Cape Hatteras National Seashore Orv Permit
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the nation's first National Seashore is a dynamic barrier island ecosystem preserving unique plants and wildlife. The Seashore stretches approximately 67 miles along the Outer Banks of North Carolina and includes the islands of Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke. It is famous for its soft sandy beaches, renowned fishing opportunities, excellent surfing, coastal lighthouses and dynamic coastal processes.
It is important that all permitted drivers print and display proof of purchase on their dashboard or windshield.
We understand that not all permittees have the ability to print their permits. A self-certification card is available outside the Bodie Island, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island Visitor Centers along with our four campgrounds and various local businesses. An ORV permittee that cannot print their permit at www.recreation.gov can simply pick up a self-certification card, fill in the information from their permit, sign the card, and display it in their windshield.
Permit & Season Information
The National Park Service off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan permits the use of vehicles on designated ORV routes (ocean and sound side routes) to help protect the park's treasured resources. These ORV routes are generally marked with posts seaward of the toe of the dune or vegetation line to the high tide line. ORV routes through vegetated areas are posted on both sides of the route. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are highly recommended due to the soft and sandy conditions. If a vehicle gets stuck, commercial towing companies are available. National Park Service staff are not allowed to pull or tow stuck vehicles.
Two types of ORV permits are available: a 10-day permit and an annual permit valid for one year from date of purchase.
Need to Know
Rules and Regulations
- Prior to obtaining a permit, you are required to watch the informational video located here .
- UTVs, ATVs, golf carts and motorcycles are prohibited even if they are licensed for operating on roadways.
- Each vehicle must have its own permit.
- To obtain an ORV permit, your vehicle must:
- Be registered, licensed, and insured for highway use and comply with inspection requirements for the state, country, or province where the vehicle is registered.
- Have no more than two axles and have tires that are listed or approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation as described here .
- Vehicles are only permitted on designated ORV routes. The ORV map illustrating designated ORV routes and access points can be found here .
- Before driving on designated off-road vehicle routes, we strongly recommend tire pressure be lowered to at least 20 psi. The softer the sand, the lower the pressure needed. Reinflate tires to normal pressure after returning to paved roads. Many local businesses have air pumps.
- Required equipment within the vehicle includes a low-pressure tire gauge, shovel, jack, and jack support board.
- There are seasonal closures along certain ORV routes that generally range from April 15 - October 14.
- For current ramp and beach access information go to http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess or sign up for text alerts by texting “CAHAORV” to 333111.
- ORV routes may be temporarily closed if the carrying capacity is reached, if there is a specific need for resource protection, or for safety reasons.
- A transition to night driving (24 hours per day) could occur on some ORV routes as early as September 15 if there are no sea turtle nests remaining along a route. Full transition to night driving on all ORV routes occurs on November 16 and ends on April 30.
- Proof of Permit must be printed out and displayed in the driver's lower corner of the windshield while in an ORV area. For annual permits a vinyl decal will be mailed to replace the temporary paper Proof of Permit. Upon receiving the annual decal, it must be attached to the windshield to be valid. All ORV's are required to have a copy of the ORV Permit inside the vehicle.
- To print the Proof of Permit and ORV Permit:
- Click on the "My Reservations" either from your confirmation email or by logging in and clicking on your name in the upper right corner.
- Find the correct permit and click "Reservation Details."
- Click on "Print Permit."
- It is required that permitted drivers print proof of permit purchase or complete a self-certify card and display the proof on their dashboard or windshield. We understand that not all permittees can print their permits.
- Alternative self-certification cards are available at our visitor centers (Bodie, Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands), our campgrounds and various local businesses. An ORV permittee that cannot print their permit at www.recreation.gov can simply pick up a self-certification card, fill in the information from their permit, sign the card, and display it in their vehicle.
- For ORV specific questions please call (252) 475-9054, hours are 7:00 am – 5:30 pm est.
Annual Permits: $120.00
10 Day Permits: $50.00
There are no changes or refunds allowed.