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Why Do You Have To Pay For Permits When Driving On The Beach?

    If you’re planning on driving on the beach this summer, you may be wondering why you have to pay for a permit. After all, isn’t the beach public property?

    The answer is that while the beach is certainly public property, there are some special considerations that come into play when you’re driving on it:

    1. First of all, the sand is much softer than regular pavement, so your tires can sink in and get stuck: This not only makes it difficult for you to get unstuck, but it can also damage your tires.
    2. Second, because the sand is soft, it can easily be churned up by tires, creating deep ruts: These ruts can be dangerous for other vehicles and pedestrians, and they can also damage the tires of your own car.
    3. Finally, driving on the beach can damage the environment: The soft sand can be easily eroded by tires, and this erosion can lead to the creation of new dunes, which can then block coastal views and habitats.

    All of these factors contribute to the need for beach driving permits. The permit fees help to cover the costs of maintaining the beach, such as repairing damage caused by vehicles, and they also help to fund other important beach-related activities like dune restoration and coastal cleanups.

    So next time you’re tempted to hit the beach without a permit, remember that your fee helps to keep our beaches safe and beautiful!

    Average Price Of Permits To Drive On The Beach

    The average price of a beach driving permit is $25. However, prices can vary depending on the beach and the length of time you plan to drive.

    For example, a weekly permit for Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland costs $50, while a yearly permit for Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts costs $120.

    Should I Purchase A Weekly Permit Or Yearly?

    The type of permit you need depends on how often you plan to drive on the beach. If you only plan to drive a few times during your vacation, a weekly permit may be all you need. However, if you’re a frequent beachgoers, it may make more sense to purchase a yearly permit.

    Keep in mind that some beaches only offer yearly permits, so be sure to check the rules before you go.

    Where To Purchase Permits For Beach Driving

    In most cases, you can purchase beach driving permits online or at the entrance to the beach. For example, Assateague Island National Seashore offers an online purchasing system, while Cape Cod National Seashore has permit kiosks at each of its entrances.

    Be sure to have your driver’s license and credit card handy when you purchase your permit, as you’ll need to provide these pieces of information.

    When Do I Need To Display My Permit?

    Most beaches require that you display your permit on your dashboard or another visible location in your car. Be sure to check the rules for the beach you’re visiting, as some beaches have specific requirements for where to place your permit.

    For example, at Assateague Island National Seashore, your permit must be displayed on the driver’s side of the dashboard, while at Cape Cod National Seashore, it must be placed on the passenger side.

    What Happens If I Drive On The Beach Without A Permit?

    If you’re caught driving on the beach without a permit, you could be fined. The amount of the fine varies from state to state, but it’s typically around $100.

    In addition to the fine, you may also be required to appear in court. If convicted, you could be facing even more costly penalties, such as the loss of your driver’s license.

    So it’s definitely not worth the risk to drive on the beach without a permit!

    Cheapest Beaches To Drive On

    If you’re looking for a cheap beach to drive on, here are a few of the most affordable options:

    • Fort De Soto Park in Florida: You can purchase a yearly permit for $50 or a monthly permit for $5.
    • Island Beach State Park in New Jersey: A yearly permit costs $75, while a weekly permit is just $10.
    • Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts: A yearly permit costs $120, but you can get a 7-day pass for $30.
    • Hatteras Island in North Carolina: A yearly permit is $50, while a weekly pass is only $20.

    Remember, these are just a few of the many affordable beach driving options out there. So get out there and enjoy the sun and sand – with a permit in hand, of course!

    Can You Drive On The Beach At Night?

    Most beaches prohibit driving at night, as it’s more difficult to see pedestrians and other potential hazards in the dark.

    However, some beaches do allow night driving, typically from sunset to sunrise. For example, Cape Cod National Seashore allows night driving on certain sections of the beach from October 15 to May 15.

    Before you hit the beach after dark, be sure to check the rules for your specific beach to avoid getting a ticket.

    Is Beach Driving Worth The Money?

    Whether or not beach driving is worth the money depends on your personal preferences. If you enjoy spending time at the beach and you don’t mind paying a fee to help maintain the roads and beaches, then beach driving may be a good option for you.

    However, if you’re on a tight budget or you’re not a big fan of the beach, you may want to consider other activities. There are plenty of free things to do at the beach, after all!


    While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, there are good reasons why you have to pay for a permit when driving on the beach. The fees help to cover the costs of maintaining the beach and keeping it safe for everyone.

    So next time you hit the sand, make sure you’ve got your permit! It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

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