Apply for a Permanent Sign Permit

​If you want to install, enlarge, alter, or move a sign, you will need to get a permit. [Salem Revised Code (SRC) Chapter 900]

​Sign Application Form

Types of permanent signs

A permanent sign is a sign that is permanently attached to a building, structure, or the ground and is intended to be used for an ongoing, indefinite period of time. Examples of permanent signs include the following:

  • Wall signs include:

    • Building directory means a sign giving the name and room number of the occupants of a building.

    • Directional sign means a sign designed to be read by a person on the premises on which the sign is located, and used only to identify and locate an office, entrance, exit, telephone, or similar place, service, or route.

    • Interior sign means a permanent sign located inside an enclosed building or structure, regardless of whether the sign is visible from the exterior of the building.

  • Freestanding sign means a sign supported by one or more upright poles or braces, or placed upon a foundation, in or upon the ground and wholly detached from or only incidentally attached to a building or structure.

  • Hanging or under marquee sign means a hanging sign that is attached to the underside of a marquee, canopy, portico, porte-cochere, or other similar overhanging structure.

  • Outdoor advertising/billboard sign means a sign which is a substantial permanent structure that is either a wall sign or freestanding sign, with a display surface or surfaces normally and customarily used primarily for painting or posting a display thereon at periodic intervals, and which is located on a lot or parcel that is not owned or leased by the person constructing, erecting, or using the sign.

  • Projecting sign means a sign, other than a wall sign, that projects beyond the building frontage or building face to which it is attached. "Projecting" means the distance that the sign extends from the building frontage or building face.

  • Roof sign means a sign erected upon or painted upon the roof of a building, canopy, portico, or marquee.

  • Vehicle viewing sign means a freestanding sign or a wall sign that is intended to be seen by a person doing business from the vehicle accessway while the person is within the person’s motor vehicle.

  • Painted wall sign means a sign painted on or attached to a wall or parapet of a building or structure, sign tower, or the face or end of a marquee or canopy, with the sign face parallel to, and projecting not more than eighteen inches from, the plane of the wall, parapet, face, or end.

Permit exceptions

The following activities do not require a sign permit:

  • Changing of copy on a sign specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy.

  • Painting, repainting, cleaning, and normal maintenance and repair of a sign, where no substantial structural alteration is made.

The following signs do not require a sign permit, but are otherwise regulated:

  • Temporary signs not located in the public right-of-way.

  • Signs for dwelling units authorized under SRC 900.185(a).

  • Vehicle directional signs which are freestanding signs or wall signs that designates an automobile entrance onto or exit from property.

Apply for a permit

Apply for a permanent sign permit by bringing the following to the Permit Application Center:

Sign permits shall be valid for 180 days after the date of issuance. The Planning Administrator may grant a one-time extension for a sign permit, not to exceed 90 days, upon showing that there was reasonable cause for the delay and that the construction, erection, alteration, or other work still complies with the rules.

Contact us

Permit Application Center Planning Desk
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mailing address:
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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