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Right of Way / Programs and Services / Outdoor Advertising / Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor Advertising - Frequently Asked Questions

Picture of a Florida Roadway

When is a permit required and how do I obtain a permit?
An outdoor advertising permit is required for each sign facing (side of sign) of any advertising sign within a controlled area. "Controlled Area" means the area within 660 feet of the right-of-way of all portions of an interstate or federal-aid primary highway or those portions of the state highway outside of an urban area. The controlled area extends to any Outdoor Advertising sign whose message is visible from the interstate, federal-aid primary or state highway system. The completed application form (Form 575-070-04, Application for Outdoor Advertising Permit), all required attachments, and the appropriate permit fee are submitted to:

   State Outdoor Advertising Administrator
   Florida Department of Transportation
   605 Suwannee Street, Mail Station 22
   Tallahassee, FL, 32399-0450

If you would like to download a copy of the Application, please click on the form number shown in this paragraph. Attachments to the application form include:

  • A signed statement by the owner or other person in lawful control of the proposed sign site authorizing you to place a sign on the site.
  • If there are City, County or other local government sign ordinances, a statement from the appropriate official indicating that the sign complies with all local government requirements and that they will issue an outdoor advertising or building permit. A copy of the building permit may be submitted, if available.
  • A location sketch of the proposed sign site.
  • Written verification from the local government that the land use designations on the current Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and the current Land Development Regulations (zoning) allow commercial or industrial uses.
  • A statement of whether vegetation needs to be cut or removed to make the sign visible.
The attachments from the landowner and local government must be issued in the name that is shown on the permit application. Any difference in name will cause the application to be returned to the applicant as incomplete.

Before submitting an application for a permit, you must mark the place you intend to put the sign with easily visible markings such as an easily identifiable stake in the ground or a flag. The markings must remain at the site until the Department has completed its review of the application.

The Department has 30 days from its receipt of the Application to either approve or deny the application.

Who needs an outdoor advertising license and how do I get the license?
Any person engaging in the business of outdoor advertising in the State of Florida must hold a license from the Department. If you build outdoor advertising signs or structures or if you receive income from the sale or lease of outdoor advertising signs or the sale, lease or rental of advertising space on such signs, you are considered to be in the business of outdoor advertising and must obtain a license.
NOTE: If you are building outdoor advertising signs or structures as an incidental part of a building construction contract, you are not required to obtain an outdoor advertising license.

An application should be filed using Application for Outdoor Advertising License Form (Form 575-070-02). If you would like to download a copy of the license application, please click on the form number shown in this paragraph. Application forms are also available from:

   State Outdoor Advertising Administrator
   Florida Department of Transportation
   605 Suwannee Street, Mail Station 22
   Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450
   (850) 414-4569

Completed applications must be submitted to the above address. Initial applications are typically processed and issued within 10 working days. The license fee is $300 per year.


What does a permit look like and what do I do with the tag?
The permit itself is the approved application. Within two weeks of permit approval, you will be issued a metal permit tag similar to an automobile license plate which has an identification number stamped on it.

The permit tag must be displayed at the approved location within 30 days of permit tag issuance and continuously thereafter. The tag must be visible from the highway to which the sign is permitted.

If a permit tag is lost, stolen or destroyed you may request a replacement tag by completing Outdoor Advertising Permit Tag Replacement Request (Form 575-070-01).  If you would like to download a copy of the Permit Tag Replacement form, please click on the form number in this paragraph. The cost for a replacement tag is $12.00.

How long is a permit valid and how do I renew my permit?
All permits are valid for one year, ending on January 15. All signs for which permits have expired for nonpayment must be removed. If you do not do so, the Department will remove the sign. Any costs incurred by the Department in removing the sign will be assessed to you.

When a permit for a sign has expired, you may apply for a new permit. If the application meets current permit requirements, the Department will issue a new permit and allow the sign to remain in place if you reimburse the Department for the costs incurred in preparing to remove the sign.

What if I sell my sign? How do I transfer it?
If you sell your sign, you must transfer your permit to the buyer. Failure to transfer your permit will result in your being held responsible for compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

Permits may be transferred between parties by submitting an Outdoor Advertising Permit Transfer Request Form (Form 575-070-25) to the Department. If you would like to download a copy of the transfer form, please click on the form number in this paragraph. Both the buyer and seller must execute this form with original signatures. This form must be submitted to the department along with payment of a transfer fee of $5.00 per permit. The maximum fee for a transfer of 20 permits or more is $100.00. The transfer fee may be paid by either party.

The person receiving the transferred permits must certify that they have written permission from the person in lawful control of the property to maintain the sign at the site.

Does the Department approve the sign message (sign content)?
NO. However, Florida Statutes prohibit content which might confuse or distract a motorist and cause a safety hazard. For example:
  • Signs cannot display words such as "Stop" or "Danger" in such a manner as to appear to require stopping or to imply the presence of danger.
  • Sign copy cannot imitate official signs (such as stop signs, interstate exit signs, etc.)
  • Signs may not contain flashing or rotating lights.

How can I lose my permit?
  • By not paying the annual renewal fee.
  • By not constructing the sign within 270 days of the date the application was approved.
  • By not keeping the tag posted on the sign.
  • By breaking state statutes or federal regulations.

What happens if I disagree with the Department about a permit or license issue?
If you should disagree with the Department about a decision which has been made, you have the right to have an Administrative Hearing Officer hear the issue and recommend a final order to the Secretary of Transportation. If this is your desire, you should submit a written request for Administrative Hearing to:
Clerk of Agency Proceedings
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street, Mail Station 58
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450

An Administrative Hearing will then be conducted as provided for in Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.