Getting a sign permit is fundamental to rebranding or moving a business. It is still possible to buy and install a sign without a permit. Many companies do, but you should know that it comes with risked. If a sign goes up without a permit, a government enforcement offices finds out, one could have to take the sign down, pay a fine equal to the permit and have to start over. Without the proper permit the entire business process can be stopped for weeks or months.

Approval for a permit
Approval for a permit

When is a permit required? The permit process can be a challenge, and it is expensive and it can be extremely frustrating. Any time the value of the project is over $500, any time a new sign is put up a permit is required. Permits control the location, construction and size of a sign. So, when is a permit NOT required?  When an older sign exists and the location, construction and size are not changing, a permit is not required. This means new faces and maintenance do not require a permit


If you have an existing pylon or monument sign. There are times when an existing sign predates the permit requirements. These signs may be too tall, of the wrong construction, too big or have other issues. If they are there, and the city knows it, they are grandfathered in. Restoring these signs is not only allowed, they can be a major commercial advantage.

If they do not have one of these - You are not in the right place
If they do not have one of these 8211 You are not in the right place

Submitting your permit application. There are a set of documents and drawings required. Larger city’s have more and more detailed requirements. The general requirements are 1) an application, 2) an electrical consumption statement and math 3) a drawing showing the mounting and construction 4)a drawing showing the size and location. Assembling these in a package takes time. Submitting them also takes time, waiting for the city planning, building and fire departments to approve takes time. After all this, the city will charge you a fee. These fees run about $50 for a banner to several thousand dollars for a series of signs. The average cost is about $500


Inspections After the sign is finished, and sometimes during the construction, there are inspections. When a monument of pole sign is being installed, the hole, pipe, concrete and wiring may need approval. After the sign is complete, the size, location and construction all are open to inspection. Most of the delays will be from electrical wiring issues.


Hiring a reputable sign professional is the only way to make sure you legally comply with all these requirements. One way to find out if you are dealing with a qualified company is to ask for their contractor’s license. They should have a “C45” license. The other key question is – do you use your own crews and equipment. If the answer is “no”, you are dealing with a broker.


Contact the specialists at Signs for San Diego today for your signage and permitting needs. 760-730-5118

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *