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Laws That Regulate ATV Use in Currituck County

A driver's license is required by the operator of an ATV from the Dare County line to the Virginia line on the Currituck Outer Banks.


State Law  Regulating ATVs

The State Wide ATV Safety Law went into effect December 1, 2005 and has since been amended.  Provisions of the law include:
  • Children under 8 cannot operate ATVs.
  • Children ages 8-11 may operate only ATVs with an engine displacement less than 70 cubic centimeters.
  • Children ages 12-15 may operate only ATVs with engine displacement of 90 cubic centimeters or less.
  • Children ages 8-15 may operate an ATV only under the continuous visual supervision of a person 18 years of age or older.
  • All operators, including adults, must wear a D.O.T. approved motorcycle helmet and eye protection on a public street or highway or public vehicular area.
  • ATV operators cannot carry passengers, unless the machine is specifically designed for passengers.
  • ATVs cannot be operated on public streets, roads or highways, except for purposes of crossing.
  • Beginning October 1, 2006, all ATV operators born on or after January 1, 1990 must have a safety certificate showing that he/she has successfully completed an ATV safety course sponsored or approved by the All-Terrain Safety Institute.
  • Exception: The wearing of a D.O.T. approved helmet and eye protection does not apply to any person 16 years of age or older who is lawfully operating an ATV on any ocean beach area (the area adjacent to the ocean and ocean inlets that is subject to public trust rights.) 
Violators of the law may receive fines up to $200.

If the ATV is used for farm purposes, hunting or trapping, then the law does not apply.   

Currituck County Ordinances


Residents or owners on the Currituck County Banks, beach foreshore, or beach strand are required to fill out an annual  ATV Beach Driving Permit.  Please read the county ATV ordinances below to know the rules and regulations governing ATV's and other wheeled or tracked motorized vehicles designed and used primarily for off-road use.

These ordinances are sections 10-56, 10-64 and 9-71.

Sec. 10-56. Driver's license.

(a) The operator of any vehicle, motorcycle or motor vehicle shall possess a valid driver's license of the state which is his residence. This section shall be effective for the Dare County line to the Virginia state line.

(b) Operators of any vehicle, moped, ATV or motorcycle operated on the outer banks must be 16 years of age. While operating any of these devices, operators must be able to produce proof of age and identity upon demand of any sworn law enforcement officer.

(c) Any parent, guardian or other person knowingly allowing any other person under the age of 16 years to operate any vehicle, moped, ATV or motorcycle shall be deemed guilty of aiding and abetting in the act.

Sec. 10-64. Permit system (County residents and property owners only).

(a) This section shall be applicable for those areas of Currituck County, including but not limited to the beach strand and foreshore areas, located from the Dare/Currituck line to the North Carolina/Virginia line.

(b) County residents and property owners desiring to operate a moped, motorcycle or ATV on the areas covered by this section shall obtain a permit from the County Manager or his designated representative. Permits may be obtained at the government offices located in Corolla or at the County Manager's office on the Mainland during normal business hours and at such other times and places as may be designated by the County Manager.

(c) County residents may obtain, at no fee, a maximum of two annual permits per resident upon making application as provided in section 10-64(b) above.  Non-resident property owners may receive two permits per parcel, or tract of property. Each will need to show proof of insurance for the ATV. Liability insurance must be maintained throughout the permit period. (Amended by the Currituck County Board of Commissioners on February 1, 2016)

(d) Residents may be required to show proof of residency. Resident applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's license. (Amended by the Currituck County Board of Commissioners on February 1, 2016)

(e) County residents and property owners operating mopeds, motorcycles or ATV's shall ensure that these vehicles have a valid permit prominently displayed at all times while operating, parked, or being trailered on the Currituck County Banks, beach foreshore, or beach strand.

(f) The County Manager is directed and authorized to establish forms, procedures, and directives as may be required to implement this permit system and ensure that it is run in an effective, safe, and fair manner.

Sec. 9-71.  Certain conditions declared nuisances.

The existence of any of the following conditions on any lot, whether improved or not, or other parcel of land within the county limits is hereby declared to be dangerous and prejudicial to the public health or safety and to constitute a public nuisance:

(1)   Growth of weeds and grass.  The uncontrolled growth of noxious weeds or grass causing or threatening to cause a hazard detrimental to the public health or safety. 

(2)   Accumulations of animal or vegetable matter.  Any accumulation of animal or vegetable matter that is offensive by virtue of odors or vapors or by the inhabitation therein of rats, mice, snakes or vermin of any kind which is or may be dangerous or prejudicial to the public health. 

(3)   Accumulations of rubbish.  Any accumulation of rubbish, trash or junk causing or threatening to cause a fire hazard, causing or threatening to cause the accumulation of stagnant water or causing or threatening to cause the inhabitation therein of rats, mice, snakes or vermin of any kind which is or may be dangerous or prejudicial to the public health. 

(4)   Obstruction of drainage ways.  The placement of rubbish, trash, yard debris, grass clippings, leaves, limbs, branches, soil, or junk impeding the flow of water and/or causing or threatening to cause the obstruction of drainage ways. 

(5)   Conditions violating health department rules.  Any condition detrimental to the public health which violates the rules and regulations of the local health department. 

(6)   Burned or partially burned buildings or structures  . Any building or other structure which has been burned, partially burned or otherwise partially destroyed and which is unsightly or hazardous to the safety of any person, is a continuing fire hazard or which is structurally unsound to the extent that the county building official can reasonably determine that there is a likelihood of personal or property injury to any person or property entering the premises. 

(7)   Storm or erosion damaged structures and resulting debris.  The existence of any of the following conditions associated with storm-damaged or erosion-damaged structures or their resultant debris shall constitute a public nuisance: 
a.   Damaged structure in danger of collapsing;
b.   Damaged structure or debris from damaged structures where it can reasonably be determined that there is a likelihood of personal or property injury;
c.   Any structure, regardless of condition, or any debris from damaged structure which is located in whole or in part in a public trust area or public land.

(8)   Structurally deteriorated, or storm damaged automobile service station canopies.  Any automobile service station canopy with loose, unanchored, or missing cladding, or fascia panels prone to progressive collapse, or structurally unsound members damaged by storms, vehicles, or deterioration. 

(9)   Vicious animals  . The keeping of a vicious animal as defined in section 3-62. 

(10) All terrain vehicles.  The operation of an all terrain vehicle: 
a.   In a reckless manner;
b.   In a manner that creates excessive noise;
c.   In a manner that spreads dust;
d.   On a track or course located on property used for residential purposes; or
e.   By any person, not being on his own lands, who without the consent of the owner thereof, willfully commits any damage, injury or spoliation to or upon any tree, wood, underwood, timber, garden, crops, vegetables, plants, lands, springs, or any other matter or thing growing or being thereon.

For purposes of this section, "all terrain vehicle" shall mean a wheeled or tracked motorized vehicle designed and used primarily for off-road use with two, three, four or six low-pressure tires and including, but not limited to, dirt or trail bikes.

(11)   Miscellaneous.  Any other condition that is specified as a nuisance in this Code.  (Ord. of 8-16-04; Ord. of 3-20-06; Ord. of 4-16-07; Ord. of 1-7-08, § 1)

For other ordinances for Currituck County, check out  the Code of Ordinances