America The Beautiful Annual Pass can be owned/signed by "two pass owners that do not have to be related or married".

That is why there are a lot of valid passes with only one signature on eBay.

Selling it is another issue, probably more problematic but let's assume I've obtained such pass for free. So please don't focus on eBay part, unless it makes a practical difference.

The question is: Are there any obstacles in just signing it and going for a trip? (what non-transferable really means?)

2 Answers 2


While it's obviously not entirely intended, the rules as outlined on the USGS site (I can't find a full "terms and conditions" document anywhere) imply that not only are there no practical obstacles to transferring the pass, but there are no de jure rules against doing such a thing either.

The important rule from the questions seem to be:

Who is admitted with an Annual Pass?

Each Annual Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas; and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free).

Note: Photo identification will be requested to verify pass ownership.

and elsewhere "pass owners" are defined as:

Pass Owner: Person or two person(s) whose signatures are on the back of the Pass.

As the pass owner are explicitly described as the persons with signatures on the back of the pass, and there are no rules about the relationship between them, or how the pass is transferred between the owners, it all seems fine.

Images on the internet seem to show the words "Non Transferable" on the back of the pass. Without any more detailed rules however, it is not clear if this simply means that there is no means to get the owners changed, or if it means that the "original" owner cannot relinquish ownership.

Note that there may be specific, unpublished T&Cs, or even federal law prohibiting what you plan. Although if it were against federal law, I would expect ebay to remove such listings.


PASS USE - General -- 1) What do I do if someone shows up with an unsigned pass? -- There are many reasons someone might show up at the gate with an unsigned pass (gift purchase, friends or relatives across the country both being pass owners, and so on). If a visitor presents a pass that has the signature line(s) unsigned, please have the visitor(s) sign the pass at the gate and view their ID(s) to make sure the signature and ID(s) match.

  • 5
    This doesn't seem to answer the question, and looks like a quote which is unsourced.
    – CMaster
    Mar 20, 2019 at 16:33
  • Please source your quote, and explain why this answer provides any additional information/benefit than the one already provided :)
    – Uciebila
    Mar 20, 2019 at 16:46
  • This has been copied from this PDF file: nps.gov/training/tel/Guides/ipp_appendix_a.pdf
    – Willeke
    Aug 31, 2019 at 16:40

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