Waukesha County Help Center

    FAQ: Parks Annual Memberships - Invisible Stickers 2023

    All there is to know about your 2023 Parks and Lake Access

    Written By Anthony Di Frances

    Updated by Anthony Di Frances on August 4th, 2023

    Is it really an invisible sticker?

    No, not really. Invisible stickers do not exist. 


    But there is great new technology that actually exists; we’re using it to help better allocate staff time and resources. It’s a scanner at the entrance of each fee-based park and lake access site that reads your vehicle’s license plate number as you drive in; then, through the magic of computing, your daily permit or annual membership is verified and you’re all set to enjoy your day. Actually, that’s only slightly less cool than an invisible sticker!


    And hey, feel free to tell your friends that there is an invisible sticker on your windshield!  


    Shop Annual Memberships: www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/ParkEntry

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    What’s a membership (formerly “annual sticker”)?

    The term “membership” describes your full year (or more) of parks and lake access thrills for $35 (senior rates available!) and $90, respectively. An annual member at Waukesha County Parks is part of a community wellness group, an appreciation society, and a knowledge base for new and would-be members. 


    Get started: www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/ParkEntry

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    I'm ready to purchase my membership(s)*. Can you help me get started?

    Of course! Here's how the pros do it:

    1. Grab your license plate info.
    2. Visit www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/ParkEntry and click your membership type*.
    3. Now you've jumped over to our online store. Quick log in (or create an account) before adding membership(s) and other items to your cart!
    4. (Once you've logged in [or created a new account], you may find yourself at your “account page.” Get back to shopping by clicking “Online Store.")
    5. Next, you'll browse memberships and membership packages. Once a membership and / or membership package is added to your cart, you'll assign it to a member of your household. 
    6. Now it's crunch time: Enter vehicle license plate(s) with all capitals, no hyphen, and no spaces. Also, please enter any letter “O” as the numeral “0” (zero).
    7. Be sure to disregard the “expiration date” shown on your invoice. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    *Tip: Shopping for a daily permit? In step #2 above, select your daily permit type then follow steps #3-7.  

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    Annual membership sounds great, but is there a pass for just a day or two?

    Yes! We love our out-of-town visitors and region-roaming parks enthusiasts. And we love our folks who come over to attend a graduation party or join local friends on their boat. 


    Get started on a daily permit: www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/ParkEntry


    Recommended: Become an annual member for the best value!

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    Where do I view prices and details?

    Have a gander at www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/ParkFees for info on annual memberships, daily permits, renting a reserved Picnic Area, booking Family Camping and Group Camping, and tons more!  

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    I’d rather pay via cash or check. What are my options?

    Come see us! Locations to pay via cash or check:

    • Waukesha County Parks main office - room AC 260 • M-F  8 am - 4 pm (map)
    • Retzer Nature Center – front reception desk • M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm | Sat 10 am - 3 pm (map)

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    I’m giving a membership as a gift. What's my first step?

    Awesome idea. You’ll need the recipient’s license plate number and full name. Recommended: Give a gift card! You can skip the whole license plate thing and also have something for your giftee(s) to open! 



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    Must I pay before entering the park?

    Nah, you’ve got a bit of time. Like tolls on the interstate, your park and lake access purchase(s) can wait until after your actual visit. Just get in here and have fun – then take care of business later*.


    • Five days or less after day of visit: Pay the same as you would on the day of visit! Be sure to take care when entering your license plate.

    • Six days or more after day of visit: Check your mailbox for a notice from us.

    • More than 30 days after postmark on notice: Check your mailbox for a second notice to pay for an Annual Membership.

    • More than 30 days after postmark on second notice: Check your mailbox for a final $50 (parks) / $105 (lake access) notice.

    • Unpaid final notice: Referral for municipal citation.


    *Recommended: Get an annual membership. Pay once and you’re hassle-free all of 2023!


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    Am I eligible for the “Disabled Vet / Former POW” rate for my Parks Annual Membership?

    The purchaser of a Disabled Vet/Former POW Sticker must qualify for one or more of the following criteria: 

    • Is a veteran, as defined in 38 USC 101, and is receiving disability compensation benefits for service-connected disabilities that result in a disability rating of 70 percent or greater under 38 USC 1114. 
    • Is a veteran, as defined in 38 USC 101, and is receiving service-connected disability compensation benefits under 38 USC 1101-1163 as individually unemployable (TDIU). 
    • Is a member of the U.S. armed services and was held as a prisoner of war during a war period, as defined in s. 45.01 (13), or while in service in a crisis zone, as defined in s. 45.01 (11).

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    Am I eligible for the “Senior” rate for my Parks Annual Membership?

    Are you 60 years old or older at the time of purchase? Well, then you're eligible! Enjoy the savings! 

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    I’ve received a notice in the mail about having used a Park / Lake Access without a permit or membership. What’s next?

    Tip: At the time of purchase, take care when entering your license plate and date of visit.

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    Can I buy at the park?

    Buy in person at these Parks locations:

    • Waukesha County Parks main office - room AC 260 • M-F  8 am - 4 pm (map)
    • Retzer Nature Center – front reception desk • M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm | Sat 10 am - 3 pm (map)

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    How do I update / change my license plate in your system?

    New vehicle? Rental car? Loaner from your dealership? No problem! Get started: www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/UpdateMembership

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    I have my State Parks sticker. Does that work at Waukesha County Parks?

    Not at this time.

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    I have my Parks annual membership. Does that include Lake Access?

    No, but grab a brand-new Parks & Lake Access membership bundle. That’ll cover all your park funfests and your boat days!


    Tip: Each vehicle entering a Lake Access requires a Lake Access annual membership or Lake Access daily permit. Parks annual membership and Parks daily permit not valid at Lake Access sites. 

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    I visit Waukesha County Parks beaches a lot. I need a Lake Access membership, right?

    Nah, each Waukesha County beach is inside a park – so it’s covered by a Parks annual membership.

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    I’m renting a reserved picnic area for a big party. Can I be the one to pay for all of my guests to come enjoy the park on the big day?

    You bet! Get started: www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/MyGuests

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    I liked my old annual windshield sticker. Can I have one anyway?

    We liked them too! We sure loved encountering them in random parking lots and at stoplights all over Wisconsin. That’s why we’re cooking up new stickers – for the other end of your vehicle-- so we all can continue to show our love for Waukesha County Parks and stay visible to fellow members. More info coming soon!

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