Signs: Information & Complaints


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SignsSigns are allowed on residential properties subject to zoning rules, but signs are not allowed on roads and medians. Learn more below about how to report a complaint about a sign.

Signs on Roads & Medians

Starting July 1, 2013, Fairfax County will remove illegal signs from selected major roads under a new program.

State law (Va. Code Ann. § 33.1-373) prohibits the posting of signs on state rights-of-way with limited exceptions. Signs may not be posted on any rock, stone, tree, fence stump, pole, mile-board, milestone, danger-sign, guide-sign, guidepost, highway sign, historical marker, building or other object lawfully within the limits of any highway.

Signs on Private Property

Signs are allowed on residential properties — but a permit is required. The county's zoning rules put restrictions on the size, location, and, in certain instances, the length of time signs can be posted. Building or electrical permits also may be required depending on the sign.

  • Complaints: Use the online complaint form, or call the Department of Code Compliance at 703-324-1300, TTY 711.
  • Permits: Call the Department of Planning and Zoning Inspections Branch at 703-324-4300, TTY 711, to apply for a sign permit.

For more information on what's allowable, read the county’s Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 12).

Political Signs

State law prohibits putting political campaign signs on roads and medians.

Political signs are allowed on private property with some limitations. Under the county's zoning rules, they may only be put up 75 days before an election, and they must be taken down within 15 days after the election. Furthermore, they may not exceed 32 square feet in size, and free-standing signs may not be taller than 8 feet high.

During the times the polls are open and ballots are being counted, political signs may be placed outside official polling places for a maximum of 24 hours, but they are not permitted within 40 feet of any entrance of any polling place, according to state law (24.2-604).

Traffic/Street/Pipestem Signs

Because roads are owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, this state agency is responsible for taking care of traffic signs and signals. To report problems, call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623), TTY 711, or use the VDOT work request form.

However, street name signs are maintained by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services' sign shop. Call 703-877-8200, TTY 711, to report problems.


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