Park Service makes it easier, cheaper to get ORV permit online
Hatteras National Seashore officials have announced that they are
making changes in how and where the seashore issues its off-road
vehicle permits -- changes that will make it easier and cheaper for
visitors to get their permits online.
"The changes are being made to increase user convenience, provide new
options for park visitors wishing to purchase an ORV permit, and
increase efficiency by reducing the cost associated with collecting
permit fees," the Park Service said in a news release.
First, the seashore will move ORV permitting operations out of
temporary trailers and into visitor centers at the Bodie Island
Lighthouse, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and on Ocracoke Island.
The Bodie Island move into the visitor center began today.
Ocracoke Island ORV permitting will move into the visitor center on
Friday, March 4, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move will on March 11.
All three visitor center are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Beginning Wednesday, March 16, the park will implement a print-at-home
permitting system that will allow visitors to obtain educational
materials and print their seven-day ORV permits directly from the
website through www.recreation.gov.
Weekly permittees will print their permit and affix it, using tape, 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.
Visitors who want annual permits can apply online and print out a
temporary copy -- good for up to 30 days -- to use until their
permanent decal arrives in the mail, usually seven to 10 days.
"The print at home option offers increased convenience," the Park
Service says. "Permits can be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
365 days a year."
In addition, purchasing an ORV permit through www.recreation.gov will
cost less than it has for the past two years that the option has been
Visitors applying for permits will no longer be charged an additional
$4.50 reservation fee or $6.50 shipping fee. The online cost for a
seven-day permit will be $50, and the annual permit will cost $120 --
which is the same as the permit costs if it is bought at a visitor
Over time, the seashore said it expects the print-at-home system and
elimination of ORV office trailers, will 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," the seashore
said in the news release.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW ORV PERMITTING (From Cape Hatteras National Seashore website)
What are my options for obtaining an ORV Permit?
If you have access to a printer, you may obtain a permit at any time
via the web by visiting www.recreation.gov. Permits will be available
immediately. You can also call 1-877-444-6777 to be connected to a Recreation.gov representative.
To obtain a permit in person, visit one of our three permit offices.
They are open seven days week, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Here are the
locations of each office:
Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitor Center (8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Road, Nags Head, NC 27959)
Ocracoke Island Visitor Center (40 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960)
What is a print-at-home permit?
A print-at-home permit is an off-road vehicle permit that you can
obtain through www.recreation.gov. After you purchase the permit
online, you will receive a digital copy of your permit registration,
the rules and regulations, and a proof of permit windshield tag.
Weekly permittees will print their permit and proof of permit directly
from Recreation.gov. The permit will be kept in the vehicle and the
proof of permit will be affixes, using tape, to the inside of the
driver's side windshield. The proof of permit will be displayed at all
times that the permittee wishes to access the beach with an off-road
Do I have to print the permit, or can I keep it digitally on my smart phone?
You must print all three pages of the permit.
Page one of the printed permit is the registration form. It should be
secured in the glove box of the permitted vehicle while driving on
Seashore beaches. The signature block on the permit form must be signed
in order for the permit to be valid.
Page two of the printed permit contains all the beach driving rules and regulations.
Page three of the printed permit is the visible proof of permit that
must be affixed (taped) to the bottom of the driver’s side windshield.
The visible proof of permit must be affixed and displayed properly, in
order for the permit to be valid.
If I buy a print-at-home permit, do I still need to come into the permit office for anything?
No. Your requirements for obtaining a permit will be complete. At the
end of the transaction you will be able to print your permit. Annual
permit holders will be mailed their permanent decal within 7-10
business days. Annual permit holders can use the printed temporary
proof of permit for up to 30 days as they wait for their decal to
I purchased an annual permit; will I get an annual decal?
Yes. Annual permit holders can start using their permits immediately
with the print-at-home permit. The printed temporary proof of permit
can be used for up to 30 days as you wait for your decal to arrive. A
permanent annual decal will be mailed to the address listed in
Recreation.gov. The decal must then be affixed to the vehicle within 30
days of the date of purchase. If you need assistance regarding the
shipping of the annual decal, please contact us directly at
Can I switch my permit from one vehicle to the next?
No. Permits are non-transferable to another vehicle.
I need assistance with a problem I have with an online permit order. Who do I contact?
If you need assistance with ordering an ORV Permit, please contact
Recreation.gov directly. You may contact the customer service
department by phone, email, and chat. Here is the information that you
Email or Chat: http://support.recreation.gov/rec_contact (They will respond to your email inquiry within 24 hours)
Customer Service Line: 1-888-448-1474
What if I don’t have access to a printer?
Just come into any one of our three permit offices with your confirmation number and we can print it for you.
If I misplace my permit, or lose it, can I print another copy?
Yes. Here are the instructions:
1. Login to your Recreation.gov account.
2. Click on "Print Tickets and Permits" link that is located on the left side menu.
3. Click on the "Print Permit" button listed under the reservation.
4. Acknowledge the rules and regulations for the permit.
5. Click on "Proceed with Printing."
6. Click on "Print this page" to send the print command to your printer.