Laws & Policies

photo of Law Enforcement Ranger in front of National Park Service vehicle giving two thumbs up
NPS Law Enforcement Ranger

photo courtesy of Krystina Carpenter

Please enjoy your visit to Assateague Island National Seashore. From this page you can learn about the laws and policies that are in place for your safety and the safety of the park and its resources. Please be aware that several different agencies manage the lands and waters of Assateague Island. More guidance and regulations can be found at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague State Park.


2024 Superintendent's Compendium

Designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority.

Permits and Reservations

Information on camping reservations, backcountry camping permits, special use permits, over-sand vehicle permits, fishing licenses and more.

Firearms in National Parks

The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010.
Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting.
For more information about Maryland gun laws please visit the website.
For more information about Virginia gun laws please the Virginia State Law Portal website. (search for Sections 18.2-279 to 18.2-311.2)

Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.


PWC Regulations at Assateague Island National Seashore

Effective May 1, 2000 all waters within the boundary of Assateague Island National Seashore are closed to personal watercraft (PWC). Approved PWC travel routes for access to the island are shown on the PWC maps page.


Drones in National Parks

As of August 20, 2014 unmanned aircraft (also known as "drones") are not permitted to be launched, landed or operated within areas or lands managed by the National Park Service. This includes Assateague Island National Seashore.

Metal Detecting in National Parks

Possessing or using a mineral or metal detector, magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device, or sub-bottom profiler is prohibited within areas or lands managed by the National Park Service.

Last updated: June 29, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811


410 641-1441

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