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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about FONZ membership? Find answers to the most commonly asked questions here.

How do I join FONZ?

There are four easy ways to join FONZ. You can join online instantly, contact the FONZ Membership Department directly at 202.633.2922, complete and mail this printable application form, or join at the Zoo at any information booth, parking booth, or gift shop.

When will I receive my permanent membership card?

Please allow up to three weeks for your membership card and welcome package to arrive in the mail. Still haven't received your card? Don't hesitate to call us at 202.633.2922 or email us to let us know.

Can I redeem my FONZ benefits before my permanent membership card arrives?

Yes. Your membership is active the day you join FONZ. If you join online, you will receive an email immediately confirming your membership.

You may print that email and bring it to the Zoo to enjoy your benefits. If you join during a visit to the Zoo, you will be given a temporary card valid for up to three months.

How many membership cards will I receive?

You will receive one membership card if you join at the National, Green, or Basic membership level. You will receive two membership cards if you join at the Premier level or higher. Premier+ level members and higher may also order a third membership card in the name of their nanny/caregiver or other adult family member.

Can membership be shared?

Memberships may not be shared by more than one household. All adults named on the card and their children up to age 18 must reside in the same household. Memberships are not transferable and are only valid for the individuals named on the card.

Can memberships be refunded?

Memberships are non-refundable. If you are moving out of state, check our reciprocity list for zoos and aquariums in your area.

What do I do if I misplace my membership card?

If you misplace your membership card, you can request a new card online. There is a $5 charge for printing a replacement card. If you do not have a valid membership card, you will not be able to receive free parking when visiting the Zoo. Please allow two to three weeks for delivery.

How can I renew my membership?

You can renew your membership online, at the Zoo, or by mail. You will receive renewal notices by mail and by email, if you provide your email address.

I've already renewed my FONZ membership, but I continue to receive renewal notices. Should I be concerned?

If you have recently renewed your FONZ membership, please disregard any further renewal notices. Although we work to process renewals as quickly as possible, it is possible that your payment and our notice may cross in the mail.

How can I change my mailing and email address?

You can change your mailing and email address by sending us an email with your name, old and new addresses, and FONZ member number.

What are the benefits of auto-renewal?

Select auto-renewal when joining or renewing your membership and enjoy these additional benefits:

  • Savings! Members who enroll in auto-renewal save up to 10 percent on National, Green, Basic, Premier, and Premier+ membership levels.
  • Convenience! Joining this program saves you time and resources. You will automatically receive new membership cards and all of the benefits of membership at your selected level, without interruption.
  • Environmental impact! It also helps us reduce costs and conserve natural resources by generating fewer printed renewal notices.
  • An email giving you the opportunity to upgrade your membership level and accompanying benefits, update payment or contact information, or cancel your auto-renewal participation will be sent prior to your annual membership renewal date. This program is only valid for credit card purchases—we will charge the same card annually before your membership expires.

Can I support FONZ if I live outside the D.C. Metro area?

By becoming a FONZ member at any level, you help support the National Zoo's commitment to providing leadership in animal care, science, education, and sustainability. The National membership level is only available to individuals living more than 200 miles outside of Washington, D.C. You can also support this important mission by donating to the National Zoo.

Do you offer discounts for seniors?

Yes. Seniors receive 20 percent off Green, Basic, Premier, and Premier+ memberships.

Is free parking included with my membership?

Premier, Premier+ and Donor membership levels include free parking when visiting the National Zoo during regular National Zoo hours. The Basic membership level includes half off parking fees. Green and National membership levels pay full parking fees.

Please note: The National Zoo is a popular destination, and the parking lots fill early in the day during spring break and summer, so we cannot guarantee that parking will be available. Plan to arrive early when weather is nice. National Zoo gates open at 6:00 a.m. April through October and many animals are in their outdoor exhibits before 10:00 a.m. during the summer season.

What are the rules for parking?

Premier, Premier+, and Donor membership levels include free parking when visiting the Zoo during regular National Zoo hours. The Basic membership level includes half off parking fees. Green and National membership levels pay full parking fees.

A valid FONZ membership card with matching photo ID is required for free or discounted parking. Please be prepared to present your FONZ membership card and ID at the parking gate. If you forget your membership card, or if it has an expired date on it, you will be charged for parking. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular National Zoo hours.

Can I get a refund for parking?

Effective April 1 members are required to show their cards with a photo ID upon entry to parking lots C, D, and E, and upon exit at lots A and B. We are doing everything we can to alert members of this change proactively. Members who did not know about this change in advance of their visit and were charged for parking are eligible for a full refund of their $22 parking fee by completing and mailing the Parking Reimbursement Request Form within 30 days of the date printed on the receipt. Only one refund may be issued per account within a calendar year. To be eligible for the refund, you must hold a current FONZ membership and mail the completed form within 30 days of the parking date. Forms must be submitted with your parking receipt.

I forgot to bring my membership card; can I still park at the Zoo for free?

A valid FONZ membership card with matching photo ID is required for free or discounted parking. Please be prepared to present your FONZ membership card and ID at the parking gate. If you forget your membership card, or if it has an expired date on it, you will be charged for parking. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular National Zoo hours. If you need a replacement membership card, please order one here.

Please note: Premier, Premier+, and Donor membership levels include free parking when visiting the Zoo during regular National Zoo hours. The Basic membership level includes half off parking. Green and National membership levels pay full parking fees.

Why must I show an ID with my membership card?

As a non-profit organization we rely heavily on membership dues and attendance fees for support. To prevent the misuse of your membership cards, we ask that you show a photo ID. We appreciate your understanding.

Is my membership payment tax-deductible?

Yes. The amount you may deduct varies by membership level.

Membership Level   Deductible Amount
National, Green, Basic, Premier, Premier+   100% of membership dues
Patron   $241.50
Sponsor   $491.50
Benefactor   $985.00
Director's Circle   $2,200.00
Conservation Circle   $4,400.00
Wildlife Society   $9,100.00

Is my membership good at other zoos?

The National Zoo participates in a reciprocal program that includes more than 100 zoos and aquariums nationwide. As a FONZ member, you are eligible to receive benefits from other participating organizations. Benefits may vary. We recommend that you call ahead to the zoo or aquarium you plan to visit to confirm what benefits are offered. See a list of reciprocating zoos and aquariums and their current benefits.

Does FONZ exchange mailing lists with other organizations?

FONZ does not sell membership information or sell or trade phone and email information. FONZ occasionally shares membership addresses with organizations we believe might be of interest to our members. If you do not wish your mailing address to be shared with other mailers, please email us or call 202.633.2922, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m-5 p.m.

Other questions?

If you don't see the answer to your question, please call us at 202.633.2922 or email us.

Thank you for supporting the National Zoo. Money raised through membership is used to support the National Zoo’s international wildlife conservation efforts.