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

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.

Step 1: Submit your sign application

Once you know the submittal requirements, you are ready to complete and submit your site plan review application.

Download ​Sign Application Form

Make sure you follow the file naming standards for land use applications when preparing your files. You can submit site plan review application and documents for electronic review through online.

Plans for the sign shall be in a graphic form, that are detailed and clear enough to show compliance with the rules as outlined in the sign permit plans and documentation checklist

Step 2: Upload plans and documents

  1. Login to the Permit Application Center. Documents will not be accepted by email.

  2. You will see a dashboard with boxes showing your active permits dividided by type, e.g., development/building permits, land use actions, licenses, parking permits, etc.

  3. Click the desired permit number in the box.

  4. Click the [Add/Upload] button in the Attachments section.

  5. Upload files by clicking the [Choose Files] button or by dragging and dropping files into the dashed area,

  6. When you are done selecting files, click the [Upload] button. 

  7. After the upload finishes, a message appears showing the result of your upload.

  8. Click the [OK] button to return to permit details page.

  9. You should receive a confirmation email message within 30 minutes.

Step 3: Pay online

  1. Login to the Permit Application Center.

  2. If you are renewing a permit or license, click the Renew link. You need to complete the renewal process before you can pay the renewal fee. 

  3. If you are paying an existing permit, click the Make Payment link. 

  4. Click the box in the Check column to the left of the item(s) you want to pay.

  5. Click the [Make Payment] button.

  6. You will be transferred to the bank’s payment page to complete your payment.

  7. As a convenience, the bank’s payment page is filled-in with your name and address information as it appears in our permitting system. If you choose to pay with a credit card, you must ensure that the name and address on the screen matches your credit card billing name and address. You can type any necessary changes on the bank’s payment page.

Example of permanent sign.

Contact us

Permit Application Center Planning Desk
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
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