of Natural Resources Advisory Council on Disability Issues

The department's Advisory Council on Disability Issues meets quarterly in the Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis. The Council is comprised of individuals from the community and representatives from the units within the department.

The Council provides support and guidance to the the department regarding issues of facilities and services access and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. For additional information, contact the American's with Disabilities Act coordinator, Richard Allen at 410-260-8058 or you may send e-mail to richard.allen@maryland.gov

If you have additional questions, Email: customerservice.dnr@maryland.gov