A sign permit allows you to erect a temporary or permanent sign on your property. The type of sign permit you need will depend on the sign you want to put up, as well as the zoning regulations in your area. If you’re not sure whether you need a sign permit, you can check with your local planning department. In most cases, you’ll need to submit a completed application, along with any required fees, and wait for the permit to be approved before you can put up your sign. Once approved, you’ll need to follow all the requirements of the permit, which may include getting the sign inspected and ensuring that it meets all code requirements. Failure to comply with the terms of your sign permit can result in fines or even the loss of your permit. Therefore, it’s important to be familiar with the requirements before you apply for a sign permit.

How to obtain a sign permit?

Here are some of the steps that you need to follow if you want to get a sign permit:

1. Review the sign

There are four types of sign permits. Following are the instances when you may need them, so assess your sign before applying for a permit:

  • Suppose you are planning to erect a sign at a local landmark or inside a historic district. In that case, it is Landmark Preservation who will go through your application and decide whether to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. Landmark Preservation is the city agency responsible for protecting New York City’s historic buildings and sites. The agency will consider the sign’s size, design, and location to determine whether it is appropriate for the landmark or district. Additionally, it will also consider whether the sign may have any adverse impact on the historic site. 
  • DOTI regulates the placement of objects in the city’s rights-of-way. This includes but is not limited to fences, planters, lighting fixtures, benches, awnings, and signs. If your sign will cross into the right-of-way of the public, you will require a permit from DOTI. DOTI reviews applications for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. It also encourages applicants to consider the aesthetic impact of proposed objects on the City’s rights-of-way.
  • Any time you plan to work on electrical components in your home, it’s important to obtain the proper permit first. This is true even for something as simple as a new lighted sign. An electrical permit ensures that the work will be done according to code and that it will be safe for you and your family. Without a permit, you could be putting yourself at risk of electrical shocks or fires. 
  • If you are applying for a sign permit in order to start a new business, you will have to upload your application, along with detailed plans for a zoning use permit. The specific requirements vary depending on the type of business and the zoning regulations in your area, but you may need to submit architectural drawings, floor plans, or other documentation. Once you have submitted all of the necessary materials, the permit process will continue as usual. 

2. Prepare your site plan

The online application will have a step where you need to upload your site plan. This should include the following:

  • Scale
  • North arrow
  • Proposed signs
  • Existing signs
  • Structures
  • Zone lot lines
  • Dimensions of all boundaries, structures, areas, and distances
  • Site plan boundary should show all alleys, adjacent streets, and property lines
  • Zone lot frontage
  • Tenant frontage

3. Sign elevations

Apart from the site plan, you will also require a full-dimensioned elevation of your sign. This should include the following:

  • Height of the entire sign
  • Any existing signs
  • Height of the sign and the distance from the face of the building wall
  • Photo simulation or dimensioned drawing of the sign(s), including its sign copy
  • Sign dimensions

4. Building permit

Most signs require a building permit. The type of sign, the location of the sign, and the size of the sign all play a role in determining whether or not a permit is required. For example, temporary signs, such as those used for garage sales or political campaigns, generally do not require a permit. On the other hand, permanent signs, such as those affixed to the side of a building, almost always require a permit.

5. Submit online

After you have gathered all of the required documents, you can begin the process of applying for your sign permit by going to e-permits. The first step is to create an account and then log in. Once you are logged in, you will need to provide some basic information about yourself and your business. Then, you will be able to select the type of sign permit you need. After you have selected the appropriate permit, provide additional information about your sign, including dimensions, placement, and material. Finally, submit your application and pay the required fee. Once your application has been processed, you will be issued a permit that will allow you to erect your sign.

Sign permits are necessary in order to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians, and workers. By having a sign permit, you are verifying that your sign meets all city regulations and is safe for public viewing.