The National Park Service has released a final ruling for the off-road vehicle (ORV) use for Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  The rule was published Monday, January 23, in the Federal Register and will become effective as of Wednesday, February 15, 2012.  This new process will be a change for all, but we are pursuing different avenues on how to make this adjustment an easier one for everyone.  The costs of each of the permits, weekly and annually, have been set, as well as permit office locations.

The final rule establishes required permits for ORV use on the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  To obtain an ORV permit, you must complete a 7-minute educational video program, and acknowledge in writing that you understand and agree to abide by the rules governing ORV use at the Seashore, and pay the appropriate permit fee.  There will be weekly and annual permits available for purchase. You may purchase a 7 day permit for $50, or an annual permit for $120, at either of the 3 permit office locations.  The ORV permit offices are located at Coquina Beach, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (Buxton), and the Ocracoke Visitor Center.  You must purchase a permit for each ORV you plan on driving on designated routes.  You must purchase a permit in person at one of their designated permitting sites.  Below you can see the final rule made by the National Park Service.

In order to provide the public with ample time to obtain a permit, there will be a transition period between February 15 and March 15 before the rule is fully implemented and enforced.  During the transition period, the NPS will install new ORV route markers and information signs, and will focus on informing the visiting public about the ORV permit and other beach driving requirements under the special regulation.

The Final Rule

“This final rule establishes a special regulation to manage ORV use at the Seashore. The regulation implements portions of the Selected Action, as described in the ROD, by designating ORV routes at the Seashore, establishing requirements to obtain a permit, and imposing date and time and other restrictions related to operation of ORVs, including vehicle and equipment standards…”

This link will take you directly to the final ruling in the Federal Register, and here you will also find some principal elements of this rule in a question answer format.

We hope this blog about the Final Rule of ORV has helped to answer some of the questions you may have about the new ruling.  As soon as we have more information about costs and permit sites, we will be posting!