Frequently Asked Questions | F.A.Q.s

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FAQs | General

How do I find out when the town meetings are?

CLICK HERE for the Town Council Meetings Schedule

How do I contact the town?

CLICK HERE for contact information for the Town of Morehead City

What are the hours of operation for City Hall?

City Hall is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday excluding holidays.

Where is City Hall located?

City Hall is located at 706 Arendell Street on Highway #70 East/Arendell Street between 6th and 7th Streets. There is hour parking in front of City Hall and parking to the side and  rear of the building.

CLICK HERE for a Map

What are the hours of operation for the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA) Post Office located at City Hall?

For the convenience of our citizens, Morehead City maintains a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency Post Office within City Hall with limited services.

The hours of operation are the same as City Hall from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday excluding legal holidays.

For information call 252-726-6848, Extension 112 or 131

Where can I pay a traffic ticket?

Traffic violations are remanded to the Carteret County Clerk of Court at 252-838-8141

How can I obtain a birth, marriage or death certificate?

Birth, marriage, death and other personal records are maintained by the Carteret County Register of Deeds Office at 252-728-8474

Where can I register to vote?

For any voting questions or information call the Carteret County Board of Elections at 252-728-4583

How can I get on Council Meetings?

At each regularly scheduled Council Meeting there is always a section called “Citizen Requests/Comments”. This time is specially designated for any individual to address the Council about a particular concern regarding Morehead City. For more information on this process call the City Clerk at 252-726-6848, Extension 139

Where can I learn more about local governments?

NCCCMA and the UNC School of Government offer a new resource for helping the public appreciate and understand local government.

Local Government in North Carolina is free and on-line.  This fourth edition has been up-dated to reflect recent changes and revised for a general audience. 

It is now available in three formats:

  • Interactive, on-line access
  • Ipad format
  • Downloable PDF

This resource is sponsored by the NC City and County Managers Association as a part of its Civic Education Committee’s work.  Your local government may also have helped sponsor it by participating in NCCCMA’s “Nickel Offense.”


FAQs | Public Utilities

Where are you located?

We are located in the City Hall building at 706 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC. We are directly across from Raps Bar and Grill. Our phone number is 252-726-5022

What are your hours of operation?

We are open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How do /can I pay my utility bill?

There are 6 options: Automatic Draft (CLICK HERE for Automatic Draft Form), Online Bill Pay, Credit/Debit Card (through Official Payments only), Drop-Box, and Mail and in person.  

CLICK HERE for more detail on these options.

I need to open new service. What do I do/need?

An application for new service is needed with the required deposit/service fee and a valid picture id. Types of acceptable id’s are: valid driver’s license, state identification card, military id, passport, Alien Registration, Government/University/recognized Corporate Id, Card or Certificate of Naturalization.

Our application can be downloaded HERE, faxed to you or picked up at our office.

If a new customer is not available to come to the Water Department in person we will accept faxed, emailed or mailed applications along with the required deposit/service fee and copy of a valid id. The new customer must appear in person in our office within seven (7) business days of the application date to verify their identity. Failure to do so will result in disconnection of service.

CLICK HERE for an Application for New Service

I’m moving and need to close my current service. What do I need to do?

Per our town ordinance it is required that all disconnect requests be submitted in writing. Those that come to the Water Department will need to fill out the back of their application requesting the disconnect. Others can fax or email their requests to us (CLICK HERE for disconnect form).

We will need the following to process the request:

  • Current service address, utility account number if known
  • Customer Name
  • Last four digits of the customer’s social security number
  • Date of disconnection
  • Forwarding mailing address (for final bill or refund of deposit)
  • Customer Signature
  • Date of Request

I need to transfer my current service to a different service address. How do I do that?

We do not accept verbal requests to transfer service from one location to another. The customer must come to the Water Department or fax/email the transfer request (CLICK HERE for transfer form). Any account carrying a balance will not be transferred until the balance is paid off in full. Also, a transfer fee is charged and can be added to the first billing at the new location. We will only keep both locations with service over period of time, such as a weekend (e.g. turn on service at new location of Friday and turn off service at previous location on Monday).

My tenants skipped out and left a mess. I need water to clean up. How do I do that?

We do allow temporary service for 30 days and will extend this an additional 30 days if needed. Please call our office to find out the procedures and fees for this service.

I received a notice from the Water Department that I might have a possible leak. How do I check for that?

The biggest culprits of water loss are running commodes and malfunctioning water softeners. To test the seal of the commode(s) we suggest putting a few drops of red (only because it shows up better) food coloring in the back of the tank. If after an extended amount of time the food coloring appears in the bowl than that means the seals are not sealing properly and should be replaced. With a water softener it is harder to identify and might be appropriate for a professional to be called.

I want to start monitoring my consumption. How do I read my meter?

To open the meter box and view reads CLICK HERE for instructions.

FAQs | Public Works

My trash can has disappeared/been damaged/other. How do I get another one?

Contact the Public Works Department at (252) 726-6848 Ext. 122  for assistance.

FAQs | Parks & Recreation

How can I volunteer to coach a sport?

CLICK HERE for the Volunteer Coaching Application

FAQs | Finance

Does the Morehead City Tax Office bill and collect for motor vehicles?

Only for unregistered motor vehicles which are classified as personal property. The Carteret County Tax Office bills and collects for Morehead City on registered motor vehicles and remits the funds to us. Questions concerning registered motor vehicle taxes should be directed to the Carteret County Tax Office at 252-728-8535.

What time period do the tax bills cover?

Value, ownership, taxable status, and situs of real and personal property are determined for the new fiscal year at Jan 1st.

Are tax bills required to be mailed? If so, when?

North Carolina General Statutes (N.C.G.S.) does not require that any type of property tax bill be prepared or distributed to taxpayers. To increase collections we mail bills in July or August.

When are the tax bills due?

All taxes in North Carolina are due September 1st.

Does the Town offer a discount for early payment?

Yes. Currently the Town offers a 2% discount if taxes are paid/received by August 31st. Per N.C.G.S. (105-360(d)) payments made by mail are considered received by the tax office on the postmark date. If the payment has no postmark or the postmark does not contain a date, then the payment is considered received when it actually arrives in the tax office.

When do the taxes become delinquent?

If the tax remains unpaid at January 6th they are considered delinquent and 2% interest applies. Interest continues to accrue at ¾% each month until paid in full.

How can I pay my taxes?

Payments can be made via online banking, credit/debit card (through Official Payments only), by mail, drop box and in person.

Can I make prepayments towards future taxes or make a payment arrangement to pay existing taxes?

Anyone can make payments towards future taxes that will become due. In order to post the payments correctly we must know that they are for future taxes and all current taxes must be paid in full. Payment arrangements are allowed and encouraged to be set up as soon as the tax notice is received (in July or August). For the past few years payment arrangement forms have been sent with the tax notices to assist property owners with this option. Beginning the payment plan immediately upon receipt of the tax notice saves the property owner money by eliminating/reducing any interest or penalties that will accrue on the balance owing. If a property owners waits until after the taxes become delinquent to make a payment arrangement they must come to the Tax Office and sign an agreement. No verbal payment arrangements are made. The property owner is required to make a down payment on the taxes owing at the time the arrangement is made.

What happens if the taxes become delinquent?

If the taxes become delinquent and no payment arrangement is in place with our office collection action begins. Second notices are mailed after the delinquency date (January 6th) to advise property owners of delinquent taxes owing even to those with payment arrangements (our software cannot separate those with an arrangement and those that do not). Per N.C.G.S. 105-368 a tax collector may attach wages and other compensation, rents, bank deposits, the proceeds of property subject to levy or any other intangible personal property, including property held in the Escheat Fund. Also N.C.G.S. Chapter 105A allows for property owner’s state income tax refund or lottery winnings to be attached and garnished. If there are no intangible assets to be found and the tax remains unpaid information is turned over to the city attorney to begin foreclosure proceedings.

What can I do if I feel the tax bill is incorrect?

The first step is to contact the Carteret County Tax Office at 252-728-8535 since they do the assessing of all property in the county. Any corrections made there should be forwarded to our office to correct/adjust the Morehead City tax.

How do I list my property?

Real property (land and buildings) are listed automatically by the Carteret County Tax Office unless improvements are made.

If improvements are made the property owner is responsible for informing the Carteret County Tax Office so that adjustments can be made to the value of the property.

Personal property and Business Personal Property must be listed each January with the Carteret County Tax Office.

Forms for listing personal property can be found at

Can I view paid/unpaid taxes online?

At this time we are unable to provide this information. We hope to in the future.

Does the Carteret County Tax Office bill and collect for the Town of Morehead City?

No. The county tax office assesses all property in the county and forwards the information to us for billing and collecting purposes.

FAQs | Privilege License

Do I need a business/privilege license to do business in Morehead City?

Per the Town of Morehead City’s Ordinances, each person who conducts a business within this city is subject to this ordinance. A person conducts business when he/she engages in one act of business taxed under this ordinance. He/she conducts the business within the city if he/she maintains a business location within the city or if either personally or through agents he/she solicits business within the city limits or picks up/delivers goods/services within the city limits.

How do I apply for a Privilege/Business license?

An application is available online CLICK HERE or it can be faxed or picked up from City Hall.

How long before I get the license?

Our turnaround time is approximately 10 business days from the day the application is received into our office. This is due in part because other departments such as Zoning/Inspections, Fire, Police and Public Works/Utilities may need to review the application before it is processed.

How much is the license?

The cost of the license is dependent on the type(s) of activity that the business is performing.

What if I am no longer doing business in Morehead City limits?

It is the responsibility of the business owner to notify this office in a timely manner that the business is closed. Failure to do so with a delinquent amount owing for a license can result in collection action as allowed by law.

FAQs | Planning

What is a subdivision exemption?

Subdivision exemptions include recombination plats, divisions of parcels greater than 10 acres with no street right-of-way dedication, public acquisition of land for streets or transportation corridors, and the division of tracts not greater than two acres into three lots or less where the resultant lots meet or exceed the standards of the Town of Morehead City. There is no fee for staff review of subdivision exemption plats. 


What is a minor subdivision?

A minor subdivision is defined as the division of 5 acres or less into 5 or fewer lots and which creates no new public or private streets or roads, no right-of-way dedication, and no new easements except for electrical, drainage, cable, or telephone easements, and no utility extensions. 


What is a major subdivision?

A major subdivision is any division of land that does not fall under the classification of minor subdivision or subdivision exemption. Major subdivisions are reviewed by the Planning Board and Council in a multiple step process.  

How do I submit a request to rezone my property?

A complete Rezoning Application, land use consistency statement, filing fee, and advertising deposit are required for submittal of a rezoning request. Additional items are required for conditional-use and planned development rezoning requests.

What is a rezoning?

Rezoning is a method of changing the zoning classification of a property to a different zoning classification. For example, residentially-zoned property may need to be rezoned in order to permit commercial activity. The types of uses allowed in each zoning classification are listed in the Table of Permissible Uses. The City Council decides whether a property should be rezoned based upon recommendation by the Planning Board, surrounding zoning and land use, and consistency with the City’s Land Use Plan.

Prior to the public meeting and public hearing, each property proposed for rezoning is posted with a zoning hearing sign, a legal advertisement is published in the Carteret County News-Times, a property owners within 300′ of the site are notified of the rezoning by mail. 

In the event a rezoning request is denied, a minimum six-month period must elapse prior to submittal of another rezoning application for the same property.

Can I develop my property as a multifamily development?

Multifamily developments are permitted in the Residential Multifamily (RMF) and Planned Development (PD) districts and in the Residential (R5) district as a Special Use provided they are developed in accordance with the standards of the Unified Development Ordinance, particularly those found under Article 13-2. Planned Developments are also required to meet the specifications contained under Article 12-1


What is an ordinance amendment?

An ordinance amendment is a change to the adopted text contained in the Unified Development Ordinance. Amendments may be initiated by the City Council, the Planning Board, the Board of Adjustment, the Planning Committee, City Staff, or an individual. An example includes pursuit of an amendment to change the permitted uses allowed in a particular zoning district. An ordinance amendment application includes a letter, a description of the ordinance section(s) to be changed, a filing fee, and a deposit on advertising. 

Is my property located in a flood zone?

You can contact staff or go to the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping System site to determine whether your property is located in a flood zone.

FAQs | Inspections

Is a permit required for my project?

Permits are required for most building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing projects, sheds, decks, fences, and certain types of signs. Even if no building permit is required, a zoning permit may be required. Contact our office to determine whether or not you need to apply for a permit.

What is the minimum housing code?

The Minimum Housing Standards ordinance regulates properties that are deteriorated or dilapidated and unfit for habitation. The intent of the program is to ensure that the city’s housing is safe for those living there. Property owners are given notice and specific time frames to make necessary repairs. A citizen may file a complaint by submitting a Citizen Complaint Form

Is my property located in a flood zone?

You can contact staff or go to the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping System site to determine whether your property is located in a flood zone.

How can I pay for permit fees?


Staff can receive both cash and check in-person. In order to pay with a credit card, it is necessary to utilize either the telephone or online payment method.




  • Go to Official Payments.
  • Click on “Local Payments”; Enter Jurisdiction Code 4391; Payment Type = Building and Planning Permits; Click “Make a Payment” and continue to follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Obtain the permit number from the online Permitting Updates or contact staff. When you enter the permit number, do not enter dashes, dots, etc.
  • Email the confirmation number and permit number/site address to to ensure payment is properly credited.

Notes when paying online:

  • There is a cap of $300.00 per transaction. If the permit cost exceeds $300.00, the process must be completed multiple times.
  • There is a processing fee of $4.95 per transaction.
  • You may still be required to pick up your permit in person, regardless of whether or not you have paid your fees online.




  • Obtain the permit number from the online Permitting Updates or contact staff.
  • Call Official Payments at (888) 272-9829.
  • Select Option 3, “Other Payments”.
  • Enter Jurisdiction Code 4391; Press 1 to accept.
  • Select Payment Type; Select Option 4 for Permits.
  • Follow prompts.
  • Write or print confirmation information. Email ( or call (252-726-6848 x125) staff and provide the confirmation number and permit number/site address in order to ensure the payment is properly credited.  

Notes when paying by telephone:

  • There is a payment transaction fee of $4.95 in addition to a service fee of $1.50.
  • The above fees will be charged each time a transaction is completed.
  • You may still be required to pick up your permit in person, regardless of whether or not you have paid your fees by telephone.

What inspections will be required for my project?

A list of required inspections is available here. Please feel free to contact staff if you should require additional information. 

FAQs | Zoning

What is a Special Use?

Special uses add flexibility to the Unified Development Ordinance by permitting potentially undesirable uses of property in specified districts when certain criteria (see below) are met. An “S” in the Table of Permissible Uses indicates a Special Use in the specified district. When considering a request for a Special Use Permit, the Board of Adjustment may impose reasonable and appropriate conditions upon these permits. Applicants are advised to discuss any application for a Special Use Permit with Staff prior to submittal. 

Special Use Criteria

Do I need approval to run a business out of my home?

Morehead City has two classifications of home occupations. Type A home occupations are those where residents use their home as a place of work; however, no employees or customers come to the site. Type B home occupations are those where residents use their home as a place of work and either one employee or customers come to the site. A special use permit is required prior to establishing a Type B home occupation. 

What is a variance?

The variance process is a method of enabling property owners to make use of their property in a way that conflicts with the literal interpretation of the ordinance. More specifically, a variance grants relief from the Unified Development Ordinance. Use variances are not permitted under North Carolina state law. The Board of Adjustment makes its decision to approve or deny a variance request based upon specific criteria (see below). Applicants are advised to discuss any variance application with staff prior to submittal. 



How can I tell if a use is allowed on my property?

Morehead City is divided into zoning districts. These districts have both permitted uses that are allowed by right and other uses that are allowed as special uses. The Table of Permissible Uses is contained in the Unified Development Ordinance. 

How do I submit a request for a variance or special use permit?

Submit a Board of Adjustment Application with the applicable filing fee. You may also be required to submit a site plan and other additional information. Contact the Planning and Inspections Department for additional information. 

Can I speak with Board of Adjustment members about my case prior to the hearing?

No. Hearings are conducted in a quasi-judicial manner, and members may not speak about cases prior to the hearing. You may, however, receive assistance from staff or seek professional legal advice, if you wish. 

FAQs | Fire & EMS Department