Beach Driving Permits

Permits Available

Permits for the 2023 - 2024 season are available online as of August 1, 2023. Starting on September 1, you may also apply in person at the Emerald Isle Police Department, at 7500 Emerald Drive. Learn the basics by reading the Beach Driving Regulations (PDF). Please review the following information and take your quiz and fill out your application below. 

Highly Important Disclaimer

By purchasing a beach driving permit, you understand that there will be no refunds or discounts provided due to beach closures of any kind. Closures may be caused by nourishment activities, beach conditions, and/or other unavoidable events.

Application Process

All applicants are required to watch a short educational video and complete a quiz; you must receive a minimum of 80% accuracy. You need to save and attach your results to your application in order to obtain a permit. Please note: The quiz by itself does not equal a full permit application.

Authorized Beach Access Ramps

  • The Ocean Drive "dog-leg" (near mile marker 15 on NC 58)
  • Black Skimmer Drive (across from Police Department)
  • The Point (at the terminus of Inlet Drive at Bogue Court)

View the Beach Driving Map (PDF) for complete information.

Beach Driving Period

  • September 15, 2023 to April 30, 2024
  • Beach driving is closed from March 29 - April 7, 2024

Registration Types

All applicants must provide a valid driver's license and a vehicle registration.

  • Handicapped/100% Disabled Veteran - $0
    • Handicap persons of any age are eligible for one free permit and must also provide a copy of their valid DMV handicap placard registration card. The four-wheel-drive vehicle which is to be permitted must be registered to the handicapped person.
    • Note: Handicapped/100% Disabled Vet, Purple Heart eligible for one free permit.
    • Handicapped/100% Disabled Vet, Purple Heart must upload supporting documentation.
  • Commercial Fisherman - $0
    • Must provide a valid commercial fishing license.
  • Town Employee/Retiree - $0
    • Must be a current or retired Town of Emerald Isle Employee.
  • EI Resident/Property Owner (65 and Over) - $0 (Senior)
    • EI Resident/Property Owner (under 65) - $50
    • You must be on the Deed of the Emerald Isle Address or have a valid long-term (12 months or more) rental/lease agreement and may be required to provide documents proving residency/property ownership.
  • Non-Resident CC (Carteret County) - $100 (In Carteret County, outside Emerald Isle)
    • Must be a resident and/or property owner in Carteret County. You must be on the Deed of the Carteret County Address or have a valid long-term (12 months or more) rental/lease agreement.
    • You will be required to provide documentation of residency/property ownership.
  • Non-Resident - $175
    • If you are not a resident or property owner within Carteret County.

Vehicle & Permit Changes

Permit holders must notify the Emerald Isle Police Department of any changes to the information provided for this permit. If you sell, trade-in or otherwise dispose of your vehicle, you must remove the permit sticker and bring it in to receive a replacement sticker.

For more information, contact the Emerald Isle Police Department at 252-354-2021.

The Emerald Isle Police Department is at 7500 Emerald Drive, and the lobby is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

Get A Permit

Watch the following video, then take the Beach Driving Quiz. You can then save and attach the results in your beach driving application.