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Outdoor Advertising

There are approximately 19,000 permitted signs along controlled routes in Illinois. Outdoor advertising is any sign (from billboard to small banner) that is to be controlled (permitted) by IDOT per Title 92 Illinois Administrative Code Part 522 - Control of Outdoor Advertising Adjacent to Primary and Interstate Highways. Signs along any controlled route, which advertise anything that is not on the same property of the sign, are required to obtain a permit prior to being erected. If a sign is erected without a permit the sign is illegal and must be removed (at the owner's expense).

This section outlines the process by which to legally Advertise Adjacent to Primary and Interstate Highways. Before processing, please note:

  • IDOT does not own or lease any advertising structure. The department only regulates advertising. To lease space for advertising, please contact an industry representative.

  • Most local authorities (counties and municipalities) also have regulations or ordinances regarding signage in their jurisdiction. It is your responsibility to follow local laws. Approval of a sign application from the state does not exempt the applicant from any local ordinances or guarantee approval from the local authority having jurisdiction. Likewise, local approval does not guarantee or exempt approval from the state.

Need Help

If you have reviewed this section and FAQ's and still have questions you may email us at or call (217) 785-0808 for assistance.