Beach Driving & Parking on the Off Road
Beach Driving Rules & Regulations
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.
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 December 19, 2022