Ocean City, NJ beach

New Jersey has beautiful beaches. Across the Jersey Shore, you can find wide expanses of beach where people play, swim, sunbathe and doze, enjoying the warm sand and wonderful views. You can see dolphins flitting in schools near the shoreline, gulls soaring, kites winding high in the sky and smooth, shiny shells washing up on shore.

Maintaining New Jersey’s beautiful beaches is a team effort from various parts of each local beach community. Beach tags are one way that coastal towns stay committed to keeping their beaches beautiful. The purchase of each beach tag is a small contribution towards various upkeep tasks some of which are replacing sand, cleaning up any litter or garbage, preserving wildlife, and compensating lifeguards, beach patrol and police to ensure the safety of all visitors.

In exchange for a relatively low fee, visitors receive a tag that gives them access to the town’s beaches for the day, the week, or all summer if they’d like. The money collected helps pay for preserving the cleanliness and order of the beaches.

The History of Jersey Shore Beach Tags

The first beach tags made their bow in the late 1920s, according to the Asbury Park Press. Townspeople in Bradley Beach became frustrated when people from outside the municipality crowded onto the beach during a heat wave. Bradley Beach decided to distribute badges to people who lived in town, and only those who possessed the tags could get onto the beach.

Eventually, other towns adopted the idea and they began to charge for the tags, which became a way for the towns to make revenue. By the 1970s, a majority of towns along the Jersey Shore required beach tags to access the beach. Ocean City began using the tags in 1976. Ever since, beach tags have played an important role in our local beach town economy to support our beaches.

How Beach Badges Help the Local Economy

Income from the sale of beach tags helps keep visitors safe, supplying money for lifeguards and patrols of the area. This ensures visitors to the beaches will have the protection they need for an enjoyable visit. It also helps to guarantee that family-friendly beaches in New Jersey, such as our very own Ocean City, NJ, are well-staffed to care for beach-goers and swimmers of all ages and abilities. Today more than ever, the money earned from beach tag sales is vitally important to shore communities. The Asbury Park Press reports municipalities up and down the shore annually earn a combined $20 million or more from these fees. This helps to sustain our award-winning beaches as some of the most aesthetically beautiful vacation spots along the East Coast where families return year after year.

Which Municipalities Use Beach Tags?

Ocean City, NJ, and a number of other towns require beach tags. If you plan to vacation or rent a beach home in Ocean City, NJ, you should plan to purchase beach tags during your stay. However, you can roam the beaches for free in: Wildwood, Atlantic City, and Strathmere.

Where to Buy Beach Tags in Ocean City

You can purchase your OCNJ beach tags at City Hall, the Music P the Community Center at Haven Ave. and 17th St., the Welcome Center and other locations in town. Please click here for information on purchasing beach tags.

When Do I Need Beach Tags at Ocean City, NJ?

Beach tags are required for adults and children ages 12 and older starting Saturday, June 3, 2017 and running through Labor Day — Monday, September 4, 2017.

Who Needs Beach Tags?

All people over age 12 are required to have beach tags to access Ocean City, NJ beaches. There are a couple of groups, however, who do not need to pay for their tags. A recent New Jersey law offers free tags to veterans. Active military and their immediate family can also receive free tags as a "thank you" for their service. You must have the appropriate ID to receive these benefits.

Have a specific question about OCNJ beach badges? Call 609.399.6111 or Email Ocean City Beach Tag!