Woman Reading Public Notices

Public Notices

Public notices inform citizens of the everyday activities of government and the courts, and provide transparency and accessibility to citizens who want to know more about government actions. They allow the public to influence governing bodies and to be an active participant in a democratic society.

Newspapers are the watchdogs of their local communities and can most effectively monitor the actions of their respective local governments. This not only allows local residents to be informed, but it also forces local public officials to be held accountable. Additionally, public notices in newspapers are permanent records that cannot be altered or deleted.

To be effective, public notices must have these attributes:

  • Public notices must be published by an independent third party, such as local newspapers. 
  • Public notices must be archivable in a secure and publicly available format like print newspapers. 
  • The notice is conveniently accessible by all segments of society.
  • Public notices must be verified with an affidavit of publication.


In South Carolina, lawmakers have long recognized the importance of maintaining an accountable and transparent government by requiring the publication of public notices in newspapers. In order to expand and enhance public access to these public notices, the S.C. Press Association has partnered with the Palmetto State’s newspapers to establish a digital public notice database. 

SCPublicNotices.com is  a central repository for all public notices and legal advertisements in South Carolina. This easy-to-use site is designed to help citizens and businesses that want to know more about the actions of local, county and state government and the courts. Public notices are accessible 24 hours a day, free of charge and in one convenient location. Notices regarding foreclosures, hearings, advertisements for bids, financial reports, ordinances and other government activities that are searchable by newspaper, county, city and/or keywords.

Public Notice: An American Tradition

Public Notice: An American Tradition is an easy-to-read public policy briefing from the Public Notice Resource Center. It has been widely used by city and county governments, legislators and newspaper executives seeking to understand the proper role of newspaper public notice, particularly in the digital age.

Guide to Public Notices

A compendium of public notice/legal advertising laws including exact wording and details on when and where an ad has to be run. Organized by topic, this resource is the best way to navigate our state’s public notice laws.   

Legal Advertising Laws

Did you know that South Carolina law defines how much a newspaper can charge to run public notice/legal ads? The law also addresses point type and affidavits. affidavits. The statutes also define which newspapers qualify to run legal ads.

Promote Public Notices & SCPublicNotices.com

When public notices reach the public, everyone benefits. Help promote our new public notice site with print and digital ads, social media graphics, press releases and more.

More Resources

The Public Notice Resource Center is a nonprofit that promotes effective public notices and educates the public about its right to know. PNRC promotes government and corporate transparency through research and education on the importance of providing public notice in newspapers. In addition to public policy briefings, they host an annual public notice journalism contest and offer a library of resources including reporting tips, best practices, survey data and ads from other states.