Beach Driving

Eastern end of EI Beach Strand Closed to Beach Driving - Due to the change in tidal flow, higher than average tides, escarpments and reduction of visible beach, the eastern extent of the Emerald Isle beach strand is closed to beach driving until further notice.  Specifically, the area located east of the "dog-leg" vehicle ramp (in the 3000 block) to the end of the Emerald Isle municipal limit.  Beach drivers are only permitted to travel to points west of the "dog-leg" vehicle ramp.  Thank you for your consideration, preservation of the beach, and safety of all beach goers.  


FY 19-20 Seasonal Beach Driving Information

Apply for a permit.

Beach driving is allowed from September 15 through April 30, with the exception of the 10-day period from and including the Friday prior to Easter until and including the Sunday that occurs 7 days after Easter. For 2020, beach driving will not be allowed from April 10 - April 19.

Beach driving is allowed from 5 am until 9 pm daily from September 15 to November 3, and from March 8 to April 30 (to coincide with daylight savings time).  Daily driving hours are 5 am until 7 pm from November 4 to March 7 (to coincide with Eastern standard time). 

Read Beach Driving Regulations 2019-2020 Season.

View Beach Driving Map

View Important Beach Driving Message!

View Beach Driving Permit Application

REMINDER:  Placement of Permit Decals:  The permit decal must be permanently affixed and displayed on the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle to which it is issued. All decals from previous years must be removed.

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 the Police Department), and at The Point (at the terminus of Inlet Drive at Bogue Inlet).  The Doe Drive ramp is closed to the general public.

Certain sections of the beach may be closed from time to time due to erosion concerns, in order to protect endangered and/or threatened sea turtle and bird nests, and/or to provide for general protection of public health, safety, and welfare.  Closed sections will be posted and roped, and beach drivers must avoid these areas entirely.

No driving is allowed on the beach without an official Town of Emerald Isle beach driving permit.  A beach driving permit may be purchased at the Emerald Isle Police Department  located at 7500 Emerald Drive (physical address) between the hours of 10am and 9pm, Sunday through Saturday) Call 252-354-2021 if you have any questions.

Faxed applications should be sent to 252-354-6767 and must include a copy of your vehicle registration and drivers license for processing.

Mailed applications should be sent to:  Emerald Isle Police Department, 7500 Emerald Drive, Emerald Isle, NC  28594 and must include a copy of your vehicle registration and drivers license for processing.

In person applications please apply at the Emerald Isle Police Department, 7500 Emerald Drive and you must have your vehicle registration and drivers license with you for processing.

Please note:  The Police Department hours for applying for beach driving permits are Sunday through Saturday 10am-9pm. If payment is due at the time of permit pick-up, you may pay with cash, check, or credit card.  If paying by cash, you will need the exact fee amount, as the Police Department does not carry change for cash payments.

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 for their placard. The four-wheel drive vehicle which is to be permitted must be registered to the handicapped person.

Please note - beach driving permit fees are non-refundable.  Fees are not pro-rated, and daily or weekly passes are not offered.  The Town will not replace or reissue permits due to loss or damage.