Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a sign? 
By submitting a written request and official documentation to the local Caltrans district office where the accident occurred. View application guidelines.
What is meant by official documentation?
Police accident reports are needed to verify the date and location of the accident. Court records are needed to verify conviction for second degree murder, or gross vehicular manslaughter. Coroner's records are needed only if the driver died and was not prosecuted to verify the presence of drugs or alcohol.
What happens if I cannot obtain accident reports, coroners, or court records?
If incomplete documentation is provided with the request and Caltrans is unable to verify the accident or conviction the sign will NOT be installed. However, other equally reliable sources for this information will be considered but must be provided by the applicant.
How is the sign cost determined?
Typically, the fee covers: verifying the request, receiving and depositing funds, ordering the sign, determining the exact location of the sign in the field, and conducting an underground utility investigation before drilling the posthole. The sign is fabricated from two sheets of aluminum (36" x 30" and 36" and 12:), which are both mounted on a single wooden post. Once the sign, post and hardware are received, specially equipped crews drive to the location and establish a work zone. The work zone involves setting up temporary construction signs and cones to separate workers from traffic. The posthole is drilled, and the sign is installed. Maintenance crews maintain the sign for seven years and replace the sign if it gets knocked down, vandalized or stolen. 
Can someone other than an immediate family member apply for a memorial sign?
Any person may request a sign if that person also submits written consent from an immediate family member.
What happens if another immediate family member objects to the sign?
If the objection is in writing, the sign will NOT be installed or if it has already been installed it will be removed. There is no additional charge for removal. There will be no refund of the original fee once the sign has been removed.
Can family, friends, or the general public be present during installation?
Normally, only qualified personnel are allowed in work zones.
Can family, friends, or the general public pull over to view the sign or get out of their vehicles?
Motorists cannot park at locations where highway signs explicitly prohibit parking. Otherwise, parked vehicles cannot block the normal flow of traffic or be left standing alongside the highway for extended periods. In the interest of public safety, Caltrans does NOT encourage motorists to park alongside state highways or get out of their vehicles. It is Caltrans' practice to remove wreaths, crosses, flowers, etc., within the state highway right-of-way to prevent these from being motorist distractions.
Can a sign be installed on a private, city or county road?
The law specifies installation on state highways. If the accident did not occur on a state highway you may want to contact the appropriate agency that has jurisdiction of the road. Caltrans will only install signs on state highways. State highways are easily identifiable on commercially available road maps of California by distinctive route shields: Interstate (red, white, and blue), State Highway (green and white), or U.S. Highway (black and white).
How long will it take to have a sign installed?
It could take up to 90 days. Once the local district office has received all of the required documentation, the approval may take 30 days for verification and field investigation. Once approved and the fee is received, it may take another 60 days for ordering, fabrication, delivery, and installation of the sign.
What happens if the sign gets vandalized, stolen or knocked down?
The initial fee covers the cost of replacing the sign one time.