OCEAN CITY TOWN ORDINANCES

View our complete ordinances online (external link)

In Ocean City, we take safety very seriously. After all, we want everyone to have a pleasurable, safe and fun vacation. Please take a moment to read this very important information regarding our town ordinances, designed with your well-being in mind.

Beach and Boardwalk Information

Ocean City is proud to be home to one of America’s most popular and family-friendly boardwalks. Our 2.9 mile boardwalk stretches from the Inlet in South Ocean City to 27th Street.

In addition to our famous boardwalk, our 10 mile stretch of the beach and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean is free and open to the public from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ocean City also wants to ensure the safety of all beach visitors during beach maintenance. Sleeping on the beach is not allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. because we use the overnight and early morning hours to keep the beaches clean and beautiful!. No private vehicles are permitted on the beach at any time.

For your protection, the Ocean City Beach Patrol is on duty during the summer between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Please be sure to obey their instructions, swim near a lifeguard at all times and have a buddy with you when you’re in the surf. The mission of the Beach Patrol is to provide safety for all beach-goers. Lifeguards on duty must have a clear line of vision and may establish said line running parallel to the ocean. Beach umbrellas, ball playing, and other beach accessories will not be permitted eastward of said line.

Bonfires are allowed on the beach, by permit only.  More information, including regulations, restrictions, and to apply for a permit online, visit www.ocbonfires.com.

Boat Trailer Parking

Bringing a boat? Boat trailers may pay to park at the 100th St. Municipal Lot. Keep in mind that a person may not park a boat trailer on public streets, alleys, or public parking lots from May 1 through October 31.

Fireworks

The discharge of all fireworks/pyrotechnics, including ground based sparklers sold/allowed in neighboring states/counties is PROHIBITED in the Town of Ocean City.  Only small handheld sparklers are permitted to be used with competent, adult supervision.  Those interested in conducting organized fireworks displays by MD licensed pyro-technicians may apply for a permit from the Fire Marshal’s Office.  For more information:  https://oceancitymd.gov/forms/firemarshal/Fireworks_OnlinApplication.pdf

Highway Safety

Millions of visitors travel to Ocean City each summer, so it’s important that vacationers are mindful of our highway laws.

There are bus/bike lanes on both sides of Coastal Highway to support flow of traffic. Please do not park or drive in these lanes unless making a right turn. Be alert for bicyclists when entering or leaving the highway.

Municipal buses travel in the far right-hand land on Coastal Highway. They stop and pick-up or discharge passengers only at designated bus stops. When following a bus, please keep this in mind.

Motorists must yield right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street at a crosswalk, at any controlled intersection when obeying the traffic signals, and at any non-signaled intersection.

Bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motorists and may receive citations for failure to obey these rules of the road. The most common violations committed by bicyclists are riding against the flow of traffic in the bike lane and failing to obey traffic signals. At night, a headlight and rear reflector are required on all bicycles being used in Ocean City.

Horseback Riding

Ocean City now offers horseback riding on the beach during winter, early spring. Permit applications are now available to persons wishing to ride horses on Ocean City’s beach. Download Application

The cost is $20 for a single-day permit and $50 for a seasonal permit. Horseback riding will be allowed on the beach beginning at 27th Street and extending south to the Inlet jetty between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. November 1 to March 30.

Noise Regulations

Remember that many folks are here visiting to relax. Please be respectful of your neighbors both on and off the beach.

It is unlawful for any person to make, cause, or continue any loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noise, or any noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace and safety of others at any time, day or night.

Ocean City strongly enforces its ordinance that no disruptive noises be made between 12 midnight and 7 a.m. in such a manner as to be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the building or structure which it is located.

Maryland Motor Vehicle Law and Ocean City Town Ordinance state that no loud noise from a vehicle may be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the vehicle at any time.

Other Important City Ordinances to Note

In Ocean City, we take laws related to alcohol consumption very seriously. Drinking alcoholic beverages in public is prohibited. This includes on any street, avenue, alleyway, sidewalk, beach, parking lot and vehicle in any of these areas. Possessing an open container of any alcoholic beverage in public is not allowed.

Sleeping in any motor vehicle within the city limits of Ocean City is prohibited. Sleeping on the beach also is not allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Parking Information

Ocean City has worked hard to ensure that parking is accessible for our visitors. Parking is available in city lots, private lots and on certain public streets unless otherwise noted.

Ample free parking is available at the West Ocean City Park & Ride. Leave the driving to us and park your car for the day, and you can take the city bus into Ocean City. The West Ocean City Shuttle between the South Division Street Transit Center, West Ocean City Park & Ride, and the Tanger Outlet is a seasonal operation that begins in May and runs intermittently into October.

Please do not park in front of any red painted curbs, or in front of any public or private driveways. It is also important to note that when parking next to the curb, please park with the flow of traffic with your vehicles wheels within 12 inches of the curb.

Pedestrian Safety

It is the responsibility of every Ocean City visitor and resident to be alert and responsible when walking throughout town. Please cross only at marked crosswalks, preferably those with pedestrian signal lights. Maryland law requires pedestrians use the sidewalks where available, rather than walking in the street. Please do not walk or jog in the bus/bike area on Coastal Highway. Hitchhiking is also prohibited in Ocean City.

Pet Parents

Bringing your four-legged friend? It’s important to note that animals are only allowed on the beach and boardwalk between October 1 and April 30. Any handler or owner of a dog must remove any waste deposited on public or private property not owned by the handler or owner in possession of said dog. Also, dogs must be kept on a leash when being walked in and around Ocean City.

During peak-season and year-round, a Dog Playground is available at 94th Street and bayside so your pet can let loose and enjoy their time in Ocean City. For more information, contact OC Recreation & Parks at 410-250-0125 or view the following webpage //oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/recreation-parks/dog-playground/.

Roller Skates/Blades

Weekdays
April 1 through Memorial Day 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Labor Day through September 30 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Weekends 
April 1 through May 15 Sunrise to 12 noon

May 15 through Memorial Day Sunrise to 10 a.m.

Day after Labor Day through September 30 Sunrise to 10 a.m.

Holidays
April 1 through May 15 Sunrise to 12 noon

May 15 through Memorial Day Sunrise to 10 a.m.

Day after Labor Day through September 30 Sunrise to 10 a.m.

October 1 through March 31 Anytime

Springfest Sunrise to 12 noon

Sunfest Sunrise to 10 a.m.

RV Parking

RVs and other oversized vehicles may not park in any municipal lot, public street or alley between May 1 – October 31 of each year by Town Ordinance. An oversized vehicle is defined as 21 feet, 2 inches or more in length, and 6 feet, 8 inches in width, needing more than one parking space. For more information, call the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6610.

Skateboards & Bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk at the following times

From Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, between 2:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. of the same day.

From Tuesday after Labor Day through Friday before Memorial Day, at any time, subject to the following exceptions:

A. Springfest and Sunfest (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) between 2:00 a.m. and 12 p.m. of the same day.

Skateboarding is prohibited on any other public street, public way, ramp, public alley, public sidewalk, public lots or any other public property (except for public skateboard facilities and public sponsored or authorized skateboard events) within the corporate limits of Ocean City between April 1 and October 1 of each year.

Off-Season: No Restrictions

Smoking/Vaping

Ocean City has designated smoking areas to help keep our beautiful beach clean. View our map of the designated smoking areas

The designated smoking areas, which are designed to accommodate both smokers and nonsmokers, feature waste receptacles and are located along the beach.

Smoking/Vaping must be contained within 15 feet of the waste receptacle in each designated smoking area. The Boardwalk is a smoke-free zone.

The smoking rules apply to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaping, e-cigarettes, and any other matter or substance that contains tobacco.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is permitted in Ocean City. However, be sure you are not within 50 yards of swimmers or of anyone on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. *Please note that you are required to have a Salt Water Fishing License. Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for more information.

Surfing

Want to catch some waves? Ocean City has some great waves, but surfing is only permitted on two surfing beaches announced daily on local radio stations or you can visit our Beach Patrol website. For everyone’s safety, these two areas are dedicated to surfing only for the day indicated. For more information on surf beaches and beach conditions, call any of the area surf shops.

Swimming

When swimming in the ocean, it’s important to be careful. Ocean surf can be rough and it is best to swim using the buddy system and have someone with you in the water at all times. Beach patrol members are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily all summer to ensure your safety. Please obey the Beach Patrol when you are on the beach. They are there to protect you and always swim near a lifeguard.