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Section 6: Enforcement

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Administrative Hearing

If a commercial sign license is permanently suspended or revoked or if an existing sign permit is canceled by TxDOT, the licensee will have an opportunity to request an administrative hearing.

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Removal of Sign

If a permit expires without renewal, is canceled without reinstatement, or if a commercial sign is erected or maintained without a permit, the owner of the commercial sign structure shall, upon written notification by TxDOT, remove the sign structure at no cost to the State.

If the owner does not remove the sign within forty-five (45) days of the day that the demand is sent, TxDOT will remove the sign and will charge the sign owner for the cost of removal, including the cost of any court proceedings.

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Penalties for Erecting a Sign without a Permit

Any person who willfully violates any provision of the Transportation Code, Chapter 391, or a rule adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission under Chapter 391, is subject to a fine for a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for each violation. Each day a person is in violation constitutes a separate offense.

Further, if the owner of a commercial sign erected or maintained in violation of applicable laws and regulations does not remove the structure within 45 days of the date of the violation notice, TxDOT may direct the Office of the Attorney General to seek an injunction (1) to prohibit the owner from maintaining the advertising, and (2) to require removal of the structure.

The State is entitled to recover from the owner all administrative and legal costs and expenses incurred to remove the sign structure, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

In addition to being subject to a criminal penalty and injunctive action, a person who intentionally erects or maintains a commercial sign in violation of the law and/or regulations is liable to the State for a civil penalty, which the Office of the Attorney General may sue to collect. The amount of the civil penalty is not less than $500.00 or more than $1,000.00 for each violation, depending upon the seriousness of the violation. A separate penalty may be collected for each day a continuing violation occurs.

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Administrative Penalties

TxDOT may impose administrative penalties against a person who intentionally violates the Transportation Code or Chapter 391.

The amount of the administrative penalty may not exceed the maximum amount of a civil penalty that may be imposed under Transportation Code, §391.035 and will based on the following:

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  • $250 for a sign not having been properly registered;
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  • $250 for erecting a sign at the location other than the location identified by stake or paint, except that if the actual sign location does not conform then TxDOT will seek cancellation of the permit;
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  • $500 for maintaining or repairing signs from the state right of way or for performing customary maintenance on any sign or substantial changes on a conforming sign without first obtaining an amended permit;
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  • $1,000 for erecting a sign from the right of way.

In addition to the penalties assessed under subsection (b) of this section, TxDOT may seek to recover the cost of repairing any damage to the right of way done by the sign owner or on the sign owner's behalf.

An imposed penalty that is not paid within 60 days of the later of the date of receipt of notice from TxDOT or if an administrative hearing is conducted, the date that the imposition is confirmed, will result in the cancelation of the sign's permit.

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Curable Violations

A permit holder commits a curable violation if the permit holder:

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  • abandons a sign;
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  • erects an otherwise conforming sign structure that is not on the parcel of land indicated on the permit;
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  • erects a sign structure at a location that does not meet all spacing requirements of this subchapter or as described in the permit application;
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  • makes customary repairs or substantial changes to a conforming sign without obtaining a required amended permit;
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  • fails to establish legal access from private property;
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  • violates any of the provisions of this subchapter relating to Lighting of and Movement on Commercial Signs; or
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  • violates the subchapter relating to Commercial Sign Height Restrictions.

TxDOT will notify the permit holder in writing of a violation of this section and will give the permit holder 60 days, beginning on the date of receipt of notice of the violation, to correct the violation, provide proof of the correction, and if required, obtain an amended permit from TxDOT. Examples of proof of correction of a violation include, (1) acceptable photographs; and (2) current survey documentation.

If a permit holder who violates this section fails to correct the violation in accordance with this section, TxDOT will cancel the permit.

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