City of Portsmouth Business Continues though Buildings Closed through May 4, 2020

April 1, 2020

All municipal buildings and facilities, schools and the Portsmouth Public Library are closed to the public through May 4, 2020 per the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order. City services are staffed Monday through Friday, according to staggered work schedules to minimize the number of people in the same place at the same time. 

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  • Applying for Elderly/Disabled/Solar abatements? Click here for the latest update on new and renewed applications. 
  • City Hall services are still open by phone, email and online. Many of the forms for marriage licenses, birth and death certificates are available here.  Call or email the City Clerk at 603-610-7245 or
  • Paying bills while City Hall is closed to the public. Residents are asked to use the City's online services to pay their water bills, taxes, fees, fines; secure permits, etc.  Payments can be mailed or dropped in the drop-box in the City Hall parking lot. Call (844) 850-9185 to pay your water/sewer or property tax bills using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Account number required. ($1.50 IVR fee, plus any credit card fees if paying by credit card.)
  • NH DMV has extended the expiration date for temporary motor vehicle plates and licenses. All temporary plates issued after March 1. 2020 are now valid through April 30, 2020. For information about how vehicle registration works in NH, click here.  City residents can renew their registrations online here. State drivers' licenses and ID cards set to expire can be extended by phone for 6 months. Call 603-227-4020 to pay for and complete the extension.
  • Along with public utilities (gas, electric, cable, phone, etc.) the City Department of Public Works Water & Sewer Divisions have suspended all disconnect orders and/or late fees. Contact the City directly if you’re having difficulty meeting a bill deadline.
  • Fire Department has suspended scheduled fire protection inspections and the issuing of any burn permits. If you have a Class 1 or 2 permit (backyard, etc.) the permit expiration is extended to June 1, 2020.
  • Building Inspections continue by video for unoccupied and exteriors of buildings. 
  • Planning Department: For information about land use applications and submission deadlines click here
  • City board, commission and committee meetings are in the process of being scheduled remotelyCity Council intends to meet virtually on April 6, 2020, as scheduled. Details to come.
  • Portsmouth Public Library: For details on all of the on-line services offered by the Library and how to access them, click here
  • Welfare Assistance: Residents in Portsmouth, New Castle, Rye, Newington or Greenland who require assistance should contact the City's
    Welfare Department. Call 603-610-7267 or email 
  • Portsmouth Public Schools are now operating on a 4-day instructional week, with Wednesdays (starting April 8) reserved for student Enrichment and Teacher online collaborations. Students will be engaged with teachers on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesdays, for teachers, are devoted to online collaborations for support, planning and building consistent expectations for students in this remote environment. Meal distribution: While schools remain physically closed, our breakfast and lunch pick-up and delivery is still in service.
    Pickup for breakfast and lunch at the Portsmouth High School cafeteria door between 7:30 am and 12 noon, Monday through Friday. Meal distribution continues at the satellite sites.
  • DPW Please dispose of disinfectant wipes in a separate trash bag. Flush only toilet paper or tissues in the toilet (even the wipes marked "flushable" can clog pipes like this). Pipes from your home are much smaller in diameter than City sewer lines, so clog much more easily. Residents should continue to use Click 'n Fix as needed so service requests can be logged and addressed.
    The recycling center is open and staffed to allow just a few vehicles at a time for physical-distancing.
    Trash pickup is on the normal schedule and yard waste pickups have also begun but may be limited by the availability of workers and trucks.
  • Parking: The Portsmouth City Council voted to enact Free Parking through April 6, 2020.  On-street and public garage parking fees are suspended. Patrons with monthly parking contracts in the garages will receive a proportional credit to account for the free-parking period.  Should the Council decide to extend the Free Parking, further adjustments to monthly parking fees will be made at that time. The city is still enforcing time limits and safety/loading-zone-type parking restrictions. One of the goals is to keep spaces free around restaurants offering takeout services.
  • Portsmouth Housing Authority Senior and Multi-Unit properties are closed to the public.  Only essential caregivers, health care workers and people delivering food or medical supplies are authorized to enter, and only when absolutely necessary. PHA offices are open only via telephone 603-436-4310 and email
  • Recreation/Parks: A reminder that you should not congregate – anywhere. The Governor’s Stay At Home order closed all NH Seacoast beaches Physical-distancing is the new norm, for now. Buildings, playgrounds, ball fields, basketball courts and dog parks remain closed. For a map of open and closed parks, playgrounds, ballfields, basketball courts, click here. Note that the following parks are open: Daniel Street Pocket Park, Haven Park, Langdon Park, Goodwin Park, Hanscom Park and Big Rock Park. Also Prescott Park and Peirce Island (no dogs allowed at either).  For a map showing off-leash dog parks which are also great walking trails, click here.  Also: Pease Tradeport and Wildlife Sanctuary are great places to walk but are not designated off-leash for dogs. The bike bridge and bike path at Pease are away from lots of people.  
  • Economic Development has created a web page dedicated to  COVID-19 business assistance resources. including links to the SBA Preferred Lender Program, NH Employment Security (NHES) and the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth.

For answers to other questions about the City's response to COVID-19, please email:

For more information, visit the City's main COVID-19 Information page.

Governor Sununu’s Stay At Home order is in effect, now through May 4, 2020.

Stay-At-Home is working!  Keep looking out for each other! Our physical-separation efforts seem to be helping, so far. PLEASE continue as we do our part to flatten the curve.


Portsmouth (credit David J. Murray/