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​Outdoor Advertising Control

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PennDOT controls the placement of outdoor advertising devices (OAD) along many roadways as required by State and Federal laws and regulations, which is overseen by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) based on the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. This operation helps keep highways safe for drivers and helps ensure Pennsylvania receives Federal funding for road projects.

Please see below for an explanation of the areas under the Department's control, an overview of each type of OAD, and the web map of affected routes.

Right-of-Way Defined

Right-of-way (ROW) is the real property rights obtained for a transportation-related facility funded under Title 23 of the United States Code. It can include shoulders, berms, and additional area needed for highway purposes. The size of the right-of-way varies between road segments and can be provided by PennDOT upon request.

Inside the Right-of-Way

For the most part, only official traffic control signs approved by the Department are legally allowed inside the right-of-way, including Logo Signs and Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs (TODS).

Additional signs that can be placed in the right-of-way with PennDOT approval include:

  • Signs and banners approved by a resolution from the municipality that comply with PennDOT requirements given in Publication 46.
  • Historical markers and custom municipal name signs that comply with Publication 46.

Other advertising devices found within the legal right-of-way may be removed immediately by PennDOT.

Outside the Right-of-Way

Signs on private land outside the right-of-way are regulated along controlled routes, which are interstates and highways in the enhanced National Highway System designated by the Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1971.

In these areas, sign owners must obtain an outdoor advertising device permit from PennDOT. Applications for a permit can be submitted online through the Highway Beautification Management System (HBMS) or by mail. For more information, please read about the different types of OADs below and refer to the guidance in the Outdoor Advertising Control Outreach Guide.

View the GIS web map at the bottom of this page to see which roadways are controlled by PennDOT.

Types of Outdoor Advertising Devices

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