Parking Tag Required Beginning
March 1, 2023
Parking Tag Basics
- Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types:
- Daily – $5
- Weekly – $15
- Annual – $40
- Parking tags will not be replaceable, refundable, transferable, or upgradable.
- Each tag will be valid for a single vehicle and must include a license plate number matching the vehicle in which it is displayed.
- Parking tags will be available for purchase both online and onsite.
- Display of physical parking tags in each vehicle will be required. Digital representations will not be accepted.
- Parking tags will not be location-specific. A parking tag will be required to park in any designated parking spot anywhere within the boundaries of the Smokies.
- Parking tags will not be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes.
Parking Tag Purchase Options
Display Your Parking Tag
Annual parking tags must be displayed in the front, lower passenger side windshield. Daily and weekly parking tags must be placed face-up on the front, lower passenger side dashboard.
I have multiple vehicles in my household, can I transfer my parking tag between them?
- No. Each parking tag is valid for a single vehicle and must include the license plate for the vehicle in which is it displayed.
Where should I display my valid parking tag?
- Annual parking tags must be displayed in the front, lower passenger side windshield. Daily and weekly parking tags must be placed face-up on the front, lower passenger side dashboard.
If I have a parking tag, would I be guaranteed a parking spot?
No, parking tags will not a guarantee a specific parking spot in a specific location or for a specific time frame.
Parking at the busiest areas will require visitors to plan ahead to choose off-peak hours, days, and seasons to better the chances of parking availability.
How will the parking tag requirement be enforced?
Failure to comply with the parking tag requirements may result in a warning, a citation, or your vehicle being towed at your expense.
A variety of staff positions will assist in raising awareness of the program through presence across the park.
When will my parking tag expire?
Daily and weekly parking tags expire at 11:59pm ET on the date printed on the tag.
Annual parking tags expire at 11:59pm ET on the last day of expiration month.
Are there different parking tag prices based on vehicle size or type?
No. The same parking tag options and prices apply to all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, UTVs, RVs etc., regardless of size.
Please keep in mind that parking is extremely limited for oversized vehicles.
Will interagency passes be accepted in lieu of the parking tag or will there be a discount on parking tags for interagency pass holders?
Interagency passes (aka America the Beautiful passes) will NOT be accepted in lieu of the parking tag and will NOT provide a discount for the purchase of the parking tag.
The park continues to apply a 50% discount on camping fees for two America the Beautiful pass types, Access and Senior.
You can learn more about the America the Beautiful pass types at the NPS Entrance Passes webpage.
Will the park offer free parking tags to Tribal citizens?
Yes, the National Park Service will provide parking tags at no cost to Tribal leaders who will then distribute the tags to Tribal citizens who are coming to the park for traditional activities.
The National Park Service expressly allows citizens of American Indian Tribes to enter parks for traditional activities without paying fees.
The NPS acknowledges that the phrase “’traditional’ activities” is neither a static concept nor is a set of neatly listed activities that can be defined by the NPS but should be defined by the member of the respective communities themselves.
Will there be a discount for residents of local counties?
The annual tag option is specifically provided to meet the needs of local residents for year-round, repeated access.
Will the Smokies participate in the NPS fee free days?
Yes, the Smokies will participate in the NPS fee free days. Visitors will not need to display a valid parking tag on fee free days.
Will family members be able to visit family gravesites inside the park without paying the fee?
The park uses the Special Use Permit system to issue permits at no cost for Decoration Days, family reunions for descendants across the park, and cemetery visits.
Decoration Day permit holders will be exempt from the parking tag requirement for the duration of their permit.
Each cemetery visit is unique and park staff work directly with descendants to coordinate special access including annual boat shuttles, vehicle shuttles, and use of administrative roads.
Will vehicles parked at a commercial service inside the park be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
No. Parking lots associated with commercial services will not exempt from the parking tag requirement.
Will vehicles displaying a disabled parking placard or license plate be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
Yes. Vehicles with valid, state-issued disabled placards or license plates are exempt from the parking tag requirement.
Will special use permit holders be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
Three special use permit types are exempt from the parking tag requirement: burials, cemetery visits including Decoration Days and first amendment activities. No other special use permit types, including weddings, are exempt from the parking tag requirement.
Will picnic pavilion reservation holders be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
No. Having a picnic pavilion reservation does not exempt you from the parking tag requirement.
Will registered frontcountry campers and permitted backcountry users be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
No. Backcountry campers will not be exempt from the parking tag requirement.
Front country campers parked at their designated campsite will not be required to have a parking tag. If they park elsewhere in the park, a parking tag will be required. Please note that parking tags will be required for vehicles in excess of what is allowable for each campsite. Information about how many vehicles are allowed at each facility is available on recreation.gov.
Will Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) service providers be exempt from the parking tag requirement?
No. Having a CUA does not exempt you from the parking tag requirement. The same requirements and the same price structure applies to CUA holders.
I drive a motorcycle; how will I display my parking tag?
- The annual parking tag is a cling and can be adhered to the motorcycle windshield or other highly-visible surface.
- The daily and weekly tags are paper but will also need to be prominently displayed. Making sure the tag does not blow away or fall off is the responsibility of the visitor. One option is to tape the tag to the inside of the motorcycle windshield or instrument display. Motorcyclists should plan ahead and come prepared to adequately display their parking tag.
What will the parking tag fee support?
All revenue generated through these user fees will remain in the Smokies to directly support operational costs for managing and improving services for visitors including trail maintenance, custodial services, trash removal, and supporting more staffing to increase the presence of personnel across the park.
Will the parking tag program relieve congestion or solve parking issues in the park?
Parking tag sales will not be limited or capped, therefore, the program is not anticipated to relieve congestion or solve parking issues in the park.
Parking tag revenue will be used to better serve the visitor with one of the goals being the reduction of congestion.