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Section 2: Sign Permits

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Preliminary Requirements

Before erecting or maintaining an outdoor advertising sign, other than an exempt sign, outside the corporate limits and, where applicable, ETJ of a city, the sign owner must apply for a permit from TxDOT. A separate permit application is required for each sign. No sign may be lawfully erected unless a permit has been obtained.

As of April 19, 2012 an outdoor advertising license is now required to erect a sign along a rural road.

A person may not obtain a permit for a sign under this subchapter unless the person holds a currently valid license applicable to the county in which the sign is to be erected or maintained.

A license is valid for one year after its date of issuance or most recent renewal (refer to Chapter 5 - Outdoor Advertising License).

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State Rural Road Off-Premise Sign Permits

A permit is required before erecting an off-premise sign, other than an exempt sign, that is visible from the main-traveled way of a rural road. The applicant must submit a completed copy of Form ROW-OA-RR4, Permit Application for Proposed Rural Road Sign , to the ROW Division. The Form ROW-OA-RR4, Permit Application for Proposed Rural Road Sign, must:

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  • be completed in the full legal name of each owner of the sign, or if the applicant is a corporation, in the exact name on file with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State;
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  • clearly show the location of the sign and all other items required by the application;
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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 of a limited partnership; and
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  • be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit fee of $100.00 made payable to the State of Texas. If the check or money order is not honored upon presentment, the permit application will be denied for non-payment.
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  • The submission for a permit application and the permit fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

If the application from a corporation is signed by someone other than a corporate officer, the applicant must submit a copy of a resolution adopted by the board of directors of the corporation that authorizes the person who signed the application to have signature authority. The authority must bind the corporation to the representations and assurances contained in the application.

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Inspection

Before approving a permit application, the ROW Division field compliance staff shall perform an inspection to determine that the proposed sign will:

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  • be located within 800 feet of one adjacent recognized commercial or industrial activity:
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  • be located along a roadway subject to control under these Sections;
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  • meet all applicable requirements of 43TAC §21.441, Rural Road Rules; and
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  • not be subject to control under the Highway Beautification Act.
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Sign Permit Plate

The sign owner shall securely attach the sign permit plate to the part of the sign structure that is nearest to the rural road and visible from the closest right of way not later than the 30th day after the date that the sign is erected.

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  • the sign permit plate may not be removed from the sign.
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  • the sign permit plate must remain visible from the closest right of way at all times.
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  • if a sign permit plate is lost or stolen or becomes illegible, the sign owner must submit to the department a request for a replacement plate in a form prescribed by the department accompanied by the replacement plate fee of $25.

Failure to apply for a replacement permit or attach the plate to the sign structure as required in subsection (a) of this section within 60 days of the date of written notification from the department that the permit plate is not visible or attached may result in an enforcement action.

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Duration of State Rural Road Sign Permits

A permit issued or renewed is valid only for (1) the location indicated, and (2) the sign described on the original permit application. A permit is valid for one year, provided the sign is erected and maintained in accordance with the law and all applicable rules. A permit holder may voluntarily cancel a permit. The permit may be canceled if the permit holder:

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  • violates any provision or requirement of the Rural Road Act; or
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  • violates a Commission rule adopted by the Commission under the Rural Road Act.
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Renewal of Rural Road Sign Permits

Sign permits must be renewed each year before the date the existing permit expires. Permits that are not renewed will automatically expire. To renew the permit, the permit holder must:

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  • complete a Form ROW-OA-RR22, Permit Renewal Application for Rural Road Sign;
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  • submit a nonrefundable renewal fee of $75.00 made payable to the TxDOT Outdoor Advertising; and
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  • The submission for a renewal and the renewal fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

The permit may be renewed for one year. If the check or money order is not honored upon presentment, the permit renewal will be voided.

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Transfer of State Rural Road Sign Permits

State rural road sign permits cannot be transferred without TxDOT approval; only valid permits may be transferred. At the time of the transfer, both the transferor and the transferee must hold a valid license.

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

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  • Form ROW-OA-RR16, Application for Transfer of Rural Road Sign Permits, must be completed. The application must contain the notarized signatures of the seller and the buyer. If either party is a corporation, the application must be signed by a corporate officer.
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  • A nonrefundable transfer fee of $25.00 per transferred permit must be submitted. The fee should be made payable to the TxDOT Outdoor Advertising and must be paid by the buyer. If the check or money order is not honored upon presentment, the transfer will be voided.
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  • The submission for a transfer of a permit and the transfer fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.

The transferor and transferee will each be provided with copy of the approved permit transfer application.

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Registrations of Existing Off-Premise Rural Road Signs

Signs erected prior to September 1, 1985, other than exempt signs, were required to be registered no later than December 30, 1985. The sign registration is valid only for the location indicated on the original registration application and only for the sign described on that application. A sign registration renewal may be prepaid for up to five years. Sign registrations must be renewed on or before January 1 of the year of expiration. The registration will automatically terminate if:

A valid sign registration may be renewed before it terminates. To renew the registration, the holder:

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  • must file the written request to renew the registration with the department;
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  • must submit a nonrefundable renewal fee of $10.00 made payable to the TxDOT Outdoor Advertising; and
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  • must, upon completion of the registration, send a copy of the registration paper used to the sign owner along with a registration number that shall be displayed on the sign structure within 30 days of receipt thereof.
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  • The submission of the registration 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 money order is not honored upon presentment, the registration renewal will be canceled from the date of receipt of payment.

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Transfer of State Rural Road Sign Registrations

State sign registrations cannot be transferred without TxDOT approval; only valid registrations may be transferred. At the time of the transfer, both the transferor and the transferee must hold a valid license.

In requesting transfer of a valid sign registration:

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  • Form ROW-OA-RR15, Application for Transfer of Rural Road Sign Registrations , 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 nonrefundable transfer fee of $25.00 per transferred registration must be submitted. The fee should be made payable to the TxDOT Outdoor Advertising and must be paid by the new owner. If the check or money order is not honored upon presentment, the transfer will be canceled as of the date of receipt of payment.
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  • The submission for the transfer and the fee must be mailed to the Texas Department of Transportation, ROW Division, P.O. Box 13043, Austin, Texas 78711-3043.
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Transmittal of Fees

Fees collected should be deposited into Fund 6, Cost Center 06991, and Object 3053.

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