Placement of campaign signs face restrictions along state highways

As the 2022 election season continues, political candidates and campaign workers for either an office or a ballot measure are reminded about a state law governing the placement of “Temporary Political Signs” within view of a state highway.

Section 5405.3 of the State Outdoor Advertising Act allows an exemption for the placement of “Temporary Political Signs” along certain state highways. However, these signs are not to be placed within the state right of way. In addition, signs cannot be visible within 660 feet from the edge of the right of way of a classified “landscaped freeway.”

In Caltrans District 2, there are 15.5 miles of roadway that fall under the “landscaped freeway” classification, which covers ornamental planting covering at least a 1,000-foot-long continuous stretch of state right of way. (See attached list of landscaped freeways)

If campaign signs are within view of a state highway, candidates must file a Statement of Responsibility form with Caltrans’ Outdoor Advertising Program in Sacramento.

A temporary political sign meets the following criteria

  • Encourages a vote in a scheduled election.
  • Is placed no sooner than 90 days prior to the scheduled election and is removed within 10 days after that election
  • Is no larger than 32 square feet.
  • Has a statement of responsibility form filed with Caltrans certifying a person who will be responsible for removing the signs?

State law directs Caltrans to remove unauthorized temporary political signs and bill the responsible party for their removal.

For more information or copy of the form “Statement of Responsibility” for temporary political signs, visit: https://dot.ca.gov/programs/traffic-operations/oda/political-signs

A completed Statement of Responsibility must be submitted to: Caltrans Division of Traffic Operations, Outdoor Advertising Program, P.O. Box 942874, MS-36 Sacramento, CA 94274-0001.

General questions regarding political signage can be directed to the Office of Outdoor Advertising by email or by phone at (916) 654-6473. District 2 Public Information can also be contacted with questions by email or phone at (530) 225-3426.