Long Island beaches have strict regulations for 4×4 access, and there are no areas where driving is allowed without a permit. There are two different kinds of permits available to access area beaches: the OHV 4×4 Permit and the Fishing Access 4×4 Permit. The OHV 4×4 Permit is for Suffolk County beaches only and does not require users to carry fishing gear. The Fishing Access 4×4 Permit is for State Park beaches only and requires users to be actively fishing.
The “Outer Beach Access” permit: Several Suffolk County parks offer outer beach (shoreline) access opportunities to off-road vehicles (ORV’s). A Suffolk County Parks Recreational Vehicle Use permit is required to enjoy these locations. Suffolk County Park Outer Beach 4×4 permits may be purchased year round at West Sayville, Blydenburgh, Cathedral Pines, Cedar Point, Indian Island, Sears Bellows, Smith Point, West Hills and online HERE. In Season they are also available at Montauk, Cupsogue and Shinnecock East park offices. The Outer Beach 4×4 permit includes access to designated beach areas for access as well as night fishing in designated parks. Be advised that areas on the outer beach may be closed due to beach conditions, maintenance or bird nesting. Please check the Suffolk County Parks Facebook/Twitter page or call the park of your choice to get up-to-date outer beach access information.
The following are required in order to purchase the Outer Beach Permit (see FAQ’s):
1) Green Key Card (If you do not have a Green Key you can purchase one at the same time.)
2) Vehicle Registration
3) Driver’s License
Regulations: The outer beach permit MUST be permanently affixed to the driver’s side windshield at the time of purchase. If permit is not permanently affixed to the window entry to the outer beach will be denied.
• Motor vehicles are permitted only within established roads, parking areas and designated outer beach routes. It is incumbent on the operator to ensure their vehicle is capable of navigating all outer beach conditions. Use of motor vehicles in on the Outer Beach is at the operator’s own risk.
• Outer Beach 4×4 Vehicle use permit provides daily access to the beach. Overnight stays require a camping reservation and self-contained camping unit (self-contained units are defined as having a built-in flushable toilet with a built-in holding tank with a minimum capacity of 5 gallons).
• Outer Beach Permits are valid for the current calendar year in which it was purchased.
Permit stickers are NOT refundable.
• Permit replacement Outer Beach stickers are only issued under certain circumstances issued to individual permit holders for the specific vehicle designated and MAY NOT be transferred from one person to another or from one vehicle to another. Sale or transfer of the permitted vehicle VOIDS the permit and sticker.
• Vehicle Sold – If the permitted vehicle is sold or in an accident, permittee MUST provide Park staff with enough of the original permit sticker to read the complete permit number in order to obtain a replacement sticker of the same type and expiration.
• Vehicle Accident – If the sticker is destroyed in an accident Permittee must provide a copy of the official police report of the accident to obtain a replacement sticker. Replacement permits will be charged the replacement permit fee.
• All vehicles must carry the required equipment listed below while on the outer beach.
• No alcoholic beverages permitted on outer beach.
• Only marked cuts, roads, entrances and exits are to be used. No driving on dunes, swales or vegetation.
• Driving in designated bird nesting areas is prohibited.
• Speed limit of 10 MPH is strictly enforced.
• All vehicles must bear valid state license plates, be properly equipped, insured & registered to operate on public highways.
• Drivers must possess a valid state driver’s license.
• Passengers shall not ride on the fenders, hood, roof, sides, tailgate or in any other place on the outside of a moving vehicle.
• No vehicle shall be used to tow a person or any recreational device over land or water or in the air.
• Use of safety belts and child restraints is required by law.
• Outer Beach permits do not replace parking fees unless outer beach access is closed. For parks without outer beach access vehicles are responsible for parking fees per Green Key status.
• All garbage must be removed from the beach and placed in receptacles or dumpster at Outer Beach entrance. No dumping, burning, or burying of trash is permitted.
• All vehicles must park perpendicular to dune line at least 10′ from toe of the dune facing the water unless otherwise posted or directed by park staff.
• Ruts and holes caused by stuck vehicle must be filled in and debris removed.
• Pets must be on a leash no more than 6′ in length and under owner’s control at all times. It is the pet owner is responsible for immediate removal and proper disposal of pet’s waste.
Required equipment to be carried in 4×4 vehicle:
• Rope, Chain or Snap Line
• Fire Extinguisher
• Spare Tire
• Tire Gauge
• First Aid Kit
• Portable Air compressor or Air Tank
IMPORTANT BEACH ACCESS INFORMATION: Please always be prepared when visiting the outer beaches. Always carry the required safety equipment; adequate food, water and clothing. Know the park rules and regulations and check beach and weather conditions prior to visiting. Changing beach conditions, vehicle breakdowns, and human judgement errors may occasionally result in vehicles becoming stuck and needing assistance.
Many outer beaches include nesting habitat for the Piping Plover, a threatened bird species. To aid in the recovery of this species, the outer beach may be subject to partial or total closure to all vehicle use during the nesting season which could last from March 15th to September 15th. Closed areas will be clearly marked by cable barriers and/or signs. Outer Beach 4×4 permits are not refundable due to beach conditions or closures.
Beach Fire Rules: Recreational fires under definitions outlined below are permitted unless it is deemed offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor or when conditions make such a fire hazardous.
• Ground fires are prohibited, including bonfires dug into the sand/dirt.
• Recreational fires only permitted in County approved fire containers: County provided fire pit (container must be left in place), Portable outdoor fireplaces (chimineas as an example), Portable gas fire pit, Portable gas and charcoal barbecues (full size BBQ grills are not permitted), Pellet Fire Containers (less than 3 feet in diameter). EXCEPTION- Smith Point Outer Beach Day Trip area, no wood burning fires permitted. Only propane or pellet fires (or similar non-wood burning types) permitted.
• Approved fire pit or container may not exceed (3) feet in diameter, and must be utilized for pleasure, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
• Campfire size should not be larger than the container.
• Firewood should be clean and free of nails, screws or any other sharp objects. CCA, treated lumber, construction debris and pallets are prohibited to be used as firewood.
• Campers shall not move or relocate campsite fire pits.
• A fire extinguisher or other extinguishing equipment (dirt, sand, water barrel for example) shall be readily available to be used immediately.
• Fires may not be left unattended at any time.
• Burning of trash is strictly prohibited.
• All containers are to be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure, dune, vegetation line or combustible material.
• Flame must be completely extinguished before leaving beach. IMPORTANT: Covering the fire with sand does not extinguish the fire. Instead, it insulates the hot coals and fills the pits with hot sand.
• Fire container and sand under and near the fire must be cooled with water before leaving.
• Do not remove any materials from the park, beach or dunes to be used in a fire.
• Dispose of fire remains and trash in the containers provided for each at the park or taken with if proper containers are not available.
• Proper disposal of fire waste and fire cleanup is strictly enforced. Those who fail to follow beach fire rules will be subject to fines, Outer Beach Access Permit revoked and/or Green Key suspended.
• Fires at beach may be prohibited at any time at the Park Supervisors and/or Park Ranger discretion as necessary to ensure public safety and maintain essential park operations.
The First step in getting a permit to drive on NY State Park beaches is to obtain a Marine Fishing Permit here. You will need the number from your Fishing permit to apply for the beach driving permit. Beach driving is “limited” to fishing access points, and drivers must carry appropriate fishing gear any time they are on the beach. To apply for the actual 4×4 beach driving permit, start here.
Long Island State Park Beach Driving Permit Regulations:
• All permits will expire on December 31, regardless of the date issued.
• Permits are valid for 4-wheel drive vehicles only and allow access to
designated beach areas for the purpose of fishing only.
• Tires shall not exceed either 33 inches in diameter or 12.5 inches in width as measured at the widest point.
• Before passing the Beach Vehicle checkpoint location, all beach vehicle tires must be aired down to one-half the maximum rated tire pressure.
• Vehicles are prohibited from driving through bathing areas from 7am to 5 pm beginning the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend until after Labor Day at specifically designated parks.
• Follow designated access roads to the beach. Do not exceed 10 MPH at any time. Vehicles are permitted access to fishing areas only; vehicles are not permitted elsewhere in off-road travel. Always stay to the right when approaching oncoming vehicles. DO NOT DRIVE on dunes, wetlands, beach grass, bird nesting areas, or in seal haul out areas.
• Do not destroy the sand fence. This fence is helpful in maintaining a stable beach environment.
• Pedestrians have the right-of-way; please be courteous to people walking on the beach.
• Please help us maintain a safe, clean, and attractive environment for the enjoyment of everyone. Return unwanted fish to the water. Take litter and debris with you and discard in trash receptacles.
• Smoking on beach is Prohibited.
Required equipment to be carried in 4×4 vehicle:
• Fishing Tackle, including Rods, and Reels (for all persons age 12 and over)
• Portable Toilet
• Tow Rope or Tow Chain
• Jack, Jack Board, Shovel
• Approved Tires, Spare Tire (Maximum of 33 inches in diameter by 12.5 inches in width)
• Tire Gauge (capable of registering a minimum of 5 PSI.)