Public Notices
Your Right To Know, Your Public Notice

Public Notices & You

Public notices contain information about activities and events that impact citizens' lives because of governmental actions or requirements. They include such important actions as government hearings and meetings; zoning, annexation and land use changes; election notices; municipal budgets, taxes and special assessment information; requests for bids on government construction and service contracts; permit and licensing applications, land and water use regulations; judicial and executive sales, disposal of foreclosed and abandoned property and many more. All of these actions affect you and your community.

The North Carolina Legislature has recognized the need and right of the public to be informed about these activities and events. As a result, public notices and legal ads are published in newspapers to effectively disseminate this important information throughout their communities while also providing historical preservation and easy public access.

Find Public Notices where you want

With today's mobile society, however, many citizens have interests outside their local areas and need to be informed of governmental activities on a broader scope. This is the reason was created. It enables individuals and businesses throughout the state -- and nation or world for that matter -- to quickly and effectively search public notices throughout North Carolina by means of a centralized database.  So, you can find Public Notices in your local newspaper in print or on their wesbite or at


What role do newspapers play? 

Newspapers are a community forum. That role does not change with the manner in which you receive local news important to you. 

- Newspapers have proved to be a lifeline of community news vital to the public during the pandemic; instead of killing the messengers, counties and cities should continue running legal notices in newspapers and help maintain this vital line of communication to the local community.

Limiting public notice to government websites is a Bad Idea.

Because as many as one-third of North Carolinians do not have internet access, can't afford it, and would not visit government operated websites even if they had internet access.  These efforts to LIMIT public notice would bury public notices on a website that few if any citizens visit and effectively would kill the public's right to know.     

These measures put local governments into private business, expanding government reach. Posting of public notices to government sites is not a healthy option for democracy. Newspapers are an independent third party responsible for printing and archiving a permanent record of these public notices - who would be held accountable if these notices were only required to post on a government run website?  

NC citizens rely on Public Notices in Newspapers

A recent market study from Coda Ventures found: 

  • 6.6 million North Carolina adults read a newspaper product every month for information about their local community.  

  • 72% of adults read public notices in local print or digital newspapers.

  • 68% believe governments should be required to publish notices in a newspaper as a service to the community.

  • 86% cite local newspapers as their “most trusted” source for public notices vs government websites.

Statewide Public Notices from NC Newspapers

Why Public Notices Should Remain In Newspapers
Legislative Links

Helpful Legistlative Links: