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Commercial Sign - Billboard Permit Process

The Michigan Department of Transportation issues permits to individuals looking to construct an off-premises advertising sign located adjacent to and visible from highways. Applications for these tasks are submitted and paid for online through the Michigan Permit Gateway.

A. Name of Permit or Approval
Highway Advertising Permits, Billboard Permits, Outdoor Advertising Permits

B. Statutory Authority
Public Act 106 of 1972, as amended entitled the Highway Advertising Act

C. Applicable Regulation
Administrative Rules R247.701 - R247.748

D. Summary of Permit/Approval Process

1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)
In order to construct a sign, the applicant needs to hold an interim permit.

The interim permit is used to begin the on-line application process. Exceptions are for those only looking to advertise the business they own and operate, or a non-commercial sign (religious or service club).  

 2.  Pre-Application Requirements

3.  Permit applicants shall submit the following with their online application:

  • Acknowledgment and Consent of Landowner, (Form 2495)
  • Zoning Certification, (Form 3700)
  • Permit Attachment for Sketch to Accompany Application for Permit, (Form UP-68)

4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
A complete and correct permit application shall be processed within 30 days. During the review period, the Michigan Department of Transportation will review all paperwork submitted and complete a site inspection.

5.  Operational Requirements
Each permit holder shall operate according to all permit conditions.

6.  Fees
Digital Permit Application Fee: $200
Permit Application Fee: $100

Renewal Fees:

  • 300 square feet and under: $50
  • 301 square feet and above: $80
  • Digital:  $200
  • Interim Permit:  $80
  • Renewal Late Fee: $50
  • Religious and Service Club Sign 8 square feet and under: No Charge

All fees are non-refundable according to Public Act 561 of 2002 entitled Appropriations Bill, Section 301.

 7.  Appeal Process
If a permit is denied, the permit applicant may request an Administrative Hearing in writing, within 60 days of the denial, in accordance with Public Act 306 of 1969, as amended entitled Administrative Procedures Act.

8.  Public Input Opportunities
Questions and concerns can be directed to MDOT's Development Services Division in Lansing at 517-335-2209.

Visit MDOT's Highway Advertising (Billboards) page for further information and forms.

Contact Information:
Melissa Staffeld, Highway Advertising Specialist