Event Pole Banners

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications. Please read the instructions below on how to apply for a permit.

For construction use in the right-of-way and street improvement permits, please e-mail your completed application to SDOTPermits@seattle.gov.

For major utility permits, please e-mail your completed application to SDOTUtilPermits@Seattle.gov and be sure to use the subject line: Permit#_ProjAddress – UMP New Application / Modification Application

For all other permits, please apply online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone.

Street Use Permit Counter: 206-684-5253

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Traffic and Parking Permit Counter: 206-684-5086

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For Check Payments

Make the check out to City of Seattle, SDOT

In a memo on the check include:  St Use, permit #, project address

Mailing Address:

SDOT, Street Use
PO Box 34996 Suite 2300
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

How do I get a permit for event pole banners?

This permit allows permittees to install event advertisement banners on City-owned utility poles. Permits are applicable for one year at a time and may be renewed annually.You can apply for this permit on the Seattle Services Portal. Use the button on the right to sign in!

Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use" and navigate to and select the "Short Term Use" and "Temporary Activation" record type. Funding may be available through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods' Neighborhood Matching Fund or, if located in a neighborhood business district, through the Office of Economic Development's Only in Seattle Grants.

Apply at least 4-6 weeks before you need to install your banners. Spring and summer are busy seasons for banner requests, so get your application in as early as possible!

Required documents:

  • Pole map (template available here), including the streets where the poles are located and the vertical pole numbers located on the street side of the pole (provide a photo or other way to identify the pole if no pole number is available)
  • Design proof(s) complete with size and colors
  • Certificate of insurance (refer to CAM 2102)
  • Specifications for your installation system if installing brackets
  • Historic/Landmark District Certificate of Approval (if in an historic district)

Banner design guidelines:

  • Use simple and bold graphics
  • Keep your text short
  • Bright colors that contrast each other provide the best visual impact
  • Install banners closely spaced together at similar heights to create a strong visual impact

Pole eligibility:

  • Wood poles are eligible for use if they support streetlights only, with only one wire attached to pole
    • For mounting on wood streetlight poles, you must use lag bolts. The lag bolts must be the same diameter or 1/16 - inch less than the bolt hole diameter. The bolts should be stainless steel and 4 inches in length. Once installed on wood streetlight poles, the mounting hardware must be left in place. The use of clamps or banding on wood poles is not permitted.
  • Poles must not have traffic control signals, pedestrian crossing signals, or art installations
  • Metro poles or poles with Metro attachments must have prior approval from Metro before receiving your permit

Banner dimensions and installation specifications:

  • Mount your banner at least 2 feet above any existing signs
  • Banners should not interfere with the visibility of traffic signals or signs, or with identified historic or artistic installations
  • If banner is on sidewalk side of pole, make sure it is at least 8 feet above the sidewalk and 18 inches back from the face of the curb
  • If banner is on curb side of pole, follow the directions in the diagrams below:
    • When the edge of the banner is more than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 8 feet over the sidewalk.
    • When the edge of the banner is less than 18 inches from the curb, the minimum clearance for the bottom of the banner is 14 feet over a parking lane or 16.5 feet over a travel lane. The banner may hang over the street.

Diagram of a utility pole indicating the banner top is 3 feet or more from the luminary ballast, the edge of the banner is more than 18 inches to the curb, and at least 8 feet  over the sidewalk. A diagram of a utility pole showing a pole banner with less than 18 inches to the curb. In these cases, there must be a minimum clearance of 14 feet over a parking lane or 16 feet 6 inches over a travel lane. The banner may hang over the street.

For more information, please refer to our Pole Banner Permitting Guidelines.