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Section 3: Permit Renewal, Duration, and Transfer

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Renewal of Commercial Sign Permits

A sign permit must be renewed each year. All sign permits that were issued prior to September 6, 1985 require renewal annually on October 1. A sign permit issued after September 5, 1985 must be renewed on the anniversary date of its issuance but no later than the 46th day after the permit’s expiration date. Permits that are not renewed will automatically expire. To renew the permit, the permit holder must:

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  • complete permit renewal application for commercial signs as provided by TxDOT; or renew the commercial permit through the EPS online renewal application;
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  • the applicant's name is to be shown exactly as it appears on the commercial sign license;
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  • the renewal application must be properly signed if submitted by paper to TxDOT;
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  • submit a nonrefundable permit renewal fee of $75.00, made payable to Texas Highway Beautification Fund;
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  • if the renewal is submitted after the expiration date but before the 46th day after the expiration date, a late fee of $100.00 is required to be submitted along with the required renewal fee of $75.00 to TxDOT; and
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  • The submission of a permit renewal application and the fee must be submitted online through EPS or submitted by mail to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

    NOTE: A permit is not eligible for renewal if the sign has not been built. The sign owner may apply for a new sign permit for the location. A permit is eligible for renewal if the sign for which it was issued continues to meet all applicable requirements and Transportation Code, Chapter 391.

If the check or credit card submitted in payment of the permit renewal is dishonored upon presentment by TxDOT , the permit renewal will be voided as of the date of renewal.

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Duration of State Commercial Sign Permits

A permit issued or renewed is only valid for the location indicated on the original permit application and as described by inspection for permit issuance. A permit is valid for one year from the date it is issued by TxDOT, provided the sign is erected and maintained in accordance with the law and all applicable rules, unless it is canceled sooner. The permit will automatically terminate if:

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  • the State or political subdivision of the State acquires the sign for which the permit was issued and is no longer in compliance with the regulations;
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  • commercial sign license held by the permit holder is not renewed due to failure to maintain a valid bond or corporate franchise, expires for non-payment or is revoked; or
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  • the permit is canceled by the permit holder;
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  • The permit will automatically expire if:
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  • By filing a renewal application, the sign owner is asserting to TxDOT that the sign meets all applicable requirements. Renewal of a permit does not indicate that TxDOT has determined that the sign is in compliance with applicable regulations.
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City Permits

If a city has been certified by the State to exercise control of commercial signs under the Highway Beautification laws, a state permit is not required for signs within the city limits.

Before a sign may be erected inside a city, and sometimes the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of a city, it may be necessary for the owner to obtain a sign permit from the city in addition to obtaining a sign permit from the State. Further information on Municipal Control of Signs is available.

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Transfer of State Advertising Sign Permits

State sign permits cannot be transferred without TxDOT approval; only valid permits may be transferred.

In requesting transfer of a valid sign permit, the following actions must be taken:

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  • The buyer must initiate a transfer form online through EPS. The seller will validate online in EPS the transfer request from the buyer, and then the buyer of the sign permits must submit a non-refundable transfer fee of $25.00 for each permit to be transferred online through EPS.
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  • If the transfer is going to be done on paper, use form ROW-OA-16, Application for Transfer of Commercial Sign Permits. The form must be completed and must have the notarized signatures of the seller and the buyer. If either party is a corporation, the notarized signature must be that of a corporate officer.
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  • A non-refundable transfer fee of $25.00 for each permit to be transferred must be submitted. The fee should be made payable to Texas Highway Beautification Fund and may be paid by either the seller or the buyer.
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  • the submission for transfer and the fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

TxDOT is authorized to approve the transfer of the sign permit(s) when the application has been found to be in compliance with State regulations.

TxDOT will not approve the transfer unless both the seller and the buyer hold valid commercial sign licenses at the time of approval. Each license must provide coverage for the county in which the sign is located.

TxDOT can approve the transfer of one or more sign permits from a lapsed commercial sign license to a valid commercial sign license, with or without the signature of the transferor, if:

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  • legal documents showing the sale of the sign are provided, and
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  • documents are provided that indicate the transferor is dead or cannot be located.

A permit that has an unresolved permit violation will not be transferred. An unresolved permit violation means that a permit cancellation is impending or a cancellation is being held in abeyance pending the outcome of an administrative hearing.

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Amending a Sign Permit

To perform customary maintenance or to make substantial changes to a permitted sign the permit holder must obtain an amended permit.

The permit holder will fill out the amended permit application online through EPS or fill out the form ROW-OA-4A. The amended permit application for a commercial sign on an interstate or primary highway, must:

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  • be completed in the exact name shown on the commercial sign license;
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  • clearly show the previous construction of the sign along with the new potential configuration changes and description of the sign and all other items required by the application;
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  • provide verification of the applicant's nonprofit status, if the sign is a nonprofit sign;
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  • have a notarized signature of each individual applicant or a corporate officer if the applicant is a corporation or the managing partner if the applicant is a limited partnership if submitting application by paper; and
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  • submit online through EPS with a nonrefundable amended permit fee of $100.00, or if submitting the application on paper, payment made payable to TxDOT Highway Beautification Fund.
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  • The paper submission for the amended permit application and the fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

If the check or credit card submitted in payment for the amended sign permit is dishonored upon presentment by TxDOT, the amended permit application will be returned as of the date of receipt of payment.

Making a change to a sign that requires an amended permit without first obtaining an amended permit approval is a violation and will result in an administrative penalty and an administrative enforcement action.

If an amended permit application is denied, the applicant may file a request with the executive director for an appeal using the same procedures found in §21.170.

If maintenance or changes authorized under this section are being made on a conforming sign because of a natural disaster, TxDOT may waive the requirement that the required amended permit be issued before the work begins. If TxDOT grants a waiver under this subsection, the permit holder shall submit the amended permit application within 60 days after the date that the work is completed. If the maintenance or changes violate this section or the permit holder fails to submit the amended permit application as required by this subsection, the sign is subject to enforcement and removal actions.

An amended permit is valid for one year after the date of TxDOT's approval of the amended permit application. The date of the TxDOT's approval of the amended permit application is considered to be the amended permit's date of issuance.

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