Beach Access and Park Issues
September 10,  2009

Night driving beach permits are now available
and some village beaches will re-open

Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches will re-open to night driving on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Night beach driving permits will be required for off-road vehicle use on the ocean beaches between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Sept. 16 until Nov. 15.

A night driving permit, signed and dated by the driver of the vehicle, must be visibly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle.

The implementation of Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) night driving permits is required under the terms of the court-approved consent decree to help increase the nesting success of sea turtles, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act. 

A PDF version of the night beach driving permit is available online and may be downloaded from the national seashore’s Website at

The downloaded version of the permit should be printed in color if possible.  By Sept. 10, hard copies of the permit will be available at any Cape Hatteras National Seashore Visitor Center, Whalebone Information Center, Hatteras Weather Station, as well as local tackle shops. 

From Nov. 16 until April 30 of next year, night beach driving is allowed at all hours without a permit.

Also, the following beaches that are seasonally closed will reopen to ORVs on Wednesday, Sept. 16:

•    Tri-villages (Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo) beachfront. Approximately 3 miles in length. Extends from the southernmost boundary of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to Ramp 23.
•    Avon village beachfront. Approximately 4 miles in length.
•    Ocracoke campground and day use area beaches. Approximately 2.5 miles in length.

Beachgoers will continue to encounter sea turtle nest protection areas in effect.  Posted areas are closed to all ORV, pedestrian and pets.

For further information, please call (252) 473-2111 ext. 148.

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