Awnings and Portable Signs

What We Do

Awning image

Awnings and portable signs can provide crucial support to businesses and provide benefits to the public such as wayfinding assistance and shelter. Through the awnings and portable signs program, we:

  • Help facilitate the permitting process for all signs in the public right of way
  • If your sign occupies the public right of way, you must pay an annual Public Space Permit fee
  • If your awning includes a business name, then the awning requires a Public Space Permit
  • Work with business owners and the public to see that signage remains safe and the right of way remains accessible for use

If you are interested in learning more about banner signage on utility poles, please visit our pole banner program page.

Program Goals

The signs and awnings program seeks to:

  • Ensure safety and mobility of the traveling public
  • Support local business development and commercial district vitality

What’s New

We are currently developing new rules for portable signs. Contact publicspace@seattle.gov for addition information.

Apply for a Permit

Signs and Graphics permit

Signs and graphics in the right of way require a Street Use annual Public Space Management Permit.

Please be aware that along with the above application, you will also need the following materials:

  • A site plan (If submitting a hard copy, 11"x17" paper size is preferred)
  • An elevation (If submitting a hard copy, 11"x17" paper size is preferred)
  • A design proof

Depending on the nature of your project, other materials may also be required.

Awnings

Awnings hanging over the public right of way require a Street Use Construction Use in the Right of Way Permit, as well as permitting and review from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. If an awning includes a business name, then the awning requires a Public Space Management Permit.

Please be aware that along with the above applications, you will also need the following materials:

  • A site plan (If submitting a hard copy, 11"x17" paper size is preferred)
  • An elevation (If submitting a hard copy, 11"x17" paper size is preferred)
  • A design proof
  • If work will be taking place on an arterial or in a “high-impact” area, and traffic will be impacted, a traffic control plan (TCP) will be required

Depending on the nature of your project, other materials may also be required.

For more information on SDCI’s awning and signage requirements, please visit their Sign, Awning, & Billboard Permit page.

Permit resources

Signs

For more information about signage code in Seattle, please see Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 15.12.

Awnings, Marquees, and Decorative Elements

For more information about Seattle’s code requirements for awnings and similar decorative elements, please see Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 15.10.