As the next elections approach and garage sale season ramps up, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reminding political candidates and property owners that temporary signs must conform to state sign regulations for placement along state highways.
“Each year, particularly during summer or prior to elections, we see more improperly placed temporary signs along our state highways,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Our primary concern is safety, and we want to make sure these signs do not become safety hazards by impeding anyone’s vision or creating a dangerous distraction.”
- Temporary signs must be placed more than 30 feet from the edge of the roadway or the white line along the edge on highways (US- and M-routes) without barrier-type curbs.
- On curbed sections of highway, the signs must be more than 3 feet from the back of the curb.
- Signs are not allowed within clear vision areas at intersections, areas at intersections or commercial driveways where signs would impede vision for drivers, or on freeways, including ramps.
- Any signs with either steel or wooden posts that do not meet MDOT safety standards are not allowed in the right of way.
These regulations apply to most temporary signs, including those for political campaigns, real estate, yard and garage sales, open houses and other special events.
People placing temporary signs, including political candidates and their supporters, must obtain prior approval from adjacent property owners.
Signs must be removed within 10 days after the election or event.
Some cities and townships have their own sign ordinances that are more stringent than MDOT requirements.
Temporary signs that do not meet these criteria will be removed.
Sign owners can pick up any removed signs at local MDOT offices and maintenance garages. Signs not claimed within seven days of their removal will be discarded.
Off-premises advertising signs – such as those advertising tree removal or paving services, furniture store sales, or sporting goods shows placed in locations other than where the event is occurring – are considered encroachments and will also be removed.
For more information on political sign placement standards, visit the MDOT website at
More information on highway and other outdoor advertising is available on the MDOT website at