The revised code of Washington (RCW) 47.42, the Highway Advertising Control Act, regulates signing on Interstate highways, Primary highways, and highways that are part of the Scenic and Recreational system. Signs erected on private property adjacent to these highways must comply with the Highway Advertising Control Act, rules contained in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 468-66, and applicable local agency sign codes.
In accordance with WAC 468-66-050, Sign Classifications and Specific Provisions, temporary political campaign signs are identified and regulated as a type of on-premise sign intended to expresses a property owner’s endorsement of a political candidate or initiative. Prior to placing signs, WSDOT recommends checking with the property owner for permission to place the sign and to determine property line locations. Campaign signs are allowed under the following regulations:
1) Temporary political campaign signs are limited to a maximum size of thirty-two square feet
2) Temporary political campaign signs must be removed within ten days following the election
3) Sign installers must have permission of the underlying property owner prior to placing signs
4) Temporary political campaign signs are subject to all other applicable provisions of RCW47.42 and WAC 468-66 that pertain to Type 3 on-premise signs
In addition to the above restrictions, the erection of temporary political campaign signs within the right-of- way of all state highways is prohibited. Accordingly, signs placed within the right-of-way of any state highway are subject to removal by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Also, RCW 47.36.180(1) states in part that it is unlawful to erect any structure, sign, or device visible from a city street, county road, or state highway the simulates any directional, warning, or danger sign likely to be mistaken for such a sign. Therefore, a campaign sign cannot be designed in a manner that resembles an official traffic control sign.
If you should have any questions about the placement of campaign signs along state highways, please call (360) 705-7282.
We sincerely hope that candidates for public office will observe the laws and regulations enacted to limit driver distraction and protect and preserve the roadside beauty of our state. Thank you in advance for your courtesy in this matter.