Political sign placement must obey state law

As the August election approaches, candidates and their supporters are reminded by the Washington State that campaign signs are not allowed in the state highway right of way.

Because it’s not always easy to know the boundaries of a right of way, there are a few clues:

  • Utility poles are typically located inside the right of way; so no signs between the pole and the state highway.
  • Many locations also have a fence line separating the right of way from private property. Signs are not allowed between the fence and the state highway.

That means that many signs placed on power poles or fences go against state law.

Under the Washington Administrative Code, political signs are allowed on private property visible from state highways. However, the property owner must consent and the sign must comply with the law, as well as any local regulations.

Local cities may have additional regulations, which could differ from city to city and county to county.

For questions determining the boundary lines for a state highway right of way, contact Outdoor Advertising Specialist Pat O’Leary at OLearyP@wsdot.wa.gov or by calling 360-705-7296.

Example of political sign placement along a street. Image from www.uprinting.com
Example of political sign placement along a street. Image from www.uprinting.com


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