Step by step

Get a permit to install a sign

Follow our processes to fill out the right forms, prepare your plans, and come to the Permit Center.


Check what kind of sign permit you need


30 minutes

If you are planning to put up a sign at a business, you will need a licensed C45 sign contractor to obtain a permit. 

If you aren’t sure if you need a sign permit, check our list of signs that don’t need a permit.

For exterior, non-parking lot signs, go to step 2 to review zoning district rules.

Skip to step 3 for these types of signs:

  • Interior advertisement signs (like inside a mall)
  • Evacuation signs for Fire
  • Parking lot signs
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Check the sign rules in your zoning district


30 minutes to 1 hour

You must follow our rules for your zoning district for exterior, non-parking lot signs.

Different zoning districts have different rules for signs. Learn what rules you must follow.

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Design your sign plans

To get a permit for your sign, you will need to submit plans for your sign with your application. 

Learn what to include in your plans and when they need special approval.

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Fill out the sign permit form


30 minutes

You must fill out the right form to apply for a sign permit.

Fill out form 3/8 for these types of signs:

  • Interior advertisement signs (like inside a mall)
  • Evacuation signs for Fire
  • Parking lot signs

Fill out the form 4/7 for exterior, non-parking lot other signs

You may apply for 1 permit for up to 5 identical signs. Different signs each need their own permit application.

See more information in Info Sheet G-04 about the sign permit process.

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Submit your permit application


Depends on the project


2 to 8 hours

Come to the Permit Center to submit your application. 

You will get a building permit application number. 

We will review your application, check your plans, and route your application to the required stations in person.

You may need to come back on a separate day to finish your plans.

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Recheck your plans

You may need to update your plans to address plan check comments.

If you need to revise your plans, recheck your plans with the plan checker from your first review. Schedule with your plan checker by email.

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Get related permits

During your permit review process, you may also need to:

  • Get a street space permit
  • Get an electrical permit
  • Get Fire Department approval

For registered contractors, use instant online permits for electrical.

Get a street space permit with Public Works.

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Last updated November 29, 2022