Red, White, and Beach: Buy Your State Beach Parking Pass Online Today ahead of Independence Day

Published on Monday, July 01, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, many Rhode Islanders and out-of-state visitors will plan on visiting one of the Ocean State’s world-class state beaches. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is urging beachgoers to buy their parking passes online today to avoid getting stuck in traffic tie-ups at beach entrances during the holiday. Historically, Independence Day week is the peak of the beach season and depending on the weather, tens of thousands of visitors may flock to the eight state surf beaches. 

“Rhode Island’s spectacular state beaches are part of what makes living in the Ocean State so special, and I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy our beautiful beaches,” said Governor Dan McKee. “At the same time, I remind beachgoers that keeping our natural spaces clean is everyone’s responsibility. This Independence Day and all summer long, let’s protect our natural heritage by helping keep Rhody litter free.” 

“We welcome everyone to enjoy swimming, relaxing, and gathering with friends and family at one of our beautiful, accessible state beaches,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “As thousands of beachgoers celebrate Independence Day at state beaches each year, we remind all visitors to have a fun and safe holiday weekend.”

To help reduce the amount of time beachgoers spend at the entry booths, DEM is urging visitors to buy a season pass online and well in advance of their visit. Prepaid customers may use the express lanes at beaches for speedier access. Purchasing a season pass online also will help DEM keep the express lanes open, as there have been past instances when the express lanes could not be used because too many people were paying for parking at the entry gates rather using pre-paid parking passes. Express lanes are available at all state beaches except for East Beach, Charlestown Breachway, and Salty Brine, which are one-lane facilities. DEM’s parking vendor, LAZ Parking, uses license plate recognition (LPR) technology at the express lanes whereby a scan is taken of the rear license plates of prepaid customers confirming that the customer has paid to allow for quick entry. Please allow space for the car at the gate space for the reader to recognize the license plate. Driving bumper to bumper will cause the system to fault, requiring an attendant to manually enter the plate, and slow the flow of cars. Season passes no longer require a physical pass to be placed on vehicle windshields as passes are now electronically connected to an individual’s license plate. 

Annually, state beach season parking passes are available for purchase starting the first week of January, and purchasing passes ahead of beach season helps reduce the amount of time beachgoers spend at the entry booths during busy holidays. Once purchased, season passes do not go into immediate effect. It takes up to 24 hours during the summer months for the buyer’s residency status and age to be verified to charge the correct fee and for the pass to be validated. Individuals may purchase beach parking passes at to purchase your state beach parking season pass. For a step-by-step guide on purchasing your state beach parking pass online, click here

Along with the online option, state beach season parking passes may be purchased in person at the Scarborough North State Beach overflow lot (on Burnside Avenue, Narragansett) from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday through Friday, August 9. Season passes are not for sale at state beach entrance booths. DEM urges customers purchasing day passes at the entrance booths or customers purchasing a season pass at the overflow lot to have their money and documents ready to show the attendant to allow for these transactions to occur quickly and efficiently. 

For beachgoers paying the daily parking fee, a in addition to credit and debit cards, Apple PayGoogle Pay, and Samsung Pay are all accepted as payment methods, allowing quicker “scan to pay” transactions. The daily beach parking fee for residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. 

DEM reminds beachgoers that RI state beaches reach capacity quickly around holidays with many thousands of people going to the same beaches at the same times. For the safety and enjoyment of beach patrons, staff monitor the available space on the sand and may close parking lot entrances to prevent overcrowding, ensuring lifeguards and first responders have space to respond to water emergencies and that beach facilities can support the number of people on a given day. Closed lots may reopen as space becomes available. DEM encourages beachgoers to check the near real-time beach capacity status before heading to the beach and to be patient and courteous to others as they enter beach parking lots. If you arrive at a favorite beach and find that the beach is full, please consider visiting a different location or returning at another time of day.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) offers year-round service to a number of popular beaches and a seasonal "Beach Bus" express route to several South County beaches. For details on the schedules, routes, and destinations, please visit RIPTA’s website.

DEM continues to accept applications for seasonal employment positions including qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. DEM has currently hired109 lifeguards to staff state beaches and parks as this essential summer workforce recruitment momentum continues. For more information about becoming a DEM lifeguard, please visit:

As always, DEM urges parents, guardians, and family members to watch their children while they’re swimming or near the water, including those who are unable to swim, regardless of age. Also, DEM further urges beachgoers to pay attention and adhere to all safety messaging given by beach staff and lifeguards. Public safety is DEM’s highest priority and staff monitor weather and ocean conditions daily. For more safety tips, please visit

Carry-in/Carry-Out Trash Policy

Everyone who enjoys parks, beaches, and public outdoor spaces has a responsibility to keep them clean. All DEM properties have a carry-in/carry-out trash policy. This policy has been in effect since 1992. We ask all visitors to come prepared to secure their trash in their own containers and dispose of it properly when they return home. This simple measure helps minimize litter, reduces nuisance wildlife issues, and prevents trash and plastics from entering coastal waters. “The carry-in/carry-out policy is a best practice across the country because it promotes conservation, fosters a sense of stewardship, and leads to better visitor experiences,” said Director Gray. 

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.