Needs Based Punch Cards Information

  • All recipients must be current Lummi Island residents.
  • View needs-based ferry rates on the rates webpage.
  • You must have a current needs-based voucher from the Opportunity Council OR
  • Your Lummi Island property must show a current senior citizen or disabled person (SNR/DSB) exemption
    • Eligibility to purchase passes will be verified via the Assessor’s website each time you purchase needs-based punch cards.  If your exemption doesn’t appear on the Assessor’s website at the time of purchase, you will not be sold a ferry pass. 
    • It can take several months for the exemption to show up on the Assessor’s website.  You may want to apply for an exemption at the Opportunity Council as a stop-gap measure until your SNR/DSB exemption shows on the Assessor’s website.

Two ways to qualify for the needs-based program.

1. Property Tax Based Qualifications Determined by the Assessor’s Office.

The process to qualify for needs-based punch cards based on a property tax exemption will not change. Applications are filed with and managed by the Whatcom County Assessor's Office and must be renewed at least every six (6) years, or anytime there is a change in circumstance or income.

2. Income-Based Qualifications Determined by the Opportunity Council.

The Opportunity Council processes all needs-based applications based on income. 

  • Call the Opportunity Council at 360 734-5121 ext. 0 to schedule an appointment. Approval is based on the HUD very low-income levels by family size shown below:
    • 2020 HUD Very-Low Income Limits
      • $56,300 or less for a family of eight 
      • $52,900 or less for a family of seven 
      • $49,500 or less for a family of six 
      • $46,100 or less for a family of five 
      • $42,650 or less for a family of four 
      • $38,400  or less for a family of three 
      • $34,150 or less for a family of two 
      • $29,900 or less for an individual
    • Proof of income for each household member over the age of eighteen (18) is required when the application is screened. Program eligibility must be re-evaluated every 12 months (a new application must be submitted to evaluate continued participation in the program).
    • If the application is approved, a voucher will be provided by the Opportunity Council. Valid photo identification must be presented when purchasing needs-based punch cards.  Voucher expiration dates will be verified each time prior to selling needs-based punch cards. If you do not have a current voucher, you will be referred to the Opportunity Council.
    • Applying for this program has no cost for the applicant.
    • How to purchase needs-based punch cards.

      • Purchase online with a credit card.
        • Please note a credit card convenience fee will be charged by the credit card processing company.
        • It can take up to two weeks for you to receive your punch card so please plan accordingly
      • Purchase through the mail by printing and completing the needs-based mail-in form
        • Mail the completed form and a check as payment to 322 N. Commercial St. STE 210, Bellingham, WA  98225.
        • It can take up to two weeks for you to receive your punch card so please plan accordingly.
    • Due to Covid19, the only way to purchase a needs-based punch card in person is at the monthly punch card sale date on Lummi Island. Important details about in-person sales:

      • Payment accepted via check, money order, or credit card.
        • Credit card fees apply.
        • No cash accepted. 
      • You must show a photo ID to purchase. 
    • Upcoming in-person punch card sale dates are sent out via press release.