Sign Permits

 Temporary Signs

How to Apply

Get information on Temporary Sign License Applications

 Permanent Signs

Getting Started

Your ability to develop your property is dependent on the Land Use By-laws specific to the region you live in. Halifax is divided into several zones, please refer to the Interactive Property Information map to identify which By-law zone governs your property. From the map you can directly access the By-laws for your zone.

Businesses installing on-site permanent signage are required to first obtain a Permit for a Sign. Permanent signs can include projection signs, fascia signs,  ground signs, roof signs and billboard signs. Additional approvals may be required for registered heritage buildings and for signs that project into the street.

Once you're aware of the development limitations of your property, you can begin to plan your project.

Things to Know

Types of Signs:

Private Parking Lot Signs

Home- Based Business Signs

Commercial Business Signs

Billboard Installation: To erect a sign advertising a business, products or services, not on the same lot the building is located.

Fascia Sign Installation: Required for a sign attached to and parallel to a wall of a building. This also includes signs located on a parapet, mansard roof and painted signs

Ground Sign Installation: Required for on-site permanent ground signs that are affixed to the ground by a self-supporting structure and has a permanent foundation below grade or above grade.

Projection Sign Installation: Required for a sign attached to a building wall and projecting horizontally from a building at a right angle. Additional approvals may be required for registered heritage buildings and for signs that project into the street. 

Roof Sign Installation: Required for a sign entirely supported by the roof structure. This does not include the sign erected on a parapet or a mansard roof as those are covered under a Fascia Sign Installation permit.

*Note: For Variable message signs, a Variable Message Sign Application is required. The Variable Sign Application guide is also available for reference. 

Depending on the location of the permanent sign, other permits may be required such as: Right of Way (ROW) Development Permit.
The municipality now has an Annual Sign License that allows contractors to do emergency and routine repair and maintenance on signs without requiring a ROWD permit. You must apply for and be granted an Annual Sign License to be exempt from the ROWD Permit. 

A Sign Permit expires 2 years from date of issue.

Common Questions

Is a sign permit always required for installing a sign?
Yes, a sign permit is required to install each new sign and will most likely require an ROWD permit for its installation.

Why is a sign considered a commercial permit?
It's commercial because signs are for businesses, and businesses are considered commercial land use.

How long will it take for my permit to be issued? 
Permit Volume and Processing Times are published every month on

Required Documents

Supporting documents are always required as part of making a permit application: 

Sign Plan
A drawing showing the sign face, including the sign message and dimensions of the sign, is required for all sign types. 

Ground signs or signs attached to buildings must include an elevation drawing for each face of the building to which a sign will be attached, and must include:
- Sign dimensions (height and width)
- Graphic representation of the proposed sign.
- Dimensions of the exterior wall with all window and door openings indicated
- For projection or encroaching signs, the height of the sign from finished grade 

Sign Construction Plan 
All signs must include a sign construction plan, which must be sealed by the Sign Association of Canada or a professional engineer, and include:
- Mechanical fastening detail and/or base design detail stamped by the Sign Association of Canada or a professional engineer
- Details of sign illumination 

Site Plan
The site plan must include the building footprint with the proposed sign location and setback to the property line.

Photos (Optional)

Variable Messaging Sign
Variable Message Sign Application form is required if the message is variable.

Document Naming
Automated workflows have been built to expedite the application process when customers use the document naming convention.  If these Document names are not used during the application phase, the applicant will be required to manually assign the correct document type to each document so the system will know what document has been submitted.


Required Inspections

There are discretionary inspections for signs.

View the important inspection-related information sheet (PDF).


For Sign Permit fees and a complete list of fee rates, please see the Permit Fees page.

Payment Options
Full payment for the permit must be made at the time of application submission.

Payment can be made online during the application process online using a credit card.

In Person
If you prefer to pay in person you can visit our Planning & Development Counter at:
5251 Duke St, 3rd Floor, Suite 300, Duke Tower, Halifax
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday to Friday, excluding Holidays

Apply Online

To install a sign you're going to apply for a SIGN PERMIT.

Our new online system allows you to apply for permits 24/7 through your personal customer portal account.

To apply for permits online:

1. You need to register for a customer portal account
2. If you are a contractor, you will need to create your contractor profile.
3. Ensure you have all of the information required before you apply for your permit. Refer to the Before You Begin Checklist.
4. Learn how to Navigate the Customer Portal.
5. For additional support, refer to our quick guide on how to Apply for a Permit Online.
6. If required, fill in a Variable Message Sign Application

Visit the applying for a permit page to view a library of support documents, videos and common questions to help you best use the customer portal. 

Apply Online