WSDOT: Time to remove political signs along highways

Property owners need to remove temporary political signs visible from state highways by Fri., Nov. 12, as required by state law.

Illegal signs can limit drivers’ sight distance and litter the roadside. When Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews take time to remove illegal signs, it takes crews away from their primary duties. WSDOT asks for citizens’ help to remove their signs.

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 468-66, outlines the regulations for temporary political signs on private property visible from state highways. Property owners must consent, and the sign must be removed within 10 days following the election; can only reach a maximum size of 32 square feet in area; and must comply with any local regulations.

No signs (other than those used for traffic control) are allowed within the state right-of-way. Because it’s not always easy to know the boundaries of a state highway right-of-way, here are a few clues:

— Utility poles are typically located inside the right-of-way. So no signs between the pole and the state highway.

— Many locations also have a fence line separating the right-of-way from private property. So again, no signs between the fence and the state highway.

The best way to determine the boundary lines for a state highway right-of-way is to check with WSDOT Outdoor Advertising Specialist Pat O’Leary. He can be reached at or by calling (360) 705-7296. Be prepared to provide the state route number (I-5, SR 28, US 2, US 97, etc.) and the name of the nearest intersection or approximate milepost.