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Member Services and Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome! We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about membership and hope the following information answers all of your queries. If we’ve missed anything, please don’t hesitate to contact us. The Membership office is open Monday-Friday, from 8 AM – 4 PM, and closed on holidays. We can be reached by email at or by phone 619.255.0275.

How long does my membership last?

Your membership is good for one year from the time of purchase. Expiration dates fall on the last day of the month. 

I didn’t receive my membership card/The info on my membership card is incorrect

Please email the Membership Department at so that we may update or resend your digital membership card.

What is the ASTC Travel Passport Program?

The Nat participates in the Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC) Travel Passport Program. Members at the Individual Plus level and above are eligible for reciprocal benefits such as free general admission when you travel outside of your local area. Please note that in order to receive reciprocal benefits, the participating organizations must be further than 90 miles from The Nat as well as further than 90 miles away from your home address.

The Nat is thrilled to offer this as a benefit, however we advise our members to review the program’s website for a list of participating institutions and other rules and restrictions.  

Is the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center included in my ASTC Travel Passport Program?

According to the rules established by the ASTC, membership cards are NOT honored at institutions within 90 miles of the institution where the membership was purchased. Cards are also not honored at institutions within 90 miles of the cardholder’s residence. This is not the policy of The Nat, rather it is the policy put in place by the ASTC Travel Passport Program.

Is my membership tax deductible?

The San Diego Natural History Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. A certain amount of your membership dues may be tax deductible based on the fair market value of goods and services received. Please consult an attorney or tax advisor for tax advice. Check out the membership benefits page for the fair market value of your membership level.

Do you share my e-mail address or postal address with anyone?

Your e-mail address will never be traded or released to any outside organization. On occasion, we do share our mailing list with like-minded groups. If you prefer that we do not share your mailing address, please contact the Membership Department at 619.255.0275 or at

How will I use my digital membership card?

Your digital membership card is unique to your membership and displays your name, membership level, expiration date and a barcode for us to scan. Simply show your digital membership card to our staff at the front desk to check in. We can also always look you up by name with a photo ID or other form of identification.

Where can I sign up to become a museum member?

It’s easy to become a member! Join, renew, or give the gift of membership online, at the Admissions Desk, or by calling the Membership Department at 619.255.0275.

How do I receive my digital membership card?

Your digital membership card will be sent to your email address. You will need to open this email on your mobile device and follow the instructions to download the card. The card will automatically be stored in your phone’s wallet app.

What’s the difference between a membership at The Nat and a Balboa Park Explorer pass?

The Balboa Park Explorer Pass grants free admission to 16 institutions in Balboa Park, including The Nat, for one price. This is a good option for individuals and families looking to try out a variety of the museums in Balboa Park.

Explorer pass holders are not members of The Nat and do not enjoy any other benefits beyond free admission. Members at The Nat enjoy unlimited free admission, unlimited access to films showing in our movie theater, free guest passes, invitations to members-only events, and discounts on camp, special programs, and in the Flying Squirrel Café and the Museum store. Members of The Nat also directly support our education and research projects. For more information, go here.

What if I don’t have a wallet app installed on my phone?

Apple users have a built-in wallet that cannot be deleted. Android users will need to download “Wallet Passes” from the Play Store before downloading the card. Once installed, the email you receive will provide step-by-step instructions and a link to download the card.

Who is included in my membership?

Your membership benefits are listed on the back of your digital membership cards as well as on our website here.

Will my digital card update when I renew my membership?

Yes! The digital card will automatically update when your membership information changes. For example, your expiration date and membership level will automatically update the next time you renew or upgrade your membership. This means that you only need to download the card once!

Why is the member ticket price the same as the non-member ticket price?

Discounts are applied once the item is in your shopping cart. In order for our online system to recognize you as a member, be sure to click the “Sign in” button at the top-right of the screen and log in with your email and password. You will see your member discount reflected in the total before you are asked for payment. If the discount is not applying, please contact the Membership Department at 619.255.0275 or

How will I receive my guest passes?

Your guest passes have been digitally added to your membership account. To redeem, simply let our admissions staff know that you would like to use your guest passes when you check in. 

If your guests would like to visit The Nat without you, they will just need to let our admissions staff know that they would like to use the guest passes listed under your membership. 

I purchased tickets to an event but didn’t get my member discount. What should I do?

Have your membership ID handy and call the Membership Department at 619.255.0275 or the front desk at 619.232.3821 for a partial refund.

How will my reciprocal benefits work when visiting other museums?

Digital membership cards display the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) logo and provide a link to an up-to-date list of participating organizations. Simply show your digital membership card at participating museums to receive your reciprocal admission.

When will I receive my membership cards?

Your Digital Membership Cards will be emailed to you within 1 week of joining or renewing your membership. If you did not receive an email to download your digital membership cards, please email

I am not sure I received my digital card. Can you send it again?

Yes! Please contact us at and we can resend the email for you to download and enjoy your digital membership card.

Where can I edit my address and update my email?

Contact us at with your full name and updated information or call the Membership Department at 619.255.0275.

What if I prefer a paper membership card?

In an effort to create a contactless experience for our members and staff in a Covid-19 world, we will no longer issue paper membership cards by default. If you do not have a way to access a digital card, please let us know by emailing or by phone at 619.255.0275

My child did not receive a membership card?

Only adults will receive membership cards. Children 17 and under are included in their family’s or grandparents’ memberships and will not need their own card.

What’s included with the guest passes?

Members can give their guest passes to friends and family and take advantage of free general admission. Films are not included with the guest passes and cost an additional $5 per person to view all films.

My member discount wasn’t applied. Can I get a refund/credit?

Please submit a <contact form> to request a refund or credit. 

Do I get a discount on your online store?

Yes! All Members of The Nat receive 10% off purchases on orders of $15+ with an exclusive promotional code. All members can find their promo codes on the reverse of their digital membership cards or in their member enewsletter, Field Notes. No need to dig for fossils.  

Where can I find the promo code for my online store discount?

All members can find their promo codes on the reverse of their digital membership cards or in their member enewsletter, Field Notes. No need to dig for fossils.

Still having trouble? We've got experience finding lost species—and other lost things—so we can help. Just contact and we’ll get back to you with your promo code ASAP.

Does my membership renew automatically?

No, we will never renew your membership automatically. When your membership is due for renewal, you'll get reminders a few months in advance.