Reminder to Businesses – Permits Required for Sidewalk Signs

Right: Photo of a sample sidewalk sign from

Sidewalk signs are a great way to draw people into your business; whether they display the daily lunch special, a new product, or just the name and contact information for the business. The BID would like to remind businesses that all signwalk signs are required to have a permit from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). If you do not have a permit for your sign, you may be asked to take it down. The regulation on free standing signs in public spaces is as follows:

606.1 It shall be unlawful to place a freestanding sidewalk sign on public space without a permit or authorization under the valet space regulations set out at 18 DCMR 2409

606.2 Permits may be issued only for valet parking signs and signs authorized under 606.3., 606.6.

606.3 The owner or occupant of a business premis may, during the time the establishment is open for business, use the space in front of the building, up to three feet (3 ft.) from the building wall, for the display of one (1) freestanding sidewalk sign (A-frame, sandwich board or other portable unlit sign).

Click here to view the full document of the proposed regulations that cover signs. Proposed regulations on signs in the public space begin on page 16. For questions, contact DCRA at 202-442-4400 or visit