Permits & Passes


If you plan to purchase a pass please call (757)301-7329 ext. 3106 to ensure staff availability during your visit. Passes are available at Refuge Fee Booth and the Visitor Contact Station located at 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. Payments for passes may be made by cash or check only.

Several activities require Special Use Permits at Back Bay NWR. Commercial activities, such as commercial photography, filming and kayak tour operation, are permitted by Special Use Permit and when in line with U.S. Fish and Wildlife policy. Special tram tours, weddings and conservation-related special events are permitted on a case-by-case basis. Night surf fishing and hunting permits may be obtained for those activities during the course of the season. Biological research and collection are also allowed when approved by refuge management. Please contact the Visitor Services Specialist at (757)301-7329 ext.3106 to obtain a permit. Permit fees may apply.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of approximately 100 national wildlife refuges participating in a fee collection program under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). This Act gives federal agencies the ability to charge entrance fees on their lands. Eighty percent of all collected fees go directly back to the station to improve the visitor experience. The remaining twenty percent is distributed among other stations which do not have a fee program, allowing improvement of visitor facilities in these locations. National passes associated with FLREA are also accepted and sold at Back Bay NWR. Fees are collected from April 1 to October 31. 

If you are driving to the Refuge specifically to purchase a pass please call the Visitor Services Specialist at (757)301-7329 ext. 3106 to ensure staff availability at the time of your visit. All passes are sold at the Visitor Contact Station and/or Refuge Fee Booth, located at 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. Payments may be made in cash or check only. The passes sold at the Refuge are the following:

  • Vehicle Day Pass - $5.00
  • Hiker/Biker Family Day Pass - $2.00
  • Bus/Van (20 people or less) - $25.00
  • Groups (over 20 people) - $30.00
  • Refuge Annual Pass - $15.00
  • Federal Duck Stamp - $25.00 (entrance to any national wildlife refuge)
  • America the Beautiful Senior Pass - $80.00 for lifetime pass; $20.00 for annual pass
  • America the Beautiful National Annual Pass - $80.00 
  • America the Beautiful Military Pass - Free for Active Duty Service Members
  • America the Beautiful Disabled Access Pass - Free (also available at Refuge Headquarters, located at 1324 Sandbridge Road - call 301-7329 to schedule a pickup time)