County Operations

Community Guideance

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

Have questions about the order? Read the FAQs here


New Hanover County is open for business and limited one-on-one services between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All county-sponsored group activities and events are suspended until further notice, and Public Libraries, Cape Fear Museum, county playgrounds, Airlie Gardens and the Arboretum are closed to the public.

Beginning Monday, March 30, New Hanover County Government buildings will be open to the public for limited walk-in hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors to county facilities during those new hours will also be greeted by a public health nurse and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building. 

This limited public schedule is being put in place in response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order as well as the county’s additional restrictions that were announced today.  

County employees will continue to operate on a normal schedule and will be able to assist the public via phone and through online resources from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, but customers will be limited in the time they can enter a county building.  

This includes the Government Center (230 Government Center Drive), which houses services like our development services and the Tax Office, the county’s facility at 320 Chestnut Street that houses Community Justice Services, and the Health and Human Services building (1650 Greenfield Street). 

The grounds of the Arboretum are closed to the public beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m.

Visit Arboretum.NHCgov.com for more details.

April 6 New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Meeting

The Board of Commissioners will meet via teleconference on April 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. No public hearings pertaining to planning and land use matters will be held during this meeting. 

The meeting will be available to the public and media to listen via live audio on NHCTV.com, and on our cable stations, and will be available for the public to access afterward at news.nhcgov.com/nhctv/meeting-video.

Public Comments

Anyone who wants to submit a public comment on a non-agenda item to be shared during the meeting may do so by 9 p.m. on April 5, 2020 by calling (910) 798-7411 to leave a message or by emailing comments@nhcgov.com

The Board of Elections Office will be open for walk-in customers from 10 a.m. to 2 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 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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. 

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 will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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) 

To report abuse or neglect, or for Social Work services, like Foster Care, Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services, call 910-798-3420.  

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. 

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.

The landfill is operating with normal hours, but will only be accepting municipal solid waste from commercials haulers and debris from local contractors. Residential traffic will not be permitted, due to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order that prohibits non-essential travel. The Household Hazardous Waste operations, including the HazWagon, will not be open after Tuesday, March 31.

County parks, walking trails and open spaces are open to the public for the time being with normal operating hours. All public playgrounds, team sports facilities, exercise stations, and public gardens are closed.

Under the State of Emergency and Governor’s order, the public is required to not be in groups of more than 10 people at a time and to remain six feet away from others. The restrooms at public parks are closed to the public.

Visit Parks.NHCgov.com for updates.

To ensure public engagement and participation is available in the conduct of Planning and Land Use business, the following meetings have been canceled, and agenda items will be rescheduled for meetings to be held in the future:

  • Zoning Board of Adjustment, Tuesday, March 24 – canceled
  • Workforce Housing Committee, Wednesday, April 1 – canceled
  • Planning Board, Thursday, April 2 – canceled

All Public Library locations are closed. In addition, based on the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and the desire to keep library patrons and staff safe, the library’s curbside pick-up will be suspended beginning Wednesday, April 1 at 2 p.m. for the duration of the county’s restrictions (which lasts until April 13, unless reevaluated or extended).

If a library patron has received notification that reserve items have arrived, they will remain available at the designated location until 2 p.m. on April 1. It is no longer possible to place reserves on library materials. No overdue fines will be charged while libraries are closed, and all library accounts will remain in good standing during this time.

This is an extremely difficult decision to make, because the services the library provides are important for our community and we understand the critical role the library plays in providing enrichment and education, especially in difficult times. But this closure is being done in the best interest of our staff and our community.

Ebooks, databases, downloadable music, streaming video, homework support and other resources are available 24-7 at www.nhclibrary.org. Live chat is also available through the library’s website, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.

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. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services have all been suspended in New Hanover County.

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 will also be open for walk-in customers from 10 a.m. to 2 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.  

Beginning Monday, March 30, the Veteran Services office at the Government Center will be 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