Section 2: Sign Permit Application

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The 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 indicate, by GPS coordinates or sketch attached, the proposed location 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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  • an application for an electronic sign must a current copy of the municipality's ordinance that demonstrates the allowance of an electronic sign; and
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  • be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit fee of $100.00 payable to Texas Highway Beautification Fund. The permit fee for a sign already in existence along a road, which is now subject to regulation under the Transportation Code, Chapter 391, is $100.00.
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  • The application submission for a commercial sign permit and the required fee must be submitted online through EPS or mailed with the application 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 of the sign permit application(s) is dishonored upon presentment by TxDOT, the application will be returned as of the date of receipt of non-payment.

If the only issue preventing the issuance of a permit is a spacing conflict with another permitted sign owned by the applicant, TxDOT will send a notice to the applicant informing the applicant of the conflicting sign. TxDOT will deny the application unless the applicant, before the 30th day after the date that TxDOT sends notice under this subsection, provides TxDOT with proof of the removal of the conflicting sign.

NOTE: TxDOT, in its discretion, may refuse to issue a permit or approve an application for an amended permit if the location of the sign is within the corridor of a section of highway that has received environmental clearance, but for which the construction contract has not been awarded.

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Applicant’s Identification of Proposed Site

The applicant must identify the proposed location for a new sign by setting a stake or marking the concrete at the proposed location of the edge of the sign structure, including the sign face that is nearest to the right of way. At least two feet of the stake must be visible above the ground. Identifying the site is considered part of the application, and the stake or mark on the concrete must not be moved or removed until the application is denied, or if approved, until the sign has been erected.

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Permission from Property Owner

No permit may be approved unless the applicant has obtained written permission from the owner of the designated site. TxDOT provides a space on the permit application for the site owner's contact information for verification purposes. The owner's permission operates as permission for the life of the permit, unless the owner provides a written statement that permission for the maintenance of the sign has been withdrawn and documentation showing that the lease allowing the sign has been terminated in accordance with the terms of the lease agreement or through a court order. If the sign owner disputes the lease termination in court with the site owner, TxDOT will not cancel the permit until a court order is provided or a settlement signed by both parties is delivered to TxDOT.

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Inspecting the sign site prior to approving a permit is the responsibility of the ROW Division commercial sign field compliance staff. The ROW Division commercial sign field compliance staff will complete a field inspection log citing their findings and decisions.

Permits cannot be approved for new signs unless those signs will conform to the current approved Texas Administrative Code (TAC) and laws regarding standards and criteria, including location, size, lighting and spacing.

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