Frequently Asked Questions

This content is informational only. Refer to the Outdoor Advertising Act on the Laws, Regulations, and Agreements web page for specific statute and regulatory information. For more information, please contact ODA by email at or at (916) 654-6473.

What is the difference between a license and a permit? 
Your outdoor advertising license ID number is similar to your driver’s license ID number and is specific to you and is separate from each vehicle(s) registration renewal. Each permitted display is much like each vehicle you own and can be sold or transferred to another party but does not affect the driver’s license ID in any way.
How do I obtain a permit?

All companies or individuals applying for a permit must first acquire an outdoor advertising license. View the License web page for more information.

Permits can be obtained by submitting a completed Outdoor Advertising Display Permit application. View the Permit Requirements web page for more information.

Do I need to renew my permit each year?

Customers with ten or more permitted displays may pay on an annual basis on or before December 31. (CCR Section 2424(a)(2)(A))

Customers with nine or fewer permitted displays pay on the 5-year billing cycle (currently 2019 to 2023) on or before December 31 of the last year in which the payment is due (CCR 2424(a)(2)(B)).

What if I am unable to acquire a building permit from the proper local authority?
ODA will accept either a building permit or an action of a local agency when applying for a permit. If neither can be provided, ODA must deny the application (CCR Section 2422(4)).
What are the requirements to put up political signs for an election?
The Statement of Responsibility for Political Signs form must be completed and submitted to ODA. View the Political Signs web page for more information.
Can I replace my permitted wooden display with metal in order to improve the quality?
A new permit application must be submitted as this "upgrade" is considered beyond customary maintenance (CCR Section 2270).
How do I know if I need a license or not?
If you are in the business of outdoor advertising, you are required to obtain an outdoor advertising license. View the License web page for more information. (BPC Section 5300)
Do I need to renew my outdoor advertising license each year? And how much are the fees?
Customers with six or fewer permitted displays pay the annual license renewal fee on or before June 30 in the amount of $250. (B&PC Section 5484(a))

Customers with seven or more permitted displays pay the annual license renewal fee on or before June 30 in the amount of $500. (B&PC Section 5484(b))

Can I pay my renewal fees online?
Currently, there is not an online payment system for renewal fees. Customers will be emailed license and permit renewal invoices approximately 60 days prior to the due date. Credit card payments can either be paid by phone or you can mail a check to the address provided on the invoice. No payments will be accepted by email.
Who do I contact to advertise my business on the blue (food/gas/lodging) signs along the highway?
For more information, contact the Tourists Oriented Directional Signs Program or the Specific Service (Business Logo) Sign Program to see if your business qualifies.
How do I get a copy of a permit?
Most documents maintained by ODA are available to the public upon request. Visit the Public Records Center to submit your request.
How do I transfer the permit? 
The permittee of record must sign and submit a Permit Transfer form.
Who do I contact if I have a complaint about what is being advertised on a display?
Contact the owner or operator of the display listed on the bottom edge of the display.


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