Beach Driving

FY 20-21 Seasonal Beach Driving Information


Sign up for your beach driving permit here: 



Read Beach Driving Regulations 2020-21 Season.

View View Beach Driving Map

View Important Beach Driving Message

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the upcoming Phase III Beach Nourishment project, considerable thought has been given to the issuance of Beach Driving permits for 2020/2021. 

August 1-31, 2020:  Beach Driving Permits go on sale effective August 1, 2020. 

September 1, 2020: Beach Driving Permits will be available for online and/or in-person purchase at the EIPD office.  For everyone’s safety, no more than 2 customers at a time are permitted inside the EIPD waiting area.

A beach driving permit may be purchased online by visiting or at the Emerald Isle Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive, from 9am until 8pm Sunday-Thursday, and from 9am until 10pm Friday-Saturday).

Beach Nourishment Closures:  

For safety reasons, certain sections of Emerald Isle beaches must be closed during the 2020/2021 Beach Driving season.  Closures are unavoidable, due to the construction of the estimated $40M Phase III Beach Nourishment project.

  • Beach nourishment can only occur between November 16, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
  • The Town of Emerald Isle anticipates smaller/ defined sections of the beach to close, while those areas area being nourished.
  • Phase II Nourishment areas include the following sections of the Emerald Isle beach:
    • Between the Point and Lands’ End
    • Sea Dunes toward the Dog Leg
    • The far east end of Emerald Isle
  • Click here to watch an example of Beach nourishment:

Authorized beach access ramps are located at the Ocean Drive “dog-leg” (near mile marker 15 on NC 58), at the end of Black Skimmer Drive (across from Police Department), and at The Point (at the terminus of Inlet Drive at Bogue Inlet).   Driving on primary dunes, as well as other vegetated areas, remains STRICTLY prohibited. 

Beach Driving Period: The period for Beach Driving is scheduled to occur from September 15 to April 30, with the exception of the 10-day period near Easter.  This period includes the Friday prior to Easter, until and including, the Sunday that occurs 7 days after Easter.  For 2021, beach driving will not be allowed at all from April 2 – April 11, 2021.

Highly Important Disclaimer:  By purchasing a 2020/2021 beach driving permit, permit holders 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.

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

Annual beach driving permit fees are $50 for all Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers under 65 years of age, and free for all Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers age 65 years of age or older.

The fee for all NON-Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers of any age is $100.00.

Handicapped persons of any age (whether they are Emerald Isle residents / taxpayers or not) are eligible for one free permit.  Handicapped persons in addition to providing copies of vehicle registration and drivers license must also provide a copy of their handicap placard and DMV registration card. The four-wheel drive vehicle which is to be permitted must be registered to the handicapped person.