Yard Sign Rules Across the USA: Fascinating and Helpful Facts
Yard signs are an effective tool for individuals and organizations to express their opinion or promote a cause. They are very easy to set up and can quickly capture the attention of passersby. That being said, it's important to be aware of local and state regulations to ensure that you're not breaking the law. Check out these interesting yard sign rules across the country that we've compiled in an infographic:
Yard Sign Rules in Various States
If you happen to be in any of these places and want to install a yard sign, make sure you follow their rules:
Disclaimers are a must in Indiana.
As far as Indiana is concerned, political signs should clearly indicate who paid for them and that the messaging was approved by the candidate. Neglecting to add these disclaimers to political signs is considered a Class A misdemeanor. You can be charged with a $50,000 fine or spend a year in jail. If there’s a disclaimer but it is concluded as vague, you could still be fined $1,000.
Time is of the essence in Nevada.
You can only show your support for a candidate using a yard sign 60 days before an election. After the polls, you have up to 30 days to remove the sign. You also need to secure a permit especially if your sign is bigger than 4” x 8”.
In North Carolina, your signs are protected by the law.
You and your neighbor might support opposing candidates, but both of you have the right to express yourself at home. If you’re from North Carolina and someone steals, defaces, unlawfully removes, or vandalizes your political sign, it’s considered a Class Three misdemeanor.
Keep your distance in Hawaii.
If you live near a polling place in Hawaii (like a school, post office, church, or hotel), yard signs must not be installed within 200 feet of the polling station. This is to ensure that voters don’t feel intimidated to vote for a candidate.
Homeowners’ associations have power in Texas.
The final word on policies that govern personal or political yard signs depends on the homeowners’ association or HOAs, regardless of the state laws. Living in a community with HOAs means that under contract, you abide by their rules and guidelines.
Flexible rules in Florida.
The Sunshine State has the most flexibility when it comes to types of signs you can post. You can display advertisements, public announcements, political signs, and even marriage proposals right in front of your yard.
No huge signs allowed in Montana.
Political signs in Montana should not be larger than 16 sq. ft. in width and 4 ft. in height. Signs can only be posted within 60 days before the elections and should be removed in seven days after the elections. In addition, posting signs in public places is not allowed — these include locations like traffic poles, streetlights, or utility poles.
A designated sign remover is a must in California.
The Golden State requires that a person whose job is to take signs down be nominated. If you're putting up political signs on your own property, they should only be up 90 days before the election and should be removed 10 days after. If the person installing the sign is a part of your candidate's team, that person should submit documents to the State Division of Traffic Operations.
Permission is key in Idaho.
Posting signs on your property without your prior permission is considered a misdemeanor in Idaho, especially if you've informed the other party that you don't want any.
The authority of HOAs is debatable in Colorado.
Just like in Texas, Colorado HOAs have a say when it comes to yard sign policies. However, the laws in Colorado do not exactly define what qualifies as reasonable or unreasonable when it comes to posting yard signs so it's uncertain when HOAs can exert authority.
New Hampshire says, “No signs on poles.”
In New Hampshire, placing any signages on utility poles is prohibited even if the pole is in your front yard. This also includes light posts, stop signs, or electric poles on your property.
Some words are a no-no in Louisiana.
Words that may confuse drivers or might cause an accident are not allowed in yard signs in Louisiana. Some examples are the words "stop" and "look" as some drivers may mistake these for traffic or warning signs.
Yard signs are allowed for Maine home-based businesses.
If you’re operating your small business at home, you can promote it by installing a yard on your own property. The sign must be within 1,000 ft. of the business, or it could be within 1,000 ft. of a point of interest for a business – just make sure you have permission when you’re installing your sign on a property that isn’t yours. Moreover, only a maximum of 10 yard signs is allowed in the area.
Curb appeal trumps over yard signs in Oregon.
Oregon is proud of the state's natural beauty which is why they enforce specific rules to boost curb appeal. If your property is visible from a state road, you must still abide the state regulations for signage.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Yard Sign Campaign
Before deciding to post your yard sign in any state, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Check zoning and homeowners’ association policies.
- Ensure that your yard sign won't be a safety hazard to drivers or pedestrians.
- Do not place signs on public property and in restricted areas. Secure the owner's permission if you’re placing the sign on private property.
- Consider the size and location of your yard sign and be aware of the size limitations of the state.
- Be mindful of the content or words that you use in your yard sign.
- Install your sign within the time limits of the locality, especially for political signs.
While each state has its own set of unique regulations, remember to check with your local government or state to ensure that you are complying with all rules to maximize your yard sign campaign. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines or jail time.
Ready to start your campaign? Find out more about yard sign marketing with these guides:
Learn about the basics of yard sign installation – Yard Signs FAQ Part 1 - Signage 101.
Not sure how to begin? Here’s everything you need to know about yard sign printing – Your Ultimate Guide to Yard Sign Printing.
What type of yard sign should you use for your business needs? Read more about it in this article – Types of Yard Signs and the Most Popular Ones.
Make sure your yard sign can be easily seen by your target audience. Here’s how you can choose the right yard size – How to Design and Choose the Perfect Yard Sign Size.
Check out this guide on yard sign sizes before having your sign printed – Signage 101: Yard Sign Sizes.
Thinking of using a corrugated plastic sign for your yard sign? Read more about it here – The Basics of Corrugated Plastic Signs – Signage 101.
Jenkins, B. (2017, May 31). Best Practices for Placing Yard Signs in Your Community
Janicki, M. (1998, October 5). Municipalities; Political Advertising; Municipal Ordinances; Advertising;
Kammerlohr, E. (2022, August 8). Strict Regulations About Posting Yard Signs You Should Know About
Traffic Safety Direct (2019, June 30). Where Can You Place Yard Signs?
A.G. E. Graphics LLC (2018, July 23). 5 Tips to Choosing Your Yard Sign Locations
Carroll County Government (2022, September 23) Yard Sign Guidance on State and County Property