Sign Regulations

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Submittal Requirements Minor Encroachments for Signs Common Signage Plan Information Expected Processing Time Fees

There are many types of signs a business may want to install in the City of Raleigh. Displaying a business sign or portable signage where advertising is visible from the public right-of-way, requires a zoning permit.

To receive the required zoning permit a sign must comply with the sign ordinances in UDO Chapter 7. Installation of signs must begin within six months of the date that the city issues a permit. The city strongly advises businesses not to fabricate signs until permits have been issued. 

Permits are required for wall signs, ground signs, projecting signs, and temporary signs.

Submittal Requirements

Please submit your permit application and all required supporting documentation to and through the Permit and Development Portal. If you are unable to submit via email, please call 919-996-2472 for assistance. Applications will not be accepted by fax. 

Review comments will be available via the Permit and Development Portal. Customers will be notified when all trades have reviewed the application and/or permits are ready for pick up and payment of fees will be accepted at this time. 

Submittal Type Requirements + Description

Required for Electronic Submittal for All Sign Types

  • A separate Non-residential Permit Application for each sign permit being requested.
  • If applications are submitted through the Permit and Development Portal they will be completed online.
  • Copy of site plan drawn to scale with location of the proposed sign and other pertinent information including:
    • Dimensions of the sign structure
    • Dimensions of the copy area
    • Size and style of lettering
    • Sign colors
    • Property lines
    • Building locations
    • Driveways
    • Proposed location of the sign.
  • Color copy of detailed drawings. The drawing must have the ‘Landlord Signature of Approval’ and date on the drawing.
    • Drawings shall not exceed 11" x 17". The preferable size is 8.5" x 11".
  • Elevation plans that reference correct color name and reference number.
    • WALL SIGNS: must show front and side elevation of the proposed sign on the building.
    • FREESTANDING SIGNS (including tract identification sign and billboards): drawings must dimension the height from the ground to the top of the sign.
  • A ground sign over 42 inches must have a sealed engineered footing detail.
  • Description of building or structure materials for signs.
Additional Requirements for Some Projects

For signs in a historic district Certificate of Appropriateness is required.  

 Temporary Signs

  • No drawings required for signs such as going-out-of-business sales, grand openings or charitable events. However, you must specify the type of temporary signs that will be used, such as banners, portable signs or windblown devices.

Wall Signs

  • Profile drawing showing the thickness of the sign or sign cabinet, the raceway and the means of attachment of the sign to the wall or mounting surface
  • If the sign is to be mounted on a parapet wall, drawing should show the wall section and the sign's relationship to the actual roof line. The sign cannot be more than two feet above the roof


  • A current site plan, showing the existing conditions and the proposed location of the proposed billboard.
  • Copy of the lease agreement with the property owner
  • Sealed engineered footing detail/plan

Signs with Logos
(in shopping centers, office complexes and other multi-tenant properties using logos)

  • Copy of federal or state registration of logo
  • Suite number for each business (example: 4630 - 207 Wake Forest Road). Include a detailed plan with suite layout and elevations


Minor Encroachments for Signs

Signage is located over or on the public right-of-way, and is not permanently affixed to the sidewalk or street requires a Minor Encroachment approval. Minor Encroachment submittal packages for signage over the right-of-way must include:

  • Minor Encroachment application
  • Non-residential permit application
  • Scaled drawing showing:
    • proposed placement of items in the right-of-way
    • method of installation
  • One image based on the requirements of UDO Ch. 7.3
  • Landlord approval on sign image
  • Indemnity Agreement releasing the City of Raleigh from liability for damages incurred by clients using the public right-of way. We must receive a hard copy of this agreement and CANNOT ACCEPT VIA EMAIL.
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance
    • Applicant must have $1 million in liability insurance with City of Raleigh named as the certificate holder
  • The general liability policy must include the endorsement CS 20 13 11 85
  •  If the encroachment is in a historic district, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required

NOTE: If a right-of-way permit is issued for any work occurring on the right-of-way, the contractor must provide a performance bond of $5,000.00. Please see the Right-of-Way Services page for more information.

Common Signage Plan Information

Some landlords of multi-tenant properties have established a Common Signage Plan approved by the City of Raleigh. Signs must conform to these criteria, which may cover colors and materials. A landlord who wants City of Raleigh approval of criteria for signs in a new development should submit a Common Signage Plan Application to the Planning and Development Customer Service Center.

Expected Processing Time

Please see our development review turnaround times.


The Development Fee Schedule provides a list fees that are charged for development projects. The minimum permit fee will be charged for each new sign.

Payments can be made:

  1. Online via registered account in the Permit and Development Portal
  2. In person via the cashier in the Customer Service Center. We accept cash, Mastercard, Visa, or checks made payable to the City of Raleigh
Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
ZoningPermits - Zoning