County Operations

Community Guideance

New Hanover County is under a State of Emergency, and residents are required to comply with the statewide Safer at Home Order.

Have questions about the order? Read the FAQs here

Información en Español aquí


New Hanover County is open for business and to provide services to residents. All county-sponsored group activities and events are suspended until further notice. Cape Fear Museum and county playgrounds are closed to the public.

New Hanover County’s Government Center, Health and Human Services building, 320 Chestnut building and Public Libraries are operating with regular business hours to serve the public. The Cape Fear Museum and the Senior Resource Center will remain closed to the public, until more guidance is received from the state. (Virtual services are still offered, and the Senior Resource Center is continuing meal service and other supports).

Most county business and services can continue to be conducted by phone or online, so residents are encouraged to continue accessing services remotely and only visit county facilities for essential reasons. Department contact information can be found in the tabs below.

Temperature checks will no longer be conducted at county facilities. If visiting county facilities is necessary, residents and visitors are to practice social distancing and wear face coverings to protect staff and other patrons.

The grounds of the Arboretum are open to the public from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Sunday.

The NC Cooperative Extension & Arboretum offices will be open 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Visit Arboretum.NHCgov.com for more details.

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Meetings

The Board of Commissioners holds meetings at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse unless otherwise noted, and adhere to social distancing practices. The meetings are  available to the public and media to view live on NHCTV.com, and on NHCTV’s cable stations: Spectrum channel 13 and Charter channel 5. Meetings are also available for replay on the NHCTV website after the conclusion of the meeting.

Public Comments

People who wish to submit a public comment on a non-agenda item can do so by attending the meeting, or submitting comments ahead of time. Comments should be submitted by noon on the Sunday before each meeting by calling (910) 798-7411 to leave a message or by emailing comments@nhcgov.com. The public comment voicemails will be played aloud and the public comments emails will be read aloud by a staff member during the meeting.

The Board of Elections Office will be open for walk-in customers Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and voters can use the drop box outside of the Election’s office if needed.  

The New Hanover County Court System hours of operation will be dictated by the state and do not fall under this county hours of operation update. Information specific to local courts is available here. 

Customers will be able to access the county’s development services – like Building Safety, Planning and Land Use, Engineering, Environmental Health Services, and more – at the Government Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, customers can access the development portal COAST to submit plans, view permits, and more, as well as call 910-798-7308 for assistance.

Building Safety inspections are still taking place.

New Hanover County Health and Human Services continues to operate and provide essential services, like economic and social work assistance, but residents should call 910-798-3500 before arriving to the building to conduct as much business by phone and eliminate in-person interactions. Public hours for the Health and Human Services building are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The Department of Social Services has established an email address, DSSinfo@NHCgov.com, for customers to send documents, requests for applications and case inquiries for Economic Services programs including:  

  • Food and Nutrition Services (formerly known as Food Stamps) 
  • Medicaid, including Long Term Care services 
  • Child Care assistance (subsidy for child care costs) 
  • Work First Family Assistance (financial assistance for working families) 
  • Crisis Intervention (financial assistance for utility and housing payments) 

Residents can apply for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services online at Epass.NC.gov, or call 910-798-3500 to have an application mailed to them.

To report abuse or neglect, call 910-798-3420. For social work services, like foster care, child protective services or adult protective services, call 910-798-3500.  

Public Health is leading the response to COVID-19 and operating the Coronavirus Call Center, community based flu and COVID-19 testing and broad response plans. Residents with questions about COVID-19 can call 910-7986800 to speak with a public health nurse in the Coronavirus Call Center seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

For regular public health services like Women, Infant and Children nutrition services, immunizations and others, call 910-798-3500 to make an appointment or conduct business over the phone before visiting the Health and Human Services building. 

Child Support Services

Parents can conduct common Child Support Services activities on the eChild Support Portal at https://ncchildsupport.com/ecoa/login.htm, reducing the need to visit the office and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Using this portal, parents can check case status, payment information, make child support payments, and update demographic information.

Parents can also communicate with caseworkers and return documents by emailing the New Hanover County Child Support Office at NC.Wilmington.Info@ywcss.com. The customer service center remains available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1-800-992-9457.

The landfill is operating with normal hours and accepting municipal solid waste from commercials haulers, debris from local contractors, and residential solid waste. The Household Hazardous Waste operations, including the HazWagon, are operating under regular hours. View services and operating hours at Recycling.NHCgov.com.

Airlie Gardens, county parks, walking trails, and open spaces are open to the public for the time being with normal operating hours.

County-owned tennis, pickleball, basketball, and volleyball courts are open. Sports fields in county parks will be open for general recreation use starting Tuesday, but all activity must comply with mass gathering restrictions of 25 people outdoors. Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain closed, as well as the Splash Pad at Hugh MacRae Park. As Hugh MacRae Park is within the City of Wilmington, activity and closures will adhere to the City of Wilmington’s restrictions, found here.

Fitness stations along trails will be open, and shelters are available for reservations for groups of no more than 25, and social distancing must be followed.

As additional information, weddings can now take place in parks and gardens. Based on the Governor’s Phase 2, the ceremony is not limited to the mass gathering rules (but must comply with physical distancing); but receptions held at a park or garden would have to comply and have no more than 25 people outside or 10 inside.

Visit Parks.NHCgov.com for updates.

Planning and Land Use is operating with normal hours and holds meetings while adhering to social distancing and face covering requirements. View meeting schedules and information at Planning.NHCgov.com.

New Hanover County Public Libraries have started phasing in more services including time-limited computer use and quick visits to browse and check-out books, in addition to continued online and curbside services. Libraries are open and live chat is available on the Library’s website Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. View more information on Library services at Library.NHCgov.com.

Other Library Resources

Ebooks, databases, downloadable music, streaming video, homework support, and other social distancing activities can be found at www.nhclibrary.org. Live chat is also available through the library’s website, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No overdue fines will be charged, and all library accounts will remain in good standing during this time.

Below are direct links to specific education and enrichment resources online:

New Hanover County Register of Deeds is offering all services by phone and online (no in-person services, except by appointment), and the full information can be viewed here.

In addition, real estate services are suspended at the Government Center location until further notice. A recording party/agent can come to the Register of Deeds office at the 320 Chestnut Street location between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., however that person will be required to update recordings in the lobby and then put documents in a drop box. Staff will then retrieve the documents to record immediately. Instant services are suspended, so the documents will be mailed back to the agent (an addressed envelope should be included with the documents). The Register of Deeds will only accept checks, money orders or cash. Credit cards will not be accepted. 

Certified Records Requests

Residents requesting certified copies of vital records should use the online request portal on the Register of Deeds website at RegisterofDeeds.NHCgov.com. For customers seeking real estate records, records can be viewed and certified copies can be ordered at Search.NewHanoverDeeds.com.

Recording Documents

Register of Deeds recording services will only be available by appointment by calling 910-798-4530.

Marriage Licenses

Couples obtaining marriage licenses can begin the application process at RegisterofDeeds.NHCgov.com. Before visiting the office for signatures and to deliver documents, applicants should make an appointment by calling the Register of Deeds office at 910-798-4544. Only marriage license applicants should enter the office for their appointment.

Notary Services

Residents in need of notary services, or who need to take a notary oath, can make an appointment to do so by calling 910-798-7731.

The Senior Resource Center, including the Castle Hayne satellite site, is closed until further notice. The SRC’s critical services will continue, including one-on-one social work and SHIIP services, as well as medical and non-medical transportation services will continue. As much as possible, these services will be provided in one-on-one settings and by phone. Customers are encouraged to call ahead for services to 910-798-6400.

Beginning on Monday, June 1, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Programs at both the Senior Resource Center and Carolina Beach locations will resume free Income Tax service through the remainder of the season with drop-off service only. You must have an appointment to drop off tax documents. For questions, please call the Senior Resource Center at 910-798-6400 or visit the SRC website for more info.

Drive-Thru Lunch for Seniors

The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center is offering drive-thru lunch options for senior customers who participate in the congregate program and those age 60 or older. Current registered senior participants and new participants are encouraged to pick-up a carryout lunch at the following locations and times:

  • Senior Resource Center (2222 S. College Rd. Wilmington, NC) Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Castle Hayne Baptist Church (4544 Parmele Rd., Castle Hayne, NC) Monday-Friday 12-1 p.m. (Expanded days and times, beginning March 30) 
  • Veterans Park Soccer Field Parking Lot (835 Halyburton Memorial Pkwy, Wilmington, NC)  Monday-Friday 12-1 p.m. (New location beginning March 30))
  • Nir Family YMCA  (2710 Market St.) Monday-Friday 12-1 p.m. (New location beginning March 30)) 

Participants are encouraged to call at least one day prior to reserve a meal pick-up at 910-798-6420. Please provide the date and location of the meal you are requesting. The Senior Resource Center will continue operating the Home Delivered Meals Program for its registered homebound participants. For more information visit SRC.NHCgov.com.

The Tax Office is open for walk-in customers from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and customers can also receive assistance online and by phone at 910-798-7300. Citizens can drop tax payments off at the Government Center, in an outdoor drop-box located at both entrances to the building.  

The Veteran Services office at the Government Center is closed to visitors until further notice. Staff will continue to serve customers by phone and email. Contact Veteran Services at 910-798-7611 or by email. Learn more about Veteran Services at VeteranServices.NHCgov.com.  

Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815