Montana Department of Transportation

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Outdoor Advertising in Montana

Outdoor Advertising in Montana


Application forms and fee schedules are available from the Right-of-Way Section OAC Contacts. If your application is approved, a permit number and plate will be issued. After the initial three-year period, the permit may be renewed every three years thereafter without completing a new application. We will notify the sign owner when the renewal fee is due.

Before the permit can be issued, we will carefully consider the application and inspect the proposed location to be sure the sign will meet all requirements. If the sign is located on land owned by someone other than the sign owner, the landowner's written permission is required. Also, some cities, towns and counties have local sign ordinances or regulations, so you will need to get written approval from the local zoning authority before we can review the application.

Permits are not required for signs advertising the sale or lease of the property on which they are located or for a sign located on the property near the activity it is advertising.

For example: motel, restaurants, service stations or store signs do not need permits. These are called "on-premise" signs. It is important that you check for local government ordinances or regulations that may apply to on-premise signs. If you believe your sign is on-premise, you should call an OAC Contact person for confirmation.

Unpermitted signs are unlawful and must be removed. We will notify the sign owner and landowner to give them ample time (45 days) to remove the sign. If the sign is not removed, we will remove it and the costs will be accessed to the sign owners and landowners.

Again, you will need to visit with an OAC Contact to get an application for a sign permit. There are numerous details that must be considered and approved before issuing a permit for a sign.

Permit requirements include:

  • Nonrefundable application & initial permit fees
  • Sign size and spacing
  • Landowner and local government approval