Cape Hatteras National Seashore has three basic categories of permits. They are
Learn the simple steps you can take to improve your safety.
Fires on the beach are a memorable experience. Want to enjoy the crackle of wood burning and the dancing of the firelight? Follow these simple steps:
Things to know about beach fires:
Obtaining an ORV permit is an easy process that takes only minutes from start to finish. ORV Permits are available online only. Please visit Recreation.gov. to obtain your permit 24 hours a day. In-person sales are currently NOT available.
The online permit process is as simple as
Two types of permits are available for purchase. They are
Remember to keep the permit in the permitted vehicle and the proof-of-permit sticker clearly visible on your windshield.
A Special Use Permit is required for activities that:
The following activities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore may require a Special Use Permit:
On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CRF Part 5 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.
Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities are encouraged to contact our Permits Coordinator at e-mail us directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Do I need a permit to film?
Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits, but is in the process of evaluating how best to regulate filming activities that affect visitors and park resources. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public. Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.
Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?
As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming.
When is a permit needed?
Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:
What fees will I have to pay?
The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:
The $250 application fee covers the cost of administering the permit request and is non-refundable. Additional fees for costs incurred by the National Park Service, such as event monitoring, will apply.
You will receive a response regarding your application within two weeks of receipt.
A permit is required for First Amendment activities that meet any of the following criteria:
A group of 25 people or fewer is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if you do not meet the criteria above, but you may choose to obtain a permit to prevent another group from reserving your requested area.
The National Park Service has designated six First Amendment Assembly Areas within Cape Hatteras National Seashore: in front of the visitor center at Bodie Island Lighthouse; near the entrance to off-road vehicle (ORV) ramp 2 at Coquina Beach; near the parking lot at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Buxton Beach Access; at the entrance to Cape Point Campground; near the visitor center in Ocracoke; and near the entrance to Ocracoke Campground. Maps of these areas can be found in the Superintendent’s Compendium, https://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm. Alternative locations may be requested and will be accommodated as feasible.
Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, Frisco, and Ocracoke Campground sites must be reserved and paid for through the Recreation.gov system.
Last updated: February 4, 2021