Passport Stamp Collecting Goals & Guidelines

Goals of the Lighthouse Passport Program
  • Act as an educational tool by encouraging the use of the Passport Club and USLHS websites to learn more about lighthouses and maritime history.
  • Provide a vehicle for lighthouses and other participating locations to obtain donations to continue their preservation, restoration or educational efforts. Stamp collectors are encouraged to doante a dollar for each stamp collected.
  • Provide a chronological pictorial journal of lighthouse visits.
  • Act as an incentive for collectors, young and old, to learn more about lighthouses and their role in American maritime history. This includes the recognition awards provided by the Passport Club.
  • Add to the excitement and fun of visiting lighthouses and encouraging participating in lighthouse events, festivals, challenges and tours.

Remember to always provide at least $1 donation for each stamp you receive

Participating location hours/days of opening: 

Many participating locations are only open seasonally.  In addition, the days and hours of the week they are open may be limited by the availability of volunteers.  It is strongly suggested that you call or check the location’s website to determine their hours of opening.  

Obtaining stamp images via mail: 

There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to obtain a stamp when you visit a participating location.  Two of the most common are that the location is closed or the stamp has been misplaced.  Some locations are willing to provide you with a copy of the stamp via mail upon request.  These sites are clearly identified on the webpages with the stamp location information.

  • Minimum of a $1 donation (more is better)
  • Self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for them to return the stamp to you.
  • Some locations may require a photograph taken when you visited the closed lighthouse.

If you send in a request to a location that does not indicate that such a service is available, you will not receive anything in return.

International Lighthouses: 

The USLHS Passport Program is designed for lighthouses located in the United States.  However, there are some exceptions since some international locations (including Canada) have a stamp depicting or identifying their lighthouse.  These will be accepted but photographs of lighthouses outside of the United States cannot be used toward any of the achievement awards.

Stamps available on Lighthouse Cruises

Some stamps are made for companies that provide cruises to one or more lighthouses.  These offshore lights are often difficult or impossible to see from the land.  These stamps have some identifying tex that indicates that you obtained it on the cruise and are not available any other way,  They are not available by mail or without participating in the cruise.  Please note that other stamps for the same lighthouses are often available at other locations.

Multiple stamps for the same location: 

Some locations will have more than one stamp, each with a different design, for the same lighthouse.  This commonly occurs when they have both a locally produced stamp as well as a Society stamp.  You may include multiple stamps in your Passport as long as the stamp provides an image and name of the lighthouse.  All these stamps count toward a “stamp only” book.  In addition, some lighthouses have different stamps that are available at multiple locations (e.g. one at the lighthouse and another one at a local visitor's center).  Once again, they can be included IF they depict and identify the lighthouse.  Non-ink stamps (e.g. postage stamps), stickers and other images not made by the ink type rubber stamps will not be accepted.

Passport entries that qualify for the Lighthouse Passport Achievement Awards

Entries you may use to complete your passport book include:

  1. Official U.S. Lighthouse Society stamps are available at participating locations only. Other lighthouse specific stamps you are able to get at a lighthouse in addition to the official Society stamp, which would be considered “unofficial” in nature, count for your book. We only accept stamps or photos of lighthouses, maritime museums, life-saving stations, Coast Guard stations and Fresnel lenses. You may be asked to submit additional stamps to complete your passport.
  2. Society stamps held at headquarters for lighthouses.  Currently this includes stamps from Isle Royale (4) and Texas (1). These stamps are available upon request (see “Obtaining stamp images via mail”)
  3. Locally produced lighthouse stamps with an image and name of the lighthouse. These must be the rubber type or self inking image stamps.  Postage type stamps, internet photos and souvenir type stamps, coins, or other non-ink type stamps are not accepted.
  4. A National Park Service cancellation stamp which identifies the lighthouse (e.g. Cape Hatteras).
  5. Special stamps produced for lighthouses visited on tours conducted by the U.S. Lighthouse Society.  These are only available to tour participants.
  6. Special stamps created for Passport Club members which includes the Passport Club stamp and the holiday fundraiser stamps issued each year.  Other stamps that are issued directly by the Society in the future will also be acceptable.
  7. A photograph of the light you took, reduced in size to fit into the passport book square, along with the date that you visited the lighthouse. Since a major purpose of the program is to generate donations to lighthouses, we request that you limit the number of photos.

In order to qualify for the “Stamp Only” Achievement Award, a passport cannot contain any photographs - only stamps as listed above.

Obtaining your achievement awards (Patches, Wings & All Stamp Flags)

In order to obtain your achievement awards and be listed in our Hall of Fame, each Passport must contain 60 entries.  If you are not able to fit four stamps on each page, use the blank pages in the back of the book to complete this requirement.  There are several ways for you to obtain your awards.  These are listed in the order of speed of processing and return.
1.  Scan the images in your passport and attach the scans to an email to:
2.  Mail a photo copy to USLHS Passport Program, 9005 Point No Point Rd., NE, Hansville, WA 98340.  Include a SASE to receive your patch and/or flag by return mail. 
3.  Mail the completed passport book along with $4 for return postage and tracking service.  It is recommended that you obtain a tracking number when you mail it to the office.  Include your email address so we can acknowledge its receipt. 

Note:  If you have any questions regarding you completed passport or the status of your award request, please do not call the office.  Send your inquiry to: 

Locations that do not accept donations: 

While one of the major goals of the Passport Program is to generate donations to assist lighthouses, not all locations are able to accept them.  Examples include National Park sites, local visitor’s centers, retail stores and chambers of commerce.  Our suggestion is to leave an extra dollar at the next lighthouse you visit.  That way you are still contributing to lighthouse preservation!

Always Check the Website listings for the most up to date information about stamp availability before planning trips or sending a request for a stamp by mail