Learn About Houston’s Signs and Banners Regulations

Advertising and marketing your business is as important as producing quality products to achieving success. Most businesses use vinyl banners and cloth fabric banners for this purpose. Using signage across the city is another effective way to reach potential customers. However, it is essential to comply with your city guidelines to avoid hefty fines or legal suits.

If you are in Houston, you may need to know that the rules in your city are quite restrictive. It is advisable to study the city rules before proceeding with putting up signs, banners, or flags. For your convenience, we have listed the rules here:

Getting a Permit

If you plan to have your signage installed at a place where it is visible from a public street, you will require a permit from a licensed Sign Contractor. You have to fill out the application for the permit online. You can either respond to the application questions with a plan analyst on the phone or meet with them in person.

Apart from this, you will have to get an inspection done. Ensure that all the inspections, except the one for the site, are scheduled by 4 pm the day before. If you plan to use an electrical sign, you will need a separate permit. Moreover, you will have to get it installed by a Licensed Sign Installer who works for a company with a Texas Master Sign Electrician on staff.

The city administration of Houston allows only off-premise signs. However, it permits relocation signs for a single three-year period in some cases. Here is the list of signs that can be installed by someone other than a licensed Sign Contractor (Note that you will still need a permit for them):

  • Non-electrical ground signs of a maximum height of 8 feet and larger than 60 square feet in size.
  • Non-electrical marquee or wall signs mounted on surfaces no taller than 16 feet.
  • Signs that do not create a traffic hazard or encroach on utility easements.

Permit Applications

While you can fill out the application form online, the city administration will require your wet signature – you will have to sign in ink on the form. Moreover, it is also essential to notarize the form and submit it in person.

After Approval

You may want to take care and not remove the final tag from your sign. All signs are non-transferrable, and this holds for location to location, sign to sign, wall to wall. Moreover, check with your vendor if you can put up flags and yard signs without formal approval from the administration.

In Houston, any structural element that contains an image, brand, logo, or wording related to your business is considered a sign. Whether the sign talks about your store, product, or employees, it is still considered a sign, and you will require a permit for it. However, you can get exceptions for directional signs among others. Thus, it is advisable to discuss non-promotional signage options with experts.

Number of Signs

As a business owner, you can get a permit for only five signs on your legal property. This holds regardless of the size of your business or land. The signs include ground, projecting, wall, and marquee. You can either get one ground or projecting sign per frontage or a maximum of two total.

If your business has more than 350 feet along a single frontage, you are eligible for two signs on the frontage as long as the signs have a distance of at least 350 feet between them. You can install a maximum of four wall signs and three marquee signs. Moreover, you must ensure that the ground signs are at least 350 feet apart on the same frontage and do not block the 45’ triangle road visibility.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, large institutional campuses, multi-tenant facilities, and directional signs are exempted from this.

Roof Signs

The sign code in Houston does not allow any signs mounted on or above the roofline. In addition to this, any signs mounted on top of a canopy or awning are disallowed.

Height of Signs

Apart from city-wide rules, there are different regulations for different streets in Houston. For instance, the city administration will allow 42-foot tall signs at some locations while only 12-foot signs at others. To get the best idea about the restrictions in your area, you can check with local experts.

Renewal of Signs

The city of Houston is famous for strictly implementing all laws related to putting up and renewing signage. It will send you an invoice thirty days before the renewal date to the billing address mentioned in your application. After payment, the city council will send you the renewal certificate via mail.

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