No permits are required for metal detecting on private property (i.e., permission must be received from the landowner prior to accessing property) from the Department of Environment of Environmental Quality. However, there are restrictions on metal detecting in some areas of the state.
Metal detectors are not allowed in any state park area except to locate lost personal property and must have a Special Use Permit issued by the Park Superintendent or designee. Local ordinances may govern the use of metal detectors on beaches that are not state parks. Contact the appropriate beach town to see if metal detecting is allowed in that area. For inland lakes and beaches, contact the property owner for permission to use a metal detector. For state forests, ask permission from the forest supervisor that oversees the particular forest where you want to use a metal detector.
The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources may have rules or regulations about metal detecting, particularly in historic areas of the state. The phone number is 919-814-6800, and the main Web site address is: www.ncdcr.gov