ASTC Passport Program—All There Is to Know

June 28, 2024

3 min. read


astc passport program requirements

You can find a lot of information about the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) on the web. In this article, we will put together in one place details and web resources about the benefits of the ASTC Passport Travel Program and the ASTC Passport Program itself that might be handy for you.

In Focus

What is ASTC and Passport Program?

The ASTC is an international organization that was founded in 1973. It streamlines the voice of the global community and facilitates IT possibilities for science museums, centers, and institutions.

The ASTC supports innovation and scientific learning by inspiring people globally. It introduces breakthrough creations and scientific powers into peoples’ lives.

There are more than five hundred members around the world out of about fifty countries. More than half of the ASTC members take part in the ASTC Travel Passport Program.

If you need to get a photo for the passport program, just like you would for a US regular passport, get a UPS passport photo now. All the background and lighting corrections are done on the fly.

On the other hand, if you do need a passport photo and a passport to travel to an ASTC scientific center abroad, you can learn all about how to take a picture, how to staple a passport photo and fill out a passport application form quickly and easily.

ASTC Passport Program

If you are wondering what is the ASTC Travel Passport Program (or Passport Program), the name actually speaks for itself. It is an admission program that provides benefits while you travel and visit various participating ASTC science institutions, museums, and centers.

To join the program, you need to obtain membership. Since the ASTC does not manage membership cards, you can acquire one at your nearest science center participating in the program. Your benefits will be included in your program and you will be eligible to use them.

To learn the list of participating venues, please go to Only some ASTC-member science institutions take part in the Travel Passport Program by ASTC.

To get more information on a particular center or museum, visit its website. You’ll get useful details on the operation and guidelines for advanced reservations.

What are the benefits of ASTC-member Passport Program?

astc passport program list

The benefit of the ASTC-member Passport Program is free general admission at participating science centers and museums outside of your local area that is within a 90-mile distance. The travel benefit comes along with the ASTC Membership Passport Program.

How to use ASTC Passport Program before you travel?

Your initial step will be to contact the science center or the institution you plan to visit.

First of all, you need to ensure the center of your visit is not within a 90-mile radius of the science institution where you are a member and resident. If it is, then this center is not included. And consequently, you can’t apply the benefits of your ASTC Travel Passport Program there. It has been active due to the United States Free-Market rules and fair trade regulations since 1999.

You can take advantage of your benefits within participating centers placed within more than a 90-mile radius of the science center of your residence.

To visit the participating center and museum, get your ID ready. It can also be any other proof of residence. For your benefits to be accessible, you should be able to present your proof of residence when you attend the ASTC Passport Program venue.

The admission staff can request your identification for these purposes. Science centers and museums that ask for IDs have the special ✓IDs marks.

Apart from the ID as proof of your residence, you need to have your ASTC Membership Passport Program card with you at the venue. You might not be granted benefits if you leave your membership card at home.

This is because there exists no universal database for admission staff to reference. There is no unified data storage that could provide data and expiration dates of the ASTC Travel Passport Program at the participating venue.

In the worst scenario when you accidentally leave your membership passport at home, the admission staff can allow you to call the science center or museum you joined to confirm your membership. However, they are under no obligation to carry that out.

ASTC-member Passport Program (free general admission) 

As a member of the program, you are eligible for a travel benefit giving reciprocal admission at participating science centers and museums outside of your local area within 90 miles in every direction.

To find out about free general admission and local reciprocal admission programs, please contact your local science center.

ASTC Passport Program and free participants

astc passport program map

If you plan your visit to ASTC-member museums with your family, find out the Passport Program requirements for the family members’ submission. You need to learn the family admittance policy by visiting the institution’s official website. It’s also recommended to phone the planned venue before your departure.

This being said, please note that there is a specific admission policy for every participating science center or museum. These policies determine how many participants might be eligible for Passport Program benefits.

Family members’ admission with the Passport Program at ASTC centers

If you plan to visit special exhibits, IMAX films, and shows, you need to note that the Passport Program does facilitate free general admission to eligible membership card holders. Alongside, it might not cover large-screen theater presentations, planetariums, or traveling displays and shows.

You can also obtain discounts on museum stores if there is such a specification in the admission policy.


How much does ASTC-member Passport Program cost?

Please get in touch with your local science institution to learn about membership costs. The price will include Passport Program travel benefits and membership for your local participating science center or museum.

What if ASTC Membership Passport Program card is lost?

If you lose your card, please contact your home science museum, as the ASTC can’t reissue your card and doesn’t administer cards for membership.

How often is ASTC Search Passport Program list of participants updated?

You can see the newly updated list of participants for the ASTC Travel Passport Program twice a year at The activation dates are before May 1st and November 1st.