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Don't Put Political Signs In Rights of Way

As the Nov. 8 elections draw near, campaigns and their friends should remember that ODOT will remove political signs posted on the state highway right of way. Every election season, we receive complaints from the public and from candidates regarding the improper placement of political signs on the state highway rights-of-way, where only official traffic control devices are allowed. Improperly placed signs can distract drivers and block road safety messages.

Wrongly placed signs will be taken down and held at a nearby ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days. To reclaim signs, go here to find the nearest ODOT maintenance office.

The width of the state right of way varies depending on location and it’s up to the campaigns to make sure their signs are not on public property. If unsure about a specific location, campaigns should ask their nearest ODOT maintenance office. If you live on a highway, you can use ormap.net to find property lines and ensure your signs stay off the state right of way.

Signs are prohibited on trees, utility poles, fence posts and natural features within highway right-of-ways. They also are prohibited within view of a designated scenic area. Local municipalities may also regulate the placement of political signs.

Political signs are allowed on private property within view of state highways with the following restrictions:

  • Signs are limited to 12 square feet but can be up to 32 square feet with a variance from our Oregon Advertising Sign

  • Signs cannot have flashing or intermittent lights, or animated or moving parts.

  • Signs must not imitate official highway signs or devices.

  • Signs are not allowed in scenic corridors.

  • No payment or compensation of any kind can be exchanged for either the placement of or the message on temporary signs, including political signs, which are visible to a state highway.

More information about ODOT’s Outdoor Advertising Sign Program can be found at cms.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/signprogram.

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