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Outdoor Advertising Rules and Regulations

Can I use the flashing arrow on my portable sign?
If your sign is within 100 feet of your business and off State property, the light may burn constantly. Flashing lights are distracting to motorists and considered a traffic hazard. Under no circumstances may flashing lights or signs be used.

Can I put an off-premise advertising sign next to the interstate highway?
NO. State laws prohibits any type of off-premise advertising signs adjacent to Maryland's interstate highways.

Are weekend real estate directional signs allowed along State highways?
NO. Although some local governments allow , weekend real estate directional signs on County maintained roads, the Annotated code of Maryland prohibits these signs on any State highway numbered routes. SHA works closely with the Maryland State Police to control this illegal activity, since these signs can distract the traveling motorist and litter our highways.

I am a candidate for public office. Do I need a State permit to advertise?
NO. Political signs do not require a permit, but they may not be placed in the median or within SHA right-of-way, just as other signs are prohibited. Signs may not be posted more than 45 days prior to any election. Unsuccessful candidates in the primary election, must remove their signs within 15 days after the primary. All signs must be removed within 15 days after the general election. Political signs are prohibited along interstate highways.

Will I need to display the SHA sign permit on my sign?
YES, a numbered red and white aluminum permit tag will be issued to you. The permit must be displayed on the roadside of the sign, at all times. Replacement tags cost $5.00 each, if lost or stolen. Also the name and address of the sign owner must be displayed on the sign structure.

Do I need an Outdoor Advertising License?
Yes. If you are in the business of renting, maintaining, or erecting outdoor advertising signs along State highways. SHA license fees vary and depend on the number of structures erected. Out of State applicants must also obtain a $1,000.00 Surety Bond, before the license is issued.

This pamphlet is not intended to replace Federal regulations or the laws of Maryland relating to outdoor advertising. For specific questions, refer to the Annotated Code of Maryland, Sections 8-701 thru 8-749.

For more information, please write or phone the District office nearest you:


District Offices

(When calling our district offices, please ask for the outdoor advertising representative)

Eastern shore area:



(410) 677-4043 or 800-825-4742




(410) 778-3061 or 800-637-9740

Southern Maryland:



(410) 841-1003 or 800-331-5603





Central Maryland:



(410) 321-2780 or 800-962-3077

Western Maryland:



(301) 624-8122 or 800-635-5119




(301) 729-8440 or 800-760-7138

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