Department of Transportation,
Highway Division Chapter 734
Caption: Implementation of new regulations
for Digital Outdoor Advertising Signs
Order No.: HWD 9-2011(Temp)
Filed with Sec. of
Certified to be
Effective: 9-29-11 thru 3-26-12
Rules Adopted: 734-060-0007
Rules Amended: 734-060-0000
Subject: Legislation authorizing digital billboards (SB 639)
becomes effective September 29, 2011. The temporary adoption of these rules
will allow the agency to begin processing applications for digital billboards
on the effective date, while undertaking the permanent rule adoption.
Rules Coordinator: Lauri Kunze—(503) 986-3171
Outdoor Advertising Sign
(1) Application forms. An application for a sign permit
under the Oregon Motorist Information Act (OMIA) is made by completing and
submitting the appropriate form, attaching to the form all documents necessary
to show the application meets the requirements of the law, and submitting the
correct fee to the Outdoor Advertising Sign Program of the Oregon Department of
Transportation. Application forms are available from the Outdoor Advertising
Sign Program. There are three different Outdoor Advertising Sign application
forms: “Standard Outdoor Advertising Sign Permit Application” for new permits
for outdoor advertising signs that preexisted the law change on May 30, 2007,
relocations and reconstructions of such permitted signs; “Digital Billboard
Outdoor Advertising Sign Application” for digital permits newly issued under
ORS 377.710, or relocation and reconstruction of such permitted signs and
“Application for Transit Bench or Shelter Sign” for signs on bus/transit
benches and bus/transit shelters. The Department may deny a permit application
if the applicant does not use the correct form.
of sign laws. The Department will make available copies of all state sign
statutes, administrative rules, federal statutes, federal regulations, and
federal-state agreements in effect. The Department may charge for the copies at
the rate established by law for public records requests, and may require
prepayment. The Department may also provide these documents by e-mail, web
site, or in other forms for the convenience of the public and the Department.
(3) Summary of regulations. To assist potential permit
applicants and the general public, the Department will make available a summary
of sign permit regulations. The summary does not bind the Department to the
items listed or waive its right and duty to enforce all requirements under the
(4) Contents of applications for Standard Outdoor
Advertising Signs and Digital Billboard Outdoor Advertising Signs. To be
complete the application must include the following.
(a) Application form Part 1: Applicant Information,
Sign Specifications. Information must be complete and accurate for applicant,
sign builder, purpose of application, description, township/range/section/tax
lot, highway route number or name and side of highway, how site is marked, name
and address of property owner, and why the sign will be an “outdoor advertising
sign.” The location boxes should be completed to the best of applicant’s
ability to enable the Department to find the site.
(b) Application form Part 2: Certification of
Applicant. The application form must be signed and dated by the applicant,
certifying the information provided by applicant is accurate and has not been
changed after the local government certification (see section (c) below). If
the applicant is a corporate or other business entity the individual signing
must include their title or role so as to indicate the authority to sign for
(c) Application form Part 3: Certification of Local
Jurisdiction. After completing Part 1, applicant must submit the complete
application form to the local jurisdiction for zoning and local compliance
information. The local official must complete all of Part 3 and, if relevant,
attach a letter of explanation of local code compliance. The local official
must sign and date Part 3.
(d) Fee. The fee is based on square footage as
described in administrative rule. To be complete applicant must submit the
correct application fee. The Sign Program does not accept cash, debit or credit
cards; checks must be made out to Oregon Department of Transportation.
(e) Written proof of landowner consent. Upon adoption
of this rule, an application for a reconstruction permit, relocation permit, or
a new preexisting sign permit must include written proof the landowner consents
to have applicant maintain the proposed sign. The document must be signed by
the landowner and the application filed during the base term of the agreement,
or during a renewal term that is automatic or at applicant’s election. If
during a renewal period applicant must certify that the renewal was exercised
and continues in effect. Examples of acceptable documents are the land lease,
land lease plus applicant’s certification as described above, land lease plus
owner’s written confirmation that an extension is being exercised, or a current
memo signed and dated by land owner stating that applicant has permission to
put the sign at the specified location. Payment information need not be
included unless it is the evidence that compensation is exchanged making it an
outdoor advertising sign.
(f) Business License. The applicant and the sign builder
must have a current outdoor advertising sign business license as required under
(g) Relocation permit application. For a relocation
application, if the zoning was first commercial or industrial after 1/1/1973,
or the local jurisdiction cannot determine the date, the applicant must submit
a sketch or other document showing the site is within 750 feet of a commercial
or industrial area to comply with ORS 377.767(3).
(h) Pre-existing sign permit application. For an
application for a new permit for an outdoor advertising sign under HB 2273
(2007), the following additional items are required:
(A) Complete the application form “Supplement for
Pre-existing Sign Permit” and sign it before a notary public;
(B) Submit documents demonstrating each of your claims,
such as a lease showing the sign was posted for compensation; and
(C) Pursuant to ORS 377.712(1), include information
demonstrating that applicant was ignorant of the law’s permit requirement for
(5) Digital Billboard applications must also include
the following information:
(a) When being reconstructed or relocated for the first
time as a digital billboard the applicant must provide the eligible permit(s)
or relocation credit(s) being retired pursuant 377.700 to 377.840 and OAR
(b) Whether the proposed sign is a “Poster” or
“Bulletin” sign as described in (3).
(c) Emergency malfunction contact information including
name, phone number along with proposed response procedure to possible
(d) Whether or not a renewable energy source is
available and being utilized. If yes, list the source including name and
contact information of company to provide stated energy source. If none, then
the applicant must complete the affvidavit attesting that no renewable source
(e) Specification sheet for the electronic light
emitting diodes to be used in proposed sign.
(6) Transit Bench or Shelter Application. For an
application for an outdoor advertising sign on a transit shelter or bench under
Oregon Administrative Rules Division 60 or 65, include official documentation
that the site is at a bus or transit stop on a city or urban transit system
(a) The Outdoor Advertising Sign Program’s mailing
address is: Oregon Department of Transportation, Right of Way Section –
Sign Program, 4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, MS #2, Salem OR 97302. The
Sign Program receives hand deliveries at 4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE,
Salem Oregon. The Sign Program receives facsimiles at 503-986-3625. The Sign
Program receives electronic mail at OutdoorAdvertising@ odot.state.or.us.
(b) The Department requires original signatures and
original initials to any changes on the application form. Therefore the
Department will not accept the application form by electronic transmission
(including facsimile). The Department may accept other documents by electronic
transmission. The Department will not accept any changes made verbally; all
changes must be in writing.
(c) The Department will indicate on each application
document the date and time received. Application materials received by mail
will be treated as received at the time a representative of the sign program
physically receives the program’s mail for that day. Application materials
received in person, by fax, or by electronic transmission will be treated as
received when a representative of the sign program physically receives those
(d) The Department will only process applications that
are complete. An application is complete when the Outdoor Advertising Sign
program receives the signed application form including all necessary
information, all documents necessary for issuance of a permit, and the correct
application fee. Within 15 calendar days of receiving an application the
Department will provide to the applicant written notice whether the application
is complete. If the Department determines the application is complete, the
notice will state the application’s priority among all pending, complete applications.
If the Department determines any information provided is incorrect, the
application is not complete. The Department may rescind a notice of
completeness and priority date if it later determines that information provided
by applicant is not correct.
(e) If an application is not complete, within 15
calendar days of receiving the application the Department will return the
entire application with written instructions on what is needed to complete it.
The applicant must initial any subsequent changes and, if the changes are
substantive to the local jurisdiction, must obtain a new certification from the
local jurisdiction. If the form is complete, but the application is otherwise
incomplete due to insufficient supporting documents or fee, the Department may
return the entire application with written instructions for completion, or may
hold the application and notify the applicant in writing of what is needed and
when it must be provided. Within 15 days of receiving the corrected form or
additional materials the Department will provide the applicant written
notification whether it is complete and, if complete, the priority among all
pending, complete applications. If the applicant makes any change to the
application after it is complete, the Department will change the priority date
to the date of that change. If the Department has held an incomplete
application for 60 days from date of initial receipt the application is deemed
withdrawn by the applicant. The Department will return the entire application
and refund any eligible deposited fee.
(8) Processing of complete permit application.
(a) The Department will approve or deny a permit within
60 days of the complete application’s priority date as determined under 7(d) or
(e)] if the application clearly does not conflict with another complete
(b) An application for a permit that conflicts with the
location of an expired or canceled permit will not be processed until the time
for any hearing or appeal on the latter permit has passed, unless the permit is
being canceled as a condition for issuance of the new permit.
(c) When a complete application might conflict with
another complete application due to spacing or any other reason, the
application with the earlier priority date and time takes precedence over the
later application. Subject to all other requirements of the OMIA, the
Department will issue the permit to the earlier applicant.
(d) If multiple complete applications have the same
priority date and time, and are determined by the Department to compete for the
same spot, the Department shall notify the applicants of the circumstances
within seven days of the Department’s determination. If an affected applicant
requests a contested case hearing, the matter will be determined by a single
contested case hearing under Oregon’s Administrative Procedures Act. The
Department shall refer the matter to the Office of Administrative Hearings
within seven days of an applicant’s written hearing request.
(e) If the Department does not approve or deny a permit
application within the time allowed under (8)(a), this does not require the
Department to issue a permit or require any remedy except as provided otherwise
(9) Field checks. Applicant requirements and Department
(a) When the Department determines an application is
complete, the Department will perform a field check to determine the milepoint
and all other information necessary to process the application.
(b) The applicant must place a marking at the site to
show the proposed location for the sign permit. The applicant may use a stake,
ribbon, paint, or any method or material that will allow the Department to
easily locate the site and attribute it to the applicant. If the marked site is
other than that represented to the local authority in obtaining its signature
on the application form, or is other than where the applicant actually builds
the sign, the Department may consider that a violation of ORS 377.725(10).
(c) If the Department can not locate the site it will
notify the applicant pursuant to (5)(e) above that the application is
incomplete due to incorrect information and may request reasonable action by
the applicant to identify the site.
(d) The Department will conduct a field check by
traveling to the proposed site and calculating the milepoint to the
one-hundredth of a mile or, when necessary, to the one-thousandth of a mile.
The Department may also determine the engineering station. The Department may
also make any other determination regarding the site that is relevant to the
application, such as proximity to the right of way and to a commercial or
industrial area. Once a field check has been conducted the application fee is
(e) The Department may use intersections, highway
structures, or other highway feature and its corresponding milepoint or
engineering station, to measure and calculate the milepoint of the proposed
site. Milepost markers are for the convenience of motorists and are not precise
indications of the milepoint, therefore the Department will not use milepost
markers for these calculations without other indication of accuracy.
(10) Denied Permit Applications. If the Department
denies an application, it will consider that site as conflicting with other
(a) Until the time to request a hearing elapses without
a hearing request from the applicant; or
(b) If a hearing is requested, until the time to
request an appeal on the final order has elapsed or until the final appellate
court enters a judgment on the matter, whichever is later.
(c) The Department will return the original application
and any accompanying documents when an application is denied.
(11) Issued Permits.
(a) The permit will specify the 180th day by which the
sign must be constructed.
(b) Within 190 days of permit issuance, the permittee
must notify the Department in writing if the action described in the permit has
been completed, and include at least one photograph demonstrating that
completion. For a reconstruction permit or a relocation permit based on a
relocation credit, the notice must state that the new sign has been
constructed. For a direct relocation the notice must state that the new sign
has been constructed and the former sign on which the permit was based has been
removed. If the Department has not received the notification within 180 days
the Department will alert permittee to the deficiency and the upcoming 190-day
deadline. If the permittee fails to submit the written notice and photograph
within the time allowed, the Department will cancel the permit to relocate or
reconstruct, and the permit will revert to its prior status. No fees will be
(c) “Constructed” means that the structure and all sign
faces are permanently in place and the permit plate is attached. “Removed”
means the taking down, removing, or eliminating all sign structure elements
that are visible from the state right of way
(12) This rule applies to permit applications filed
after the effective date of this rule.
Hist.: HWD 2-2009, f. 3-20-09,
cert. ef. 3-23-09; HWD 9-2011(Temp), f. 8-24-11, cert. ef. 9-29-11 thru 3-26-12
Digital Billboard Procedures
(1) As provided in ORS 377.710(6), This rule provides
for the method for implementation of new regulations for Digital Outdoor
(2) Qualification for receiving a new digital state
(a) The proposed site and sign must meet all
requirements of the OMIA pursuant to ORS 377.710(6) and 377.720(3)(d)(A), (B)
and (C), including the requirement that the message change no more frequently
than once every 8 seconds and the entire message changes in 2 seconds or less.
(b) Applicant must submit a completed application for a
digital billboard using the approved form that may be obtained by one of the
(A) Requesting from Sign Program Staff by phone at
(c) The Department of Transportation personnel must
confirm that the standing permitted Outdoor Advertising Sign being retired for
the purpose of receiving a state sign permit for a new Digital Billboard has
been removed (including structure) before the new permit will be issued. The
Department will not charge a Banking Permit Fee for the cancellation of state
sign permits retired for the purpose of receiving a new digital billboard
(d) Department of Transportation personnel must confirm
the sign including structure has been removed for any relocation credit being
retired to obtain a new Digital Billboard before a permit will be issued.
(3) The following sets forth the criteria for
determining the required relocation credits and/or standing permitted signs
that an applicant is required to retire to receive 1 new digital state sign
(a) Applicants who own 10% or less of the active
relocation credits at the time the application is submitted shall either remove
1 existing state permitted outdoor advertising sign with a display area of at
least 250 square feet or provide one active relocation credit of at least 250
square feet and retire that permit. Applicants meeting this criteria are not
limited to either “Bulletin” or “Poster” billboards.
(b) Applicants who own more than 10% of the active
relocations credits may apply for a new digital billboard permit for either a
Bulletin (14’x48’) or Poster (10’x25’). To apply the applicant is required do
(A) For a Bulletin, choose one of the three options listed:
(i) Remove 2 eligible existing state permitted
bulletins, and provide 3 active relocation credits for retirement;
(ii) Remove 1 existing state permitted bulletin, and 2
existing state permitted Posters, and provide 3 active relocation credits; or
(iii) Remove 4 existing posters and provide 3 active
(B) For a Poster, choose either of the options listed:
(i) Remove 2 existing state permitted posters, and
provide 3 active relocation credits; or
(ii) Remove 1 existing bulletin and provide 3 active
(c) For an active relocation credit to be eligible it
must be at least 250 square feet. All permits and relocation credits submitted
under these procedures will be permanently cancelled and are not eligible for
(d) The state sign permits submitted for retirement
must include the written statement notifying the Department that the “lease has
been lost or cancelled.”
(4) The Department will determine the percentage of
relocation credits owned by an applicant for a new digital billboard permit by
calculating the total number of unused relocation credits and the total number
of unused relocation credits owned by the Applicant on the day the application
(5) Two digital sign permits are required for any back
to back or V-type digital sign. A separate application is required for each
digital sign permit.
(6) The first time a “New Digital Billboard” is
permitted it is not subject to the 100-mile rule. The site of the newly
permitted billboard will become the established location for future reference.
See ORS 377.767(4)
(7) Relocation or reconstruction of permitted digital
billboards or relocation credits. The Department will issue 1 digital
relocation credit for each permitted digital sign that is removed. The issued
digital relocation credit will be for the same square footage as the permitted
digital sign that was removed. A digital relocation credit can only be used to
relocate or reconstruct a digital billboard.
(8) Use of renewable energy source. The applicant must
provide a statement with the submitted application that clarifies what, if any,
renewable energy source is available at the site and is being utilized. If
none, then a notarized statement to that effect must be included with the application.
(9) All permitted digital billboards must have a
feature that will either freeze the sign in a static position or display a full
black screen in the event of a malfunction.
(a) The applicant must provide emergency contact
information that has the ability and authority to make modifications to the
display and lighting levels in the event of emergencies or a malfunction.
(b)The Department through the Outdoor Advertising Sign
Program will notify the Sign Owner’s contact of a malfunction that has been
confirmed by ODOT personnel in the following instances:
(A) The light impairs the vision of a driver of any
motor vehicle; or
(B) The message is in violation of ORS 377.710(6) or
377.720(3)(d)(A, B &C)
(10) Measurement of light emitted from State permit
(a) The Department will take measurements of the
permitted digital billboard when notified that the sign has been constructed
and the permit plate has been installed.
(b) The Department will use an approved luminance meter
designed for use in measuring the amount of light emitted from digital
billboards using the industry standard for size and distance as follows:
Hist.: HWD 9-2011(Temp), f.
8-24-11, cert. ef. 9-29-11 thru 3-26-12
Notes 1.) This online version of the OREGON BULLETIN is provided for convenience of reference and enhanced access. The official, record copy of this publication is contained in the original Administrative Orders and Rulemaking Notices filed with the Secretary of State, Archives Division. Discrepancies, if any, are satisfied in favor of the original versions. Use the OAR Revision Cumulative Index found in the Oregon Bulletin to access a numerical list of rulemaking actions after November 15, 2010.