Banner illustrating the City of Austin Development Services Department Outdoor Permits webpage

The City of Austin requires a Sign Permit for outdoor signage as stated in the Land Development Code. This page provides helpful information to assist you with determining your sign district, what the submission requirements are, how to apply for Austin sign permits, and how to request more information.

What you will find on this page:

 

A black book iconDefinition of a Sign

We define signs in accordance with the Chapter 25-10 Sign Regulations of the Land Development Code

What is a Sign?

A sign is defined as a display surface, structure, light device, banner, plaque, poster, billboard, pennant, figure, painting, drawing, flag, or other thing. Whether mounted on land, air, or water that is designed, intended, or used to display or draw attention to a communicative visual or graphic image, whether or not the image includes lettering, and that is visible from any portion of the public right-of-way open to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

A sign includes both on- and off-premise signs, including billboards, and any moving part, lighting, sound equipment, framework, background material, structural support, or other part thereof. 

Some signs may be exempt from a permit requirement. Signs exempt from permit are described in our Municode Library.
 

What is Not a Sign?

  • An image displayed on the interior wall of a building
     
  • Decorative or architectural features of buildings or onsite landscape features which do not include lettering, trademarks, or moving parts and which do not perform a communicative function
     
  • Foundation stones and cornerstones which are permanent in nature and incapable or not intended for modification once installed
     
  • Grave markers, grave stones, headstones, mausoleums, shrines, and other markers of the deceased
     
  • Identifying marks on tangible products that customarily remain attached to the product even after sale
     
  • Merchandise on public display and presently available for purchase on-site
     
  • News racks and newsstands
     
  • Items or devices of personal apparel, decoration, or appearance, including tattoos, makeup, wigs, costumes, masks, or similar accessories, other than commercial mascots or hand-held placards or appliances worn for the principal purpose of holding a placard
     
  • Vending machines, product dispensing devices, and automated product intake devices which do not display off-premise commercial messages, including depositories for recycled materials, slots for returning lent books, media, or other material, laundry boxes, and similar depositories.
     

Read more of our about sign definitions from our Land Development Code here.
 

A black and white document iconSubmission Requirements

For ALL submissions you must submit a completed Sign Permit Application. One application with a valid address for each sign.
 

Freestanding Signs, Roof Signs, and Projecting Signs

For all Freestanding Signs, Roof Signs, and Projecting Signs, you must submit a Construction drawing of the sign bearing the seal of an architect or engineer licensed by the State of Texas verifying the structural requirements of the City of Austin Land Development Code (LDC) Section 25-10-192(A).
 

Your construction drawing MUST include:
 

  1. Height of sign
     
  2. Details & Dimensions of all structural and nonstructural members to include sign supports
     
  3. Details & Dimensions of foundations and footing members
     
  4. Advertising Area of all sign facades.

 

Your completed site drawing (to scale) MUST include:
 

  1. Location of proposed sign and Setback Distances from sign supports to property lines fronting on a street
     
  2. Linear Feet Street frontage dimensions
     
  3. Locations of all existing Freestanding signs on the same property
     
  4. All easements and/or utility lines within twenty feet of the proposed sign location are located.
     

Wall and Awning Signs

For all Wall and AwningSigns you must submit a construction drawing of the sign.

The construction drawing MUST include:
 

  1. Details & Dimensions of structural and nonstructural methods of attachment or anchoring to the building
     
  2. Advertising Area of the sign.
     

A drawing or photograph of the building facade that MUST include:
 

  1. Dimensions of the facade
     
  2. Locations and Sizes of all other signs on the building.
     

 *Building permit for awning must exist before issuance of awning sign
 

Sign Fees

The sign review fee MUST be paid at the time of submittal

Additional Fees:

iconSign District Determination Wizard

 
icon of a hand pushing a buttonHow to Apply

 

Step 1  Register

Before you can submit the sign permit application, you must first register for an Outdoor Advertising Registration (PDF) through your AB+C Portal account, which requires submitting a certificate of insurance and paying the required fee. 

  • To renew or modify your existing Outdoor Advertising Registration, you must upload the Outdoor Advertising Registration form and Certificate of Insurance through your AB+C Portal account. 
     
  • All outdoor advertising registrations expire on December 31 and must be renewed along with a new Certificate of Insurance and renewal fee.
     

Step 2  Determine Your Sign District

Use the Sign District Determination Wizard in the section above to determine your correct sign district. You will need this information to complete the sign permit application.

 

Step 3  Submit an Application

Complete the Sign Permit Application (PDF) and submit it through your AB+C Portal account. Refer to the Submission Requirements when filling out the application for any required drawings. Drawing requirements are based on the type of sign permit you are applying for.

Apply at AB+C Portal

 

Step 4  Pay your Fee

You will need to pay the review fee. Once the review fee is paid staff will review your application and communicate with you via email if the request is approved or rejected.
 

Step 5  Approval

Once your Sign Permit is approved, if it is an electric sign a separate electric permit will be automatically generated which may require an Electrical Sign Registration. Contact the Service Center via their webform to register the Electrical Sign License with the City and obtain the Electric Permit.

For electric signs, a final electric inspection is required before both the Sign Permit and Electric Permit can be finalized. If a sign is not illuminated, it will automatically be finalized upon approval.
 

 step six  Renewal and Extensions

To renew your expired permit, you must reapply through your AB+C Portal account annually.

To extend or modify your active permit, you must submit the request through the Service Center Web Form. Select 'modify an existing permit' and follow the prompts to enter your request.

iconAdditional Permit Information

 

Searchlights

Searchlight is a sign consisting of a bright light source that projects a beam and must be approved and permitted in accordance with Chapter 25-10-151 Searchlight Signs. For more information on how to apply for an Searchlight Permit, please email DSDSignPermits@austintexas.gov for assistance.

 

Electrical Signs

Electrical signs must be permitted and inspected in accordance with all applicable codes before the structural sign permit can be finalized (electrical permits are required for connection of electrical signs).
 

Maintaining Clearance

Signs must maintain horizontal and vertical clearance of all overhead electrical conductors in accordance with specifications of the National Electrical Code, local code amendments, and all other applicable laws.

iconOther Signs (Signs not reviewed by Development Services)

Below are additional contacts for signs that are not reviewed by Development Services:
 

Traffic signs

Contact 311 to request changes to signs installed by a government agency directing vehicular traffic in the right of way.
 

Over the Street Banners

Austin Transportation Department manages placement of over the street banners and lamppost banners in the right of way. Visit their Street Banner Program webpage for more information.

icon Contact and Appointments

 

Contact

If you have any questions about Austin sign permits please email us at DSDSignPermits@austintexas.gov.

 

Appointments

If you would like to set up a 20 minute appointment to ask us general questions about sign permits, click the button below to schedule an appointment.

Location: 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive

Expected Appointment Duration: 20 minutes  

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