Political Yard Signs Rules: California Regulations You Need to Know


During an election season, our right to express our opinions is a powerful thing.

And — while the United States is a place that honors and upholds each person’s right to free speech — each state has its own unique set of guidelines that navigate the delicate balance between personal expression and public order.

This is clearly seen in California and the rules and regulations that govern political campaign signs in this state.

Key Takeaway
  • It’s crucial for campaign teams and supporters to understand yard sign regulations in California to avoid legal issues.
  • Obtaining proper permission from property owners and ensuring that signs are placed in accordance with property rights is essential.
  • Yard signs must be positioned in a way that they do not obstruct visibility for pedestrians and drivers.

California is a state that takes its election process seriously and this can be seen in the ordinances that govern campaign signs.

From permission needed and property rights to safety considerations and consequences for noncompliance, every campaign manager and politician should be aware of what can and can’t be done with political signs in the state of California.

The Golden State: Basic Guidelines for Election Signs in the State of California

Like most US states, California’s elections are a time for citizens to practice democracy and vote for the candidates they believe will do the best job of representing and governing their state.

That said, California has also enacted certain laws to make sure that free speech is protected and that other constitutional rights are as well.

While the following guidelines can give a political candidate or campaign worker a good idea of the most common regulations in the Golden State, a full and up-to-date explanation of all political campaign sign rules can be found on the California Secretary of State’s Website.


What’s Allowed and Where: Permission and Property Rights in California

In California, the permission to place signs on various properties is governed by specific laws that protect the interests of property owners.

While these laws are subject to change (updates can usually be found on the California election board website, as well as here) some of the most common regulations are as follows:

  • Only private property owners can give permission for election signs. While placing signs on private property is allowed in California, only the owner of said private property can give permission to place the election sign. Signs can be removed (and fines may result) if a sign is put on someone’s personal property without their permission to do so.
  • There should be a clear purpose for the sign. Any temporary political campaign signs that are placed on public property must advocate for a specific outcome in an upcoming election. It should clearly support or oppose a candidate, measure, or proposition that will be decided by voters.
  • Timeframes need to be respected. Political signs should not be erected more than 90 days before the election date and must be taken down within 10 days following the election. This timeframe helps to limit the duration of political advertising and reduce visual clutter.
  • Be aware of size restrictions. Many California towns and jurisdictions have size limits for political signs. These limitations are usually in place to prevent excessively large signs that could distract drivers or obstruct views, causing safety concerns in communities.
  • Placement regulations need to be followed. Temporary political signs are prohibited within the right-of-way of any highway in California. They also cannot be placed within 660 feet of the edge of, and visible from, the right-of-way of a classified landscaped freeway.

As with most states, California is a state that supports its citizens’ freedom of speech and knows the value of personal expression, particularly during election season.

That said, you will always want to double-check the state’s current ordinances to make sure that any political signage that you design will not be removed for reasons that are deemed unlawful during a scheduled election season.

Safety First! Election Sign Compliance Matters in California

Ensuring that campaign signs do not obstruct visibility or pose safety hazards is a crucial priority in California.

Visibility of permanent road and traffic signs is a key factor in road safety, and political signs can’t hinder that.

In California, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules is also essential for political sign placement. Temporary political signs must meet specific criteria, such as not being larger than 32 square feet and not being placed within the right-of-way of any highway or too close to the edge of a landscaped freeway.

These regulations ensure that political yard signs are accessible to everyone without causing visual clutter or safety issues.


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Don’t Be in Denial: The Consequences of Non-Compliance in California

Placing a political yard sign in ana that is prohibited by state and local laws may result in nothing more than the political sign being removed and/or a warning being issued to the private property owner or the campaign headquarters.

On the other hand, unauthorized temporary political signs can also result in fines being issued if the grievance is substantial or if a warning has been issued to the person placing the sign or the property owner in the past.

Let’s look at things you can do to ensure your political signs are in compliance with California law before they are placed in public.

  • Check Local Ordinances: Verify with local authorities for any specific regulations regarding the placement on private, county, or city property, as well as the size and number of signs that are allowed in a specific area.
  • Observe ADA Compliance: Ensure signs are accessible to individuals with disabilities, including proper mounting height and tactile lettering.
  • Avoid Obstructions: Place signs in locations that do not obstruct visibility or pose safety hazards.
  • Respect HOA Rules: If living in a homeowners association (HOA), adhere to any additional rules set by the HOA regarding political signs.
  • File a Statement of Responsibility: For temporary political signs, file a Statement of Responsibility certifying who will be responsible for removing the sign after the election.
  • Size Limitations: Keep temporary political signs no larger than 32 square feet and ensure they are removed within 10 days after the election.

By following these steps, you will avoid fines, personal penalties, and/or campaign penalties that could result from non-compliance with yard sign rules in California.

Easy Signs: Your Printing Partner for All Your Political Signage Needs

Navigating the intricate landscape of campaign rules and regulations can be complex, but Easy Signs wants to make your signage choice a breeze.

That’s why we offer:

  • High-Quality Materials: Our signs are crafted from premium Signflute™ Corrugated Plastic, ensuring durability and longevity throughout the entire campaign season.
  • UV and Weather-Resistant Printing: Come rain or shine, our signs stand strong, thanks to our UV and weather-resistant printing techniques.
  • Vibrant Full-Color Printing: With Latex digital print technology, your campaign’s colors will pop, capturing the attention of every passerby.
  • Custom Sign Sizes: From the compact 6″ x 6″ to the commanding 36″ x 24″, we tailor to your campaign’s scale.
  • Unique Shapes: Why stick to squares? We can cut signs into circles, triangles, hexagons—geometric shapes that may better suit your campaign’s spirit.
  • Eco-Friendly Option: Post-campaign, our signs are completely recyclable, because we care about the environment as much as you do.

At Easy Signs, we’re not just printing signs…we are crafting beacons of success for your campaign.

When the time comes to make your political statement, Easy Signs is here to ensure it’s heard loud and clear.

Are you ready to plant the seeds of victory?

Reach out to Easy Signs, and let’s cultivate your best campaign yard signs and season yet!

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  • Promoting the superior quality of Signflute™ Corrugated Plastic material for durability and visibility.
  • Stressing the vibrant full-color printing and eco-friendly recyclability.

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