New Route 209 commercial vehicle exemption in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area signed into law; 2023 permits available for sale now
DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – New legislation allowing limited use of US Route 209 through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area by some commercial vehicles was signed into law by President Biden as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, on December 29, 2022.
The previous law allowing eligible commercial vehicles to use US Route 209 with a permit expired on September 30, 2021.
Until the new law expires on September 30, 2026 operators of local commercial vehicles with 4 or fewer axles may obtain a permit to use US Route 209 if the vehicle is owned and operated by a business that is physically located in the park or in one or more of nine adjacent municipalities, or if the operator is serving a business or person located in the park or in one or more of the adjacent municipalities.
Adjacent municipalities include the following: Delaware Township, Dingman Township, Lehman Township, Matamoras Borough, Milford Township, Milford Borough, Middle Smithfield Township, Smithfield Township, and Westfall Township.
All other commercial vehicles are prohibited on Route 209 through the park. School buses transporting students for school or school-related activities and fire, ambulance, and other public safety and emergency vehicles do not need a permit to use the road.
How do you get a commercial vehicle permit for 2023?
- Applications are available on the park website at: www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm.
- The fee to obtain a commercial vehicle permit, as outlined by law, is $200 per eligible vehicle for per year. Permits are valid from October 1 to September 30 annually.
- Permits are available for purchase in person, online, and by mail.
- In person: Permits are available at Park Headquarters, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Headquarters is closed on federal holidays.
- Online/By Mail: Download and complete the application on the park website and submit the completed form, proof of insurance, and a check or credit card information to the park by mail. Once payment is processed, permits will be mailed to the applicant. Completed applications materials should be mailed to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Attention: Commercial Vehicle Permits, PO Box 2, Bushkill, PA 18324.
What is considered a commercial vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is defined by federal law as any vehicle used to transport property or provide services to an individual or business for a fee or profit or that is used in connection with any business regardless of how the vehicle is registered. A vehicle registered to an individual is considered a commercial vehicle if it is used to conduct business.
The use of government roads within national park areas by commercial vehicles, when such use is in no way connected with the operation of the park area, is prohibited under federal regulations. This law, and other the commercial vehicle laws that were in place in the past, provides an exception to that general regulation under certain conditions and parameters, as defined by legislation.
For more information on commercial vehicles, click here.