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Permit Fees

2020 Permit Fee (CFA) Update

Billing Dates. Typically, Forest Service bills are generated with a January 1st due date and payment expected within 30 days of the due date.  A bill not generated by January 1st typically will specify a bill due date using the date it's generated, with the same payment expectation of 30 days following.

Did you know? The USFS allows permit holders to pay their annual permit fees online using a credit card. No additional transaction fee applies. To go to the bill pay site for your Forest Service permit fee payment, click here

Cabin Fee Act & Fee Increases. After a successful implementation of the new Cabin Fee Act (CFA) fee system in 2016 by the Forest Service, all future permit fee changes are limited to an annual adjustment for inflation. No other fee increase is allowed under the CFA. Cabin owners will not face future fee uncertainty and steep fee increases common under the prior fee system.

Annual Permit Fee Table


Fee Tier    (2020)
   This Year                  
Annual Permit Fee

Annual Permit Fee

 Annual Permit Fee

Annual Permit Fee



$650  $659  $666 $679


$1,150  $1,166 $1,182  $1,201 


$1,650 $1,673 $1,697  $1,724 


$2,150  $2,180 $2,211  $2,246 


 $2,650  $2,687 $2,725  $2,769 


 $3,150 $3,194 $3,239  $3,291 


 $3,650  $3,701 $3,753  $3,813 


 $4,150 $4,208 $4,267  $4,335


$4,650  $4,715 $4,781  $4,857 


$5,150 $5,222 $5,295  $5,380 


 $5,650      $5,729      $5,809  $5,902 
Annual Adjustment  Current
Base Year  1.398%  1.405%  1.598% 
 Transfer Fee*  $1,278$1,200  $1,217   $1,234 $1,254 


* = The Transfer Fee is a one-time fee applied when a new permit is issued due to a change of cabin ownership, which is adjusted each year by the same inflationary index.

So what happens next?

Transfer Fee.  At the beginning of 2016, the Forest Service also implemented the CFA $1,200 Transfer Fee, to be paid when a new permit is issued due to a change of cabin ownership. While a buyer and seller may negotiate who pays the fee as part of the sales transaction, the U.S. Forest Service will bill the new permit holder (buyer) when issuing a new permit due to a change of ownership.  The Forest Service has yet to publish the final rules regarding the transfer fee, so we offer the transfer fee guideline document below based upon our on-going dialog with the Forest Service.  While this information is NFH’s current understanding, this Transfer Fee Guideline document is not official and is subject to change with the official publication by the Forest Service.

Permit Changes. In the near future, you should receive a permit addendum, updating permit terms to conform to the new CFA law. All other terms of existing permits remain in effect, including the 20-year term which is scheduled for renewal in 2028. All future new permits will be issued with the updated CFA language.

USFS Handbook Changes.  Recreation Residence rules and regulation updates are necessary to remove references to the old CUFFA fee system and to add CFA fee language to conform to the new law. We understand these changes have been drafted and are circulating within the agency for approval.

Still have questions? Please view the reference documents below, and/or click here to submit your CFA question.

Permit Fee Documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Cabin Fee Act (CFA) Summary PDF (235.38 KB) Administration 1/5/2017
CFA Frequently Asked Questions PDF (214.52 KB) Administration 1/3/2017
CFA Transfer Fee Guidelines PDF (103.31 KB) Administration 12/4/2019
CFA Passage Announcement PDF (272.68 KB) Administration 1/3/2017
CFA Bill Text (HR3979 Section 3024) PDF (43.26 KB) Administration 1/3/2017
USFS On-line Bill Pay Instructions PDF (805.87 KB) Administration 1/5/2017