Off-Road Vehicles

Off-road Vehicle Use Permits

Obtaining an ORV permit is an easy process that takes only minutes from start to finish. Go to the Ocracoke NPS visitor center, located at the Silver Lake ferry docks in person or you can visit the Cape Hatteras ORV Permit page at

The online permit process is as simple as

  1. Going to the Cape Hatteras ORV Permit page on,
  2. Filling out the online application, and
  3. Print the permit and proof-of-permit and place them in your vehicle (Annual proof-of-permit stickers will be mailed, but the printed proof-of-permit is good for 30 days).

The in-person permit process has six easy steps.

  1. Go to one of the three visitor centers.
  2. Show the required documentation to the National Park Service staff members selling permits.
  3. Fill out the ORV permit.
  4. Watch the 7-minute video (you can skip this step if you bring last year’s permit).
  5. Pay for your permit.
  6. Place the permit in your vehicle’s glove box and affix the proof-of-permit to your vehicle’s windshield.

That’s all there is to it. You’ll be off enjoying the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore before you know it. In preparation for getting your permit, be sure you have

  • your driver’s license,
  • your vehicle registration,
  • form of payment (charge card or cash),
  • and last year’s permit (if available, for the in-person process).

Two types of permits are available for purchase. They are:

  • a 10-day Permit ($50, valid for 10 consecutive days),
  • or an Annual Permit ($120, valid for one year from date of purchase).

Remember to keep the permit in the glove box of your permitted vehicle and the proof-of-permit sticker clearly visible on your windshield.