The name of Lower Dibang Valley district is derived from the mighty river Dibang that flows through the heart of district and finally ends into the Brahmaputra. Prior to 1914, the district was a part of Lakhimpur district. By 1914 the North East Frontier Tract was constituted with three political charges and the area covered by this district became a part of the Eastern Section. In the year 1919, the Central and Eastern Section was renamed as the Sadiya Frontier Tract.

In 1943, some area from both the Sadiya Frontier Tract and the Lakhimpur Frontier Tract were carved out and Tirap Frontier Tract was formed. In 1948, under the North East Frontier Tracts (Internal Administration) Regulation, 1948, the remaining portion on the Sadiya Frontier Tract was divided into two separate administrative charges, namely the Abor Hills District and the Mishmi Hills District each in the charge of a Political Officer with headquarters at Pasighat and Sadiya respectively. In 1951, the plains portion of the Mishmi Hills District was transferred to administrative jurisdiction of the Government of Assam. In 1952, the headquarters of the Mishmi Hills District was shifted from Sadiya to Tezu.

According to the North East Frontier, areas (Administration) Regulation 1954, the North-East Frontier Tract came to be known as North-East Frontier Agency and the Mishmi Hills District was renamed as the Lohit Frontier Division. In 1956, the Dibang Valley was constituted as a separate administrative unit within the division and placed under the charge of Additional Political Officer with his headquarters at Roing which was subsequently shifted to Anini. In 1965, under the North-East Frontier Agency (Administration) Regulation, 1956 the Lohit Frontier Division came to be known by its present name the Lohit District and the Political Officer and Additional Political Officer were re-designated as the Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner respectively. In June, 1980 under the Arunachal Pradesh (Re-organization of district), Act 1980 the Lohit District was bifurcated into two independent district namely Lohit District and Dibang Valley District, it’s headquarters at Tezu and Anini respectively.

The Lower Dibang Valley district was carved out of the un-divided Dibang Valley district at its headquarter at Roing as per the Amendment of Re-organization of the District Act of 1980 with effect from 16th December 2001.