Assateague Island National Seashore Osv Permits
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore is a 37-mile long barrier island on the Atlantic Coast of Maryland and Virginia. Famed for its wild horses, this barrier island is a constantly shifting ribbon of sand, altered daily by powerful wind and waves. Assateague Island, dedicated as a National Seashore on September 1, 1965, lays claim to a long and rich history. Today's visitors can explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays. Only a couple of miles wide at its broadest point, the island's terrain offers shelter to the famed wild horses as well as sika deer, ghost crabs, and migrating birds such as the great blue heron and snowy egret. Favorite recreational activities include fishing, surfing, beachcombing, swimming, and sunbathing.
The Over-Sand Vehicle (OSV) zone at Assateague Island contains miles of unspoiled beaches managed by the National Park Service to accommodate OSV enthusiasts and other beach goers.
Vehicles using the OSV zone must display a permanently affixed OSV permit sticker valid for the area and time of use. The OSV permit document must be in the vehicle.
Permit & Season Information
Permit is valid as of the date of purchase and pickup must be made within 10 days of purchase.
An OSV Permit allows 24-hr access to the Maryland OSV zone. Permittee must be actively fishing from midnight to 5 am. Allows access during Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge hours to the Virginia OSV zone
A Bullpen Permit allows overnight camping (Maryland only) for self-contained/hard-sided vehicles with approved toilet and permanently installed waste-water storage tanks capable of holding two (2) days' volume of waste
Both types of permits are good for a full year from the month of purchase
The OSV zone remains open year-round, although sections may close due to weather, over-wash, or resource management
By completing the permit application, the permittee accepts the responsibility to know and follow all OSV regulations. Safety equipment is required (see Need to Know). Failure to comply with the terms of the permit may result in revocation of a valid OSV permit and/or federal prosecution
Need to Know
- Permit is valid as of the date of purchase and pickup must be made within 10 days of purchase.
- Rental cars are not permitted in the OSV zone.
- An entrance pass is required in addition to the OSV pass.
- Each vehicle must have its own permit.
- To obtain an OSV permit, the vehicle must:
- Be registered, licensed, and insured for highway use and comply with inspection requirements for the state, county, or province where the vehicle is registered.
- Have no more than 2 axles and a minimum tire tread width of 8 inches in contact with the ground for two-wheel drive vehicles
- Have a minimum ground clearance of 7 inches
- Gross vehicle weight rating may not exceed 10,000 pounds/maximum length - 26 ft/ maximum width - 8 ft
- The operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs, UTVs, ROVs, MOHUVs) is prohibited
- OSV routes are closed to the use of tow-behind travel trailer campers
- Permittee must possess a valid state driver's license and be 18 years or older.
- The following safety equipment is required and must be available for display upon request:
- Shovel (non-plastic) with minimum 6" square blade and 18" handle
- Jack - sufficient to lift one wheel clear of the sand
- Jack Support - minimum of 12” x 12” non-bending steel, 5/8” plywood, or 1.5” thick board
- Tire Gauge - must record pressure of 15 lbs. or less
- Tow Rope, Strap, Chain or Cable - minimum 6000 lb. pulling strength, 10 ft. length
- Failure to have the required equipment can result in a fine for missing equipment.
- Air stations are located at the entrance to the OSV Zone. It is strongly recommended that tire pressure be lowered to 15 - 20 psi. The softer the sand, the lower the pressure needed. Reinflate tires as you exit the OSV zone.
- If a vehicle becomes stuck, a commercial towing company must be contacted. NPS personnel are not allowed to pull or tow stuck vehicles.
- Vehicles must display a valid, permanently affixed OSV permit sticker. The sticker should be affixed on the inside of the windshield in either lower corner. The OSV permit document must be in the vehicle.
- OSV permits and OSV stickers ARE NOT transferable from one person to another or one vehicle to another.
- Permits may be picked up by the vehicle owner from either the Ranger Station in Maryland, or Toms Cove Visitor's Center in Virginia by presenting a confirmation of purchase, the vehicle registration, and the owner's valid driver's license.
- Access to the OSV zone in Maryland is limited to 145 vehicles. In Virginia it is limited to 48 vehicles (18 when Toms Cove hook area is closed). Access limits are managed by an automated gate in Maryland, with a one-off/one-on restriction once density limits have been reached.
- The OSV zone may be reduced or curtailed due to vehicle density limits, over-wash, emergency conditions or land management constraints.
- Vehicles without a current, valid OSV permit sticker MAY NOT access the OSV zone. If a permitted vehicle is sold or in an accident, the Permittee may obtain a replacement sticker of the same type and expiration by providing park staff with enough of the original permit sticker to read the complete permit number and expiration date. If the sticker is destroyed in an accident, the Permittee must provide a copy of the official police accident report to obtain a replacement sticker at no cost. The replacement sticker will expire on the same date as the original.
Authorized Park personnel may inspect vehicles to ensure compliance with OSV permit regulations.
For more information about Assateague Island National Seashore, please visit www.nps.gov/asis
For OSV specific questions, please call the Assateague Island Ranger Station in MD - (410) 641-3030 OR
Toms Cove Visitor Center at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in VA - (757) -336-6577
OSV Annual Permit : $110.00
Bullpen Annual Permit: $200.00
Pemits are valid as of the date of purchase and must be picked up within 10 days.
An entrance pass is required to enter Assateague Island National Seashore (MD) and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (VA). Entrance passes are available at the entrance gate.
No modifications to permit details are allowed after online purchase. Cancellation may be made prior to pick-up by contacting the Ranger Station at (410) 641-3030. There will be a $6 processing fee - no exceptions.