Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Permit Requirements

The Outdoor Advertising Program regulates signs that are on private property, where visible to a state highway. Only official traffic control signs and devices are allowed on state highway right-of-way.

When is a permit required?

The Outdoor Sign Advertising Program uses two primary questions to determine when sign permits are required.

  1. Is the sign posted for compensation?
    • If so, a permit is required.
  2. Is the sign at the location of some business or activity open to the public?
    • If not, a permit is required.

See the Reference Materials and Resources page for definitions of compensation and open to the public.

Are there any exceptions?

Three types of signs are exempt from the permit requirement.

Temporary Signs

Signs that are up for less than 60 days in a year, are no more than 12 square feet, and not posted for compensation may be exempt from needing a permit. As additional criteria apply, please see ORS 377.735.

Under statute ORS 377.735, signs up to 32 square feet may qualify for a size variance. To request a variance, please submit a Request for Size or Time Variance for Temporary Sign.

Signs of a Governmental Unit

A city, county, or other unit of government may place a sign for the purposes of carrying out their official duties.

For more information please see ORS 377.756.

Public Safety & Convenience Signs

A sign, no more than six square feet, that guides the public in the use of the highway system, may be exempt. Examples include signs for restrooms and freight entrances.

Please refer to ORS 377.735(4) for more information.

What are the associated costs?

Application and renewal fees vary by sign type and size. Review our fee schedule for specifics.

How do I obtain a permit?

Permits: New versus Preexisting

Oregon does not issue "new" permits, except for transit permits.

In 2006, an Oregon Supreme Court Decision resulted in changes in the permitting system. The Outdoor Advertising Sign Program functions as a cap-and-replace program for most permits, with the exception of exempt signage and transit permits.

Permits that existed prior to the law change on May 31, 2007, are called "preexisting" sign permits and may be reconstructed, relocated or sold, at which time updated permits are issued.

If an outdoor advertising sign has been onsite continuously since 5/31/07, being used as an outdoor advertising sign, please contact us about the possibility of qualifying for an outdoor advertising sign permit.

Relocation Credits

Relocation credit may be requested when a preexisting permitted sign is no longer being used and is removed from its permitted location.

We keep records of relocation credits so they can be used by the credit owner, for placing a sign at a legal location in the future. Relocation credits can be bought and sold in the private market.

We maintain a list of relocation credits owners, which is available through a public records request.

Additional Considerations

There are limitations on size and location associated with outdoor advertising sign permits and relocation credits. Please contact us prior to purchasing.

Once permit or credit has been purchased, an application is required to obtain an updated permit to build a sign at a new site.

Outdoor Advertising Sign Program

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive, MS 2
Salem, Oregon 97302
Phone: 971-375-8148
Fax: 503-986-3625

Program Contacts

Phone: 971-375-8148
Phone: 503-559-5295

Resources and Related Content