Beach Driving Rules & Regulations

Diagram on where to park on the beach.Vehicles are required to use driving lanes adjacent to the dune line between Milepost 14.5 and Milepost 17 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. beginning the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.

All other times, use driving lanes adjacent to the dune line or at the shoreline.

  • Air down all tires prior to accessing the off road (4×4) ramp. Recommended tire pressure pounds per square inch (PSI):
    • 20 per square inch (PSI) for SUV’s & ½ ton 4X4
    • 35 per square inch for ¾ ton 4X4
    • Air stations are located at the Historic Corolla Park.
  • Use 4-wheel drive (4WD) when entering the ramp and maintain a slow, steady speed. If your vehicle is not equipped with 4-wheel drive, do not attempt to drive on the beach.
  • Do not stop or park on the beach ramp area.
  • The speed limit is 35 miles per hour (mph). The speed limit is 15 miles per hour when traveling within 300 feet of any person.
  • Gas tanks should be full – there are NO gas stations on 4X4 areas.
The Beach is a Public Vehicular Access Area:
  • There shall be no lawn chairs, coolers, fishing lines or any other items blocking the foreshore in any manner that restricts public safety and emergency response vehicular movement in a north-south direction along the water’s edge.
  • Share the road. Watch for pedestrians, horses, and other wildlife.
  • All vehicles driven on the beach and roads behind the dunes must be registered, properly licensed, and insured.
  • Driving in the surf or driving in a repeated circular motion are examples of careless and reckless driving.
  • After dark, the entire beach including parking areas become driving lanes.
    • Remove all personal items (beach chairs, nets, poles, ropes, etc.)
    • Level all sand structures (sandcastles, holes, etc.) to ensure the safety of night drivers.
Beach Parking Permits

Vehicles MUST have a county-issued Beach Parking Permit properly displayed to park on the beach from the last Saturday of April through the first Saturday in October.

  • ALL County Residents and Nonresident Property Owners: Use Currituck County Access Permit as a beach parking permit. Full-time renters are required to provide proof of residence.
  • County Residents and Nonresident Property Owners located in the 4×4 Area with a dwelling may obtain 2 additional beach parking permits from the Corolla Visitors Center.
Rental Homes in the 4-Wheel Drive Area:
  • If the house is in a rental program, the rental management company will distribute the guest permits to renters. Permits are provided to the rental companies by the county.
  • If the property owner rents the house, the property owner must obtain permits from the Corolla Visitors Center. (2 per house)
  • Visitors renting in the 4-Wheel Drive Area: Contact rental company or property owner with any questions. 2 parking permits should be provided.
  • Visitors NOT renting in the 4-Wheel Drive Area:
    • May purchase a weekly Beach Parking Permit through the county website
    • Limited to 300 per week. Permits are $50 each.
Beach Parking Permits for 2024 

These Beach Parking Permits are for the Currituck County Off Road ONLY

The permit system does not apply to:

  • County vehicles
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Any government agency conducting beach restoration
  • Scientific research
  • Animal protection
  • Commercial fishermen
  • Actively engaged outdoor tour operators
  • Hunters using State or Federal land located within the Currituck Outer Banks.
Parking on the Beach
  • All vehicles shall be parked in the middle of the beach strand and not obstruct the traffic lane.
  • Parking is prohibited for the first 1.5 miles North of the 4X4 ramp.
  • No beach chairs, coolers, fishing lines, or other items should be placed in a location that blocks the traffic lanes. This may involve moving vehicles and belongings with the tide change.
  • Visitors should not leave any unattended property on the beach. Any property remaining between sunset and sunrise shall be considered litter and is subject to removal and disposal.
  • Walking on or traversing the dunes outside of the defined dune walkover beach access points is illegal.
  • Help keep the Currituck Outer Banks beautiful for everyone by removing all trash when you leave.

Visit the Currituck County Travel & Tourism website
for more information about the beaches and local attractions.

Updated March 7, 2024