Frequently Asked Questions
How might my beach experience be different now?
This is a unique season and the beach experience will be different. While enjoying outdoor spaces, beachgoers must continue to follow the CDC and RI Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- If you’re not feeling well, stay home! Signs and symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Whether in the sand or the waves, beachgoers will be required to follow physical distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet from others outside their household.
- For the safety of all visitors, please have a face covering with you and wear it in public areas and if you are within 6 feet of another person who is outside your household. The only exceptions from these rules are for people with disabilities, anyone whose health would be in jeopardy because of wearing a face covering, or any children under 2 years old.
- Bring and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
Entrance/parking: The number of parking spots is reduced at most locations. Parking gates may need to be closed at times depending on beach capacity. As of July 16, Misquamicut State Beach and Scarborough State Beach parking lots are reduced to 25% capacity. Before you head to the beach, check the capacity of state beach parking lots. New this year, beach attendants will be collecting parking fees until 6 PM daily. These measures are being taken for the safety of all visitors and staff and to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Public restrooms/shower facilities: Most beach restrooms are open, however, portable toliets may be used in some locations. Indoor showers are closed; only outdoor showers to rinse off sand will be available.
Safety guidelines: Whether on the sand or in the water, all patrons will be required to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others outside their household. Face coverings should be worn in high-use areas and where 6 foot physical distancing cannot be maintained. Areas include, but are not limited to, parking areas, beach pavilions/boardwalks, restrooms, changing rooms, and concession stands. Face coverings should not be worn in the water.
Plagrounds: The playgrounds at Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut are currently closed.
After a competitive bidding process, Rhode Island DEM has contracted with LAZ Parking to operate and modernize parking at state beaches. The company – which manages more than a million parking spaces across the country for clients including California State Parks and Beaches and TF Green Airport – is using better technology to speed up entrance booths, expand online purchasing options, and track revenue in real time to ensure that fees are being collected accurately.
How is the online beach pass system different from last season?
Building on progress made in 2019 when it offered online sales of beach passes for the first time, RI State Parks has worked with our beach parking vendor to launch a new website that allows customers to buy online season passes and daily flex passes. Customers with either type of pass will be able to use newly installed Express Lanes at larger state beaches.
Beach entrances will be using license plate recognition technology that will scan the license platess of prepaid customers’ vehicles and operate gate entrances.
How will you determine the number of visitors allowed into beaches?
We are looking at the overall capacity of beach areas and working to ensure that we allow access without crowding. The capacity of individual parking lots is being determined by several factors and will be lessened or increased depending on beach capacity limits and whether beachgoers are following precautions.
Why are you calling daily passes Daily Flex Passes?
We’ve renamed daily passes to Daily Flex Passes because they work a differently from previous years. This season we’re expanding the online system, that was first introduced last year, to include daily passes. Go to www.beachparkingri.com. There you can create an online state beach pass account and choose a Daily Flex Pass. You’ll save your payment method in your account and will only be charged the daily rate when you enter state beach parking lots. Once purchased, you can use the newly installed Express Lanes at larger state beaches that use license plate recognition technology to scan the license plates of prepaid customers’ vehicles and operate gate entrances.
Can I purchase a season pass at beach entrances?
No. We are working hard to reduce traffic and wait times. Passes are still available to purchase in-person at the Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 5 PM daily or you can purchase your pass online.
How can I purchase a season beach parking pass online?
It’s easy! Just go to www.beachparkingri.com to purchase a resident, non-resident or senior season beach at any time and follow the instructions. Online credit card purchases are charged a 6% transaction charge; the total for a $30 RI resident season pass purchased online is $31.80. Daily Flex Passes (previously called daily passes) are also available online. Learn more about daily flex passes. Your license plate will be your way into state beach parking lots.
When you purchase your pass online, you will receive an email response within 24-hours of creating your account. Follow the instructions in the email to finish your pass purchase and then you're ready to head to the beach!
What if I want to buy my pass online and head to the beach immediately?
It can take up to 24-hours to verify your account. We highly recommend you plan ahead and purchase your pass BEFORE you head to the beach. If you need immediate assistance, you can call the toll-free number provided to you when you sign up in the online beach pass system.
Can I still purchase a season beach parking pass in person?
Yes, you can go to the Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
Why can’t I buy a season pass at beach entrances?
As part of DEM’s Beach More, Wait Less initiative, we are working hard to reduce traffic and wait times. It takes several minutes to purchase a season pass in person, which adds up to significant delays with thousands of cars on busy summer weekends. By having pre-purchased season passes on the cars when they approach the entrance, traffic will lessen, and you’ll get to the beach faster!
Why have beach passes moved online?
Moving the sale of beach passes online is an effort to make the process of obtaining a season pass as convenient and efficient as possible. DEM is also responding to requests from local town authorities to help reduce traffic build ups at state beach entrances for safety purposes. Passes are still available to purchase in-person, but the locations are now more limited than previous years.
You can still buy a pass in person at the Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
There’s no traffic, why can’t I purchase a season pass at the beach?
As part of DEM’s Beach More, Wait Less initiative, we are working hard to reduce traffic and wait times. It takes several minutes to purchase a season pass, which adds up to significant delays with thousands of cars on busy summer weekends. By having pre-purchased season passes on the cars when they approach the entrance, traffic will lessen, and you’ll get to the beach faster! This new policy is set and structured to keep beach entrances free from traffic and reduce any confusion or frustration among our patrons and our workers.
How do I buy my season beach parking pass in-person?
You can purchase a pass at the Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
Can I buy season passes for town or local beaches on your website? Will this pass let me into other beaches?
The season beach passes available online at www.beachparkingri.com are for state beaches only. These beaches include: Charlestown Breachway, East Beach, Roger Wheeler, Scarborough North and South, East Matunuck, Misquamicut, and Salty Brine.
Can non-residents go to Rhode Island beaches?
(updated 6/30) If you are coming to Rhode Island from one of the states listed here with a positivity rate of COVID-19 greater than 5%, you will either have to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Rhode Island, or produce proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. You may not self-quarantine at a state campground. If you receive a test after arriving in Rhode Island and get a negative test result, you can stop quarantining.
I need technical assistance buying my pass online. Who can help me?
If you have questions or need assistance, please call RI Parks at (401) 667-6200 (M-F 8:30 AM – 4 PM) or LAZ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does purchasing a season pass online cost me more?
No, the prices for purchasing passes online and in-person are the same. A 6% convenience fee is charged on online purchases to offset the cost of the system.
What is the cost of a Rhode Island State Beach Season Parking Pass?
The fee structure for the 2020 season will remain the same as last year. The daily beach parking fee for residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The fee for a season pass for residents is $30 and, through September 2, 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. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e. license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. (By law, a "vehicle" is defined as any street-legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over-the-road travel.)
How do I redeem my RI state beach gift certificate?
Gift certificates purchased at the RI State Parks headquarters can be redeemed for a season beach pass at any state beach entrance on weekdays or at the Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
Who qualifies for a no-cost beach parking pass?
By Rhode Island State Law 32-1-17, no fee shall be charged to any person with a disability regardless of age, or to automobiles transporting a non-driver with a disability at any recreational facility owned by the state, provided, however, proper identification is presented as prescribed by the Department of Environmental Management. For the purpose of this section "person with a disability shall mean an individual who has a physical or mental impairment and is receiving: [A] Social Security disability (SSDI), [B] Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) or Veterans benefits and who shall be determined under applicable federal law by the Federal Department of Veteran's Affairs to be 100% disabled through a service connected injury.
NEW THIS YEAR: If you currently hold a 2019 No-Cost State Beach Pass, you may continue to use it for entry into state beach parking areas during the 2020 beach season. If you have lost your pass or would like to obtain a no-cost beach parking pass, please contact RI State Parks headquarters for assistance. View the factsheet.
Can I purchase one season pass to switch between all my family’s vehicles?
Unfortunately, each season pass is required to be registered to only one vehicle. Season passes may not be switched between different vehicles. Your vehicle's license plate is your credential into the lot. If you’d like more than one season pass, you will have to purchase each additional pass individually.
What qualifications are required for a resident beach pass?
The vehicle must be registered in Rhode Island. For the purpose of administrating these fees, resident and non-resident vehicle fees shall be based solely upon the state of registration. vehicle shall mean any street legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over the road travel.
I live in Rhode Island and my company provides me with an OUT OF STATE registered vehicle, can I obtain a resident Pass?
No, the vehicle must be registered in Rhode Island.
What is the Senior Citizen age for fee discounts?
Both for residents and non-residents, you must be 65 years of age or older.
I am stationed in RI with the US Military. Can I purchase a resident season pass?
Yes, military personnel whose permanent duty station is located in Rhode Island can be issued resident season passes or pay the resident day rate. You must provide a copy of your orders and drive and own the vehicle.
I participate in the RIPAE program. Am I exempt from paying an entrance fee to the State Beaches?
State Law 32-1-18: No entrance fee shall be charged to any person who is sixty-five years of age or older and who is eligible to participate in the RI Pharmaceutical Assistance to the elderly program. You must be driving and be eligible for the 60% income level indicated on the card. RIPAE Card must be marked 8018 not 8019 or 8020. Daily confirmation only, season passes are not issued for this program.
I am disabled; Am I exempt from paying an entrance fee to the State Beaches?
Yes, specific documentation is required to obtain a disability pass from RI State Park's headquarters, which is required for fee exemption at our State beaches. To obtain your picture ID you must provide current year social security disability certification listing you as disabled and collecting disability benefits with the Social Security Administration or a current year 100% Disabled Veteran’s Administration certificate. Passes are available only from the North Kingstown location located at 1100 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown, RI. Please call us to make an appointment at 401-667-6200.
NEW THIS YEAR: If you currently hold a 2019 No-Cost State Beach Pass, you may continue to use it for entry into state beach parking areas during the 2020 beach season. If you have lost your pass or would like to obtain a no-cost beach parking pass, please contact RI State Parks headquarters at 401-667-6200 for assistance.
Where can I obtain a Four-Wheel Drive Barrier beach pass for East Beach/Ninigret?
Barrier Beach Passes can be purchased at:
Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC)
Stedman Government Center Suite 116
4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield RI
Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Burlingame Campground Check Station
THIS SITE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. Sales will be reinstated when the state campground reopens on June 29. Get updates on campgrounds here.
Route 1, Charlestown, RI
June 1 to the Sunday before Columbus Day
Please call Burlingame State Campground for office hours and availability.
Parking on East Beach is on a first come first served basis. Therefore purchasing a Beach Vehicle Permit does not guarantee access to the East Beach Sand Trail. For information on pricing, equipment requirements and other regulations regarding barrier beach permits, visit the CRMC website.
Are there currently any public lands, parks or trails available for ATV use?
No, not at this time. There is no public property that is available for ATV use in the State of Rhode Island.
Is there smoking allowed on RI state beaches?
As of 2013, The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health (RIDOH) announced the start of a No Smoking Initiative at all Rhode Island state beaches. In doing so, Rhode Island joined the growing movement to keep beaches clean and to protect people and wildlife from the risks and ramifications of smoking at the beach.