Sign Ordinances

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The following is a summary of Virginia code language and local ordinances. The information should be considered reliable, but not guaranteed, and should not be considered legal advice. Please see the applicable code sections for further information.

The following sign information is taken from state laws that pertain to ALL jurisdictions:

1. No signs may be placed in the public right-of-way unless otherwise specified by a jurisdiction for a certain time period. In districts where signs are prohibited in the right-of-way, no special permits will be issued for signs to be placed in the right-of-way. The public right-of-way, a distance from the curb to a certain point inward, varies for every highway and street. Contact the local zoning office for specifications. Please note that a median strip is characterized as a public right-of-way.

2. Offsite signs addressing the sale, rental or lease of real estate are not permitted. However offsite directional signs may be permitted by the locality only in those locations approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Signs posted in the highway right-of-way sponsored by Adopt-A-Highway are subject to removal at all times.

3. Signs should be free-standing. They should not be posted on trees, utility poles, traffic-control signs, fire hydrants, or any other public property.

4. Reflectors or flashing lights are prohibited, and real estate signs should not be illuminated in any way.

5. Moving signs intended to attract attention (i.e. balloons, streamers, pennants, etc.) are forbidden.

6. REALTORS® should always obtain permission from home owners before they place signs on private property. (Some jurisdictions even require that written approval from the affected home owners be submitted to the Zoning Administrator.)

7. If applicable, abide by all Property Owners Association (POA) regulations in regards to sign placement.

8. REALTORS® who display signs in violation of the ordinances can be fined and signs can be removed and disposed of without notice. Violations may be punishable by a fine of up to $100 per sign. Each day that a sign is posted illegally may be considered a separate violation.

9. If counties enter into agreements with VDOT, county employees and volunteers must comply with state regulations. If a lawfully placed sign is confiscated by an employee or volunteer, the sign owner shall have the right to reclaim the sign within five business days of the date of such confiscation.

Code of Virginia, Title 33.2, Chapter 12, § 33.2-1216, § 33.2-1224, and § 33.2-1225

The following sign placement information is taken from local ordinances and is divided by locality.

Sign Ordinances

  • City of Alexandria

  • Arlington County

  • City of Fairfax

  • Fairfax County

  • City of Falls Church

  • Town of Herndon

  • Loudoun County

  • City of Manassas

  • City of Manassas Park

  • Prince William County

  • Town of Vienna