Kasaragod district was initially a part of the South Kanara district of the state of Tamil Nadu prior to the states reorganisation on 1st November 1956. On that day Kasaragod taluk was made part of the re-organised Malabar district of Kerala state. Two months later on 1st January 1957, the present region covered by Kasaragod district became a part of the newly formed Cannanore (later renamed as Kannur) district. Along with it the erstwhile Kasaragod taluk was bifurcated into Kasaragod and Hosdurg taluks. In 1984 Kasaragod became a new district with Kasaragod town as its headquarters.
The formation of Kasargod district was a long felt ambition of the people. It is with the intention of bestowing maximum attention on the development of the backward areas that Kasaragod district was formed on 24th May, 1984, as per GO.(MS)No.520/84/RD dated 19.05.1984. With the formation of the district, comprising the erstwhile Kasargod and Hosdurg Taluks it became possible to develop the area to its fullest potential. Kasargod consists of the hill tracts villages in the eastern side and coastal villages in the western side and it is the 14th district in the state.
For the purposes of revenue administration, Kasargod district is divided into two taluks, five firkas, and 75 villages. The only Revenue Division in the district is Kasargod and the office is at Kanhangad. The Collectorate functions at Vidyanagar in Chengala Panchayat, which is 5 Kms. from Kasargod town. The various subjects dealt with in the Collectorate are Revenue Establishment, Law and Order, Arms Act and rules, Explosive Act and rules, Government Building, PRB Act, Salary bill, LPC, vehicles, GPF, Natural calamity, Drought, Chief Minister's Distress relief fund; Secret and confidential matters, Disciplinary action; Revenue Recovery, Land Assignment, Election, Building tax, Inspection and audit; Trees, Encroachment, mines and mineral, National Family Benefit Scheme, Lease, Freedom fighters pension, etc., Housing scheme; Excess land, Land Tribunals, Record, office purchase, stationery, Suit, Government Pleaders, Land acquisition and allied matters; Survey section; Fair copy and Despatch, e-mail etc.
The Panchayat system is followed for the purpose of convenience in rural administration. The Kasaragod District Panchayat has 15 constituencies. The elections here are held in two phases. There are a total of 4 block panchayats in the district. These are Manjeshwar, Kasaragod, Kanhangad, and Nileshwar. The total number of Gram Panchayats figure at 39. There are two municipalities at Kasaragod district, Kasaragod and Kanhangad.