Public notices are official advertisements required to be published in printed newspapers of general circulation. They are mandated by statutes, regulations, court rules, and court orders. Public notices are important because they inform citizens about tax increases, zoning changes, school closures, environmental proposals impacting health and property, and other critical issues before local governments take action. Public notices are published in newspapers because newspapers are an independent, third party whose constitutional role is to hold government accountable. Public notices have been published in newspapers in Pennsylvania for centuries; in fact, the Declaration of Independence was a public notice published in the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6, 1776.

Public notices in Pennsylvania are governed by the Newspaper Advertising Act, which requires that public notices be published in printed newspapers of general circulation. More specific statutes dealing with a variety of subjects often contain more detailed notice requirements. PNA is currently monitoring bills in the General Assembly that would seek to amend the Newspaper Advertising Act, as well as many other pieces of legislation that would touch on public notices.

Pennsylvania’s newspapers remain the most reliable place to read and establish legal proof of public notices, with nearly 7 in 10 Pennsylvania adults reading a print or digital newspaper each week.1 Moreover, 92% of Pennsylvania registered voters agree that public notices should be published in print by local newspapers and favor current state law that requires this process.2

Search public notices in Pennsylvania

The website linked below is a compilation of public notices published throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is a public service made possible by the newspapers of Pennsylvania at no cost to taxpayers. This easy-to-use website is designed to assist citizens who want to know more about the actions of local, county and state government, as well as events occurring in the local and state court systems.

1Print or digital newspaper includes a daily, Sunday, or nondaily newspaper. 2023 Release 2 Nielsen Scarborough Report, ©2024, Scarborough Research. 

2 “PA NewsMedia Association Benchmark,’’ survey of 600 Pennsylvania registered voters Aug. 24-28, 2022, conducted for PNA by Public Opinion Strategies, Alexandria, Virginia.