As I get older, I begin to find out about perks available to me for simply getting older. Nice!

One such perk is free parking at Westport's Horseneck Beach and most other Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)-run parks in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts residents who are 62 years old or older are eligible for a Senior Parking Pass. According to the DCR website, "Senior Passes are valid for life and grant access to most DCR parks that charge a parking fee." That also includes Demarest Lloyd State Park in Dartmouth.

Horseneck Beach

The pass must be obtained through the mail and not over the telephone or online.

A Senior Parking Pass is available only to Massachusetts residents, so proof of residency is required. That can include a copy of your Massachusetts driver's license or a government-issued ID and proof of Massachusetts residency (i.e. vehicle registration or a utility bill).

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Your proof of residency must include a $10 check or money order made out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The request should also contain a phone number. Seniors should send that information to:

Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street
8th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
Attention: Parking Office

Because of the pandemic, many Massachusetts government offices are not operating at full tilt yet, so it could take four to seven weeks for your Senior Parking Pass to arrive. Order it now, and it should arrive in time for you to begin enjoying free parking by the time the nice weather gets here.

When you examine the parking fees for some DCR parks and beaches, you will see that the Senior Parking Pass is a great option. Discounted and free parking is also available for some veterans and the disabled. Annual parking passes are available for all other eligible Massachusetts residents.

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Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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