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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Getting Started

Signs, awnings, and banners located on private property and portable signs (commonly known as A-Boards), regardless of location, are regulated by Title 32 (known as the sign code) of the Portland City Code. The Bureau of Development Services administers the sign code.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (503-823-5185) regulates signs located in the street right-of-way, except for portable signs (A-Boards). They also regulate signs attached to utility poles as specified in section 17.64.040.A in Title 17.

Some signs are regulated by the sign code, but are exempt from permit or registration requirements. See section 32.62.010.A of the sign code for a listing of signs that are exempt from permits or registration. 

Sign Specialist for signs, awnings and banners located on private property (503) 823-7996
  Sign Specialist for portable (A-Board) signs only (503) 823-7324
Mail / Location:
City of Portland
Bureau of Development Services
SW 4th Ave, Suite 5000
Portland, OR 97201

There are 5 Sign Permit Types:

(1) Sign Permits:
Required for installing new permanent signs and for structurally altering or relocating existing permanent signs on private property. Except for certain portable signs, private signs are prohibited in street rights-of-ways. Some private signs may project from a building into the street right-of-way. Indirect lighting (wall washing or backlit) for a sign requires a separate electrical permit. Types of signs include freestanding, monument, projecting, signs on awning, fascia/wall, painted wall/adhered, pitched roof and marquee. Signs are regulated by size (total area), height, placement, construction and wiring. Electrical components within a sign such as internal or neon lighting are covered by the sign permit, but to connect to it a circuit, an electrical permit is required. See section 32.32.010 for the sign standards in the residential and open space zones and section 32.32.020 for sign standards in the commercial, employment and industrial zones.

(2) Awning Permit:
Required for installing a new awning, for adding to an existing awning, or structurally altering or relocating an existing awning on property. Lighting for awnings requires a separate electrical permit. Private awnings may project from buildings into the right-of-way, but must comply with pedestrian clearance and right-of-way extension standards. See section 32.52 for additional information.

(3) Temporary Banner/Balloon Registration: Required for hanging temporary banners and temporary balloon signs on private property. Some smaller banners (32 square feet and under) are exempt from both permit and registration requirements. Banners hung in the street rights-of-ways are regulated by the Portland Bureau of Transportation . They can be reached at (503) 823-5185. See section 32.32.030 K for additional information.

(4) Portable Sign (sometimes known as A-Boards or Sandwich Boards) Registration: Required for all portable signs whether located on private property or in street right-of-way. See section 32.32.030 C.3 and section 32.32.030 G for additional information.

(5) Temporary Fascia/Wall Sign and Temporary Freestanding Sign Registration:
Required for these signs when displayed for more than one year. See section 32.32.030 K for additional information.