Administrative Rules

The Administrative Rules Unit (ARU) coordinates and oversees all Department rulemaking activities. From development through adoption, the ARU promotes the Department's mission and goals.

The ARU staff act as a liaison between the Department and stakeholders, the Office of Legislative Services (OLS), and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). As a centralized unit within the Department, the ARU ensures that essential regulations do not expire, provides the current text and status of Department rules to external stakeholders, and maintains historical rule promulgations.


What is an Administrative Rule?

When the NH State Legislature passes a law that is specific to a State agency, such as DHHS, it may grant that agency authority to develop the standards and procedures needed to apply that law. These standards and procedures are called Administrative Rules, and have the same effect of law. Rules ensure that agency policies are applied equally to all persons in similar situations.

Why do we need Administrative Rules?

Rules implement legislative policy, and inform the public about how to do or get something, or what can happen if something isn’t done. Rules also set standards and limits for the exercise of discretion so that an agency gives equal treatment to persons who are in similar situations.

Can the public comment on a proposed Administrative Rule?

Yes! Members of the public are welcome to comment on any proposed rule at two key points during the rulemaking process: the public hearing, and when the rule goes before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

Notice of upcoming public hearings are published in the Rulemaking Registry and included in the rule-specific post under the “NH Administrative Rules for Public Comment” on the DHHS website. If you are unable to attend the public hearing, you may also submit written comments by contacting the Administrative Rules Unit. The public comment period lasts for a minimum of 10 days from the date of the hearing. After the comment period has ended, DHHS will review and consider the comments and revise the rule accordingly.

Comments are also welcome at the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). This committee provides oversight to the rulemaking process and is responsible for reviewing and voting on rules submitted by DHHS. JLCAR meets at least once a month.

Where can I get copies of current DHHS rules?

Current Administrative Rules pertaining to DHHS, and all other State agencies, can be obtained by going to the NH Office of Legislative Services website. Copes of DHHS rules can also be obtained by contacting the DHHS Administrative Rules Unit.

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