The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Visitor Center in Ocracoke village. Photo by C. Leinbach

Cape Hatteras National Seashore announced today (Feb. 29) that it will allow beach-driving permits to be printed at home directly from their website.

Beginning March 16, the Park will implement a print-at-home permitting system for visitors to obtain educational materials and print their ORV permits through www.recreation.gov.

Weekly and annual permit purchasers will be able to print weekly and temporary annual permits directly from the website at any time without being required to come to a permit office.

Using tape, the purchaser will be asked to affixed the printed permit to the inside of the driver’s side windshield. It must be displayed at all times that the permittee wishes to access the beach with an ORV.

Annual permittees will display their print-at-home permit for up to 30 days and can expect to receive their annual decal via U.S. mail within seven to 10 days.

The cost to purchase a permit online will be significantly less than it has been the last two years.

The Park will no longer charge the additional $4.50 reservation fee, nor $6.50 shipping fee. This will reduce the cost of online orders by up to $11.

In addition, ORV Permit Offices will be co-located with District Visitor Centers. The current temporary ORV Office trailers will be taken out of service, and permit-issuing operations will continue at the following locations:

  • Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitor Center (starting March 1)
  • Ocracoke Island Visitor Center (starting March 4)
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (starting March 11)

Over time, the Seashore expects the print-at-home system, and elimination of ORV office trailers, to reduce costs associated with collecting ORV permit fees. 

This will allow more revenue to be spent on improving and maintaining beach access facilities, enforcement, and monitoring.

For answers to frequently asked question about the ORV permit program, please click here: http://go.nps.gov/CAHA/PermitNews.


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  1. Only the federal government would charge extra to accomplish something that requires them to spend and work less. Here’s an idea: Outsource the beach driving tax, errr… conservation fee, and actually save taxpayers money.

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