Off-Premises Sign

Sign Administration - HPWCODE1114
Contact
Houston Public Works
Sign Administration

1002 Washington Ave., 4th Floor
Houston, TX 77002

832.394.8890
832.395.9607
8 am to 4:30 pm
Plan Review
Required
Inspection
Required
Renewal
Required
Fee
$61.51 (Minimum Operating Fee)
Admin fee
$29.72
Plan review fee
$86.11
Inspection fee
$86.11
Renewal fee
$61.51 (Minimum Operating Renewal)
Valid Period
1 year
Processing Time
2 to 4 Months

About

Operating permit for an off-premise sign.

All classifications of signs, types of signs, and special function signs, and all other signs used as off-premise signs. An exception is that off-premise signs limited to 40 square feet in area, which advertise the sale or rental of real property or direct persons to the location of real property for sale or rental, are permitted for a single one-year term.

After Approval

An annual, non-scheduled/unannounced inspection is conducted yearly. Renewal invoices are sent after the official annual sign list is received from the contractor every year at the beginning of the year.

Conditions & Exceptions

No new permits can be issued for off-premise signs (Exception: Section 4612(b) of the Houston Sign Code).

Statutory Authority
What You Need
  • Complete the Pre-requisite Checklist
  • Complete and notarize the Off-Premise Application 
  • Complete an Electrical Wiring Permit Application, if applicable
  • Compile a complete & acceptable plan set in accordance with the Pre-requisite Checklist
Apply in Person
  1. Obtain a ticket for Sign Administration from one of the four kiosks located on the 1st floor at 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77002.
  2. Proceed to the 4th floor and scan ticket to be placed in the queue.
  3. Once the number is called, submit application packet (including plan set) to the plan reviewer.
  4. Receive a sales order and proceed to cashier station to pay fees or charge to the APA, if available.
Conditions & Exceptions

No new permits can be issued for off-premise signs. Off-premise signs are permitted, installed, maintained & operated only by a licensed sign contractor that already owns a "grandfathered" billboard. (Exception: Section 4612 (b) of the Houston Sign Code).

What You Need
Submit Plans in Person

For real-time review (Note: By appointment only):

  1. Obtain a ticket for Sign Permit - Sign Administration Permits from one of the four kiosks located on the 1st floor at 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77002.
  2. Proceed to the 4th floor and scan ticket to be placed in the queue.
  3. Once the number is called, submit application packet (including plan set) to the plan reviewer.
  4. Receive a sales order and proceed to cashier station to pay fees or charge to the APA, if available.
What You Need
  1. Once plans are approved, a site inspection must be completed to confirm the location of the proposed sign.
  2. Packet is then sent to the Legal Department for approval.
  3. Upon approval, construction of the sign may begin.
  4. Once construction is complete, a final inspection must be completed and approved in order to receive the Sign Operating Permit.
Schedule by Phone

Call 832-394-8890 to schedule an inspection

Conditions & Exceptions

All inspections are conducted the next business day.

What You Need

Each person engaging in the off-premise sign business shall file with the Sign Administrator a certified list of all off-premise sign structures owned by him as of January 1 of each year. This list shall be filed on or before January 1 of each year and shall describe the location, type, dimensions, facing direction and permit number of each off-premise sign structure.

Renew Online

Sign Operating Permits renew annually & are invoiced via mail. Renewals cannot be billed or paid in advance of annual invoicing. Late payments may incur additional fees.  To pay sign operating permit renewals online click here.

Renew by Mail
  1. Return the invoice amount by check (money order, cashier check, business check) to:

    City of Houston - Sign Administration
    P.O. Box 2688
    Houston, TX 77252-2688
     
  2. Once payment is processed a permit receipt will be mailed to the address on file.
Conditions & Exceptions

Any outstanding balances must be paid prior or at the same time the permit is renewed. A zero due balance is required to generate the invoice.