Sign Information

Sign Permits
If you are looking to install a new sign or modify an existing sign (even signs painted on buildings), you are required to get a sign permit from the City of Tacoma before installation. The Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) limits the number, size and height of signs allowed on a site, so make sure to check your limits before manufacturing your sign! Please note that the TMC does not allow signs to be attached to fences, telephone poles or traffic control devices. Also, only real estate or political signs may be placed within the street rights-of-way.

If you have specific questions about sign regulations please call the Planning and Development Services at 253.591.5030.

Illuminated Signs
Illuminated signs also require an electrical permit from Tacoma Power.

Sign Installation
If you need to work in the city right-of-way (sidewalk, parking strip, etc.) while installing your sign you will need a barricade permit, which can be obtained through the Planning and Development Services Department at 253.591.5030.

Sidewalk A-Frame Boards
Most commercial areas of the City allow a business to have one permitted sidewalk A-frame board located on private property (e.g. not on the sidewalk or planting strip), provided that it meets TMC criteria: signs must not exceed 12 square feet or four feet in height. Signs cannot be placed on sidewalks less than 12 feet in width. No permit is needed but a business would be subject to enforcement if it exceeds the one sign allowance. Please see TMC 13.06.520 or contact a permit specialist at 253.591.5030 for more answers.