Political Signs

Political signs are an important part of election campaigns, but laws regarding when and where they can be placed can differ within the cities, the county and the state. So, before you begin to put up political signs, be sure you understand the rules for all types of roadways.

City of Adair Village | City of AlbanyCity of Corvallis | City of Monroe | City of Philomath | Benton County | State of Oregon

City of Adair Village

Permitted Residential Sign Standards: One non-illuminated temporary sign not exceeding 6 square feet in area for real estate purposes, garage or personal property sales, or political advertisement.

Visit City of Adair Village website or call City of Adair Village at 541-745-5507.

City of Albany

Visit City of Albany website or call City of Albany at 541-917-7550.

City of Corvallis

Visit City of Corvallis website or call City of Corvallis at 541-766-6901.

City of Monroe

Visit City of Monroe website or call City of Monroe at 541-847-5175.

City of Philomath

Visit City of Philomath website or call City of Philomath at 541-929-6148.

Benton County

Under Oregon law (ORS 368.942) it is illegal to post any sign on a public right of way outside of a city. It has been the longstanding policy of Benton County to remove political signs which are placed in the public right of way. If it appears to any road supervisor or authorized public works employee to be obvious that the sign is in the public right of way, the sign will be immediately removed, returned to the County Shop, and be available for candidates or PACS to retrieve within seven (7) days after the completion of the election. After that time the signs will be destroyed.

For more information call Benton County Roads Shop at 541-766-6821.

State of Oregon

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) regulates all signs visible to state highways through the Outdoor Advertising Sign Program at ODOT as required in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) Chapter 377.

Please be aware that only official signs and traffic control devices are allowed to be placed on, or accessed from, the right of way of a state highway.  All signs left on the right of way may be removed, without prior notice, by ODOT. 

The Outdoor Advertising Sign Program is tasked with regulating signs on private property, including temporary signs, where visible to a state highway. If a sign is at a place of business, or an activity open to the public (e.g. place of worship, school, non-profit office), and there is no exchange of compensation (for either sign placement or the message displayed) then the sign is not an “outdoor advertising” sign, and does not require a permit, but must still meet basic safety requirements and adhere to the restrictions in ORS 377.720 and 377.735. 

Signs posted for compensation require a permit from ODOT prior to placement. Temporary signs do not qualify for a sign permit through the Outdoor Advertising Sign Program.

If no compensation is exchanged, but the sign is not at a place of business, or activity open to the public (e.g. sign is at a residence, or in a field), then it must qualify as a temporarily exempt sign under ORS 377.735.

To qualify the sign must:

  • Have a sign face size that is a maximum of 12 square feet;
  • The sign may be posted for a maximum of 60 days in a calendar year; and,
  • It may not be on a permanent base.

ORS 377.735 does allow the sign program to issue a variance for both size, and time of posting (size up to 32 square feet/time up to 120 days) with a complete and approved ODOT Temporary Sign Variance Form.

All signs under state jurisdiction must meet basic safety considerations, whether or not they require a permit through ODOT.  Examples of basic safety requirements include the requirements that signs do not block motorists’ view of oncoming traffic, nor the view of any official signs or traffic control devices; they may not use flashing lights, or have lighting that projects onto the roadway, or impairs the vision of traveling motorists. Additional safety requirements are found in ORS 377.715 and 377.720.

The Temporary Variance Form for temporary sign placements on private property can also be accessed at the following ODOT https://www.oregon.gov/odot/ROW/Pages/Sign-Resources.aspx. The Temporary Variance is easy to complete, free of charge, and can usually be reviewed by the Department within two business days.

Additional information about ODOT’s Outdoor Advertising Sign Program can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/ROW/Pages/Outdoor-Advertising-Sign.aspx

Inquiries to the program can be sent directly to OutdoorAdvertising@odot.state.or.us