Customers with appointments can enter the Development Services Center at the City Operations Building using the third-floor bridge connected to the Evan V. Jones Parkade Terrace Level.

69°

San Diego
Weather

Accessibility Tools

  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Sign Permit

A Sign Permit is required for the installation or alteration of signs on private properties. The comprehensive system of regulations for signs visible from the public right-of-way is intended to provide a set of standards designed to optimize communication and quality of signs while protecting the public and the aesthetic character of the City.


Plan Your Project

What You Should Know

  • Sign permits are required for the installation or alteration of signs on private property.
  • If these apply, submit an application for a Building Permit instead:
    • If the sign requires structural alterations to an existing building.
    • When the California Building Code, Chapter 17 requires special inspections for the sign installation. (see PDF icon Technical Bulletin BLDG 17-4.
    • Ground and monument signs are taller than seven feet in height.
    • When a structural reviewer determines the need for a Building Permit after the review of the scope and structural calculations.
  • Sign permit applications require a sign plan with a sign schedule as described in PDF icon Information Bulletin 111.
  • PDF icon Structural calculations may be required. 
  • Community entry, neighborhood identification signs, revolving project signs, automatic changing copy, and theater marquees may require a discretionary permit.
  • Your project may require a historic review to determine conformance with the PDF icon historic resources regulations if your project is located:
    • On a site with a designated historic resource
    • Within a designated historic district
    • On a site containing a structure of 45 years or more.
  • Please review  PDF icon Information Bulletin 581 for additional information.  

    Fees

    Inspection, review and other fees vary based on the type of sign. View PDF icon Sign Permit Fees.

    Inspections

    Inspections are required for signs with electrical components, high-rise wall signs and freeway signs. All other types of signs do not require inspection.

    Exemptions

    A sign permit is not required for:

    • Changing the copy of a sign or maintenance of a sign that does not involve structural or electrical changes;
    • Exterior signs non-electric and not visible from the public right-of-way;
    • Interior signs, except for theater lobby signs;
    • Public utility and safety signs that are required by law;
    • Signs that are required by law, other than public utility and safety signs, that do not exceed the minimum dimensions specified by law;
    • Real estate signs that are not illuminated;
    • Construction site signs that are not illuminated;
    • Nameplate identification signs and combination name plates and address signs with letters that do not exceed 3 inches in height, are not illuminated, and do not exceed 4 square feet in area;
    • Accessory warning signs that provide warnings such as “no parking,” “watch dogs,” and “security service” that are not illuminated, do not exceed 12 square feet in area, and do not project over a public right-of-way;
    • Window signs;
    • Signs required by the Fire-Rescue Department to designate fire lanes;
    • Tablets, memorials, and cornerstones that are built into the walls of a building, and provide information such as the name of the building and the date of construction;
    • Bulletin boards for charitable or religious organizations provided that the signs do not exceed 16 square feet in area, do not project over a public right-of-way, and are not illuminated; and
    • Temporary on-site banners, streamers and pennants.

    Compliant Outdoor Expansion

    Apply for a Permit

    Step 2

    Complete or obtain a site plan that includes elevation and detail drawing.

    Include structural calculations, if required.

    A sign schedule is required for all sign plans as described in PDF icon Information Bulletin 111.

    NOTE: The documents must be in PDF format. PDF icon View PDF requirements

    Step 4

    Apply for the permit

    Do any of these apply? If yes, then submit for a Building Construction Permit instead.

    • Does the sign require structural alterations to the existing building?
    • Does California Building Code, Chapter 17 require special inspections for the sign installation? (See PDF icon Technical Bulletin BLDG 17-4.)
    • Are you submitting a ground and monument sign taller than seven (7) feet in height?

    You will be required to upload the completed PDF documents from Step 2.

    Additional Resources