Ohio sign distribution law: where and when

Ohio Flag
According to Ohio law, only the Ohio Department of Transportation traffic signs are authorized on the state’s right of way. This means that campaign yard signs are prohibited from Ohio’s right of way.

The Department has jurisdiction over all interstates, Ohio state routes, and U.S. routes on the state’s highway system. ODOT, however, doesn’t have jurisdiction inside city and village limits.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will remove any signs that are found along the right of way. The Department’s crews will then take the lawn signs to the nearest county garage facility to be picked up by the campaign or sign’s owner. The campaign has up to thirty days to pick up the sign or risk having the yard signs thrown out.


36 thoughts on “Ohio sign distribution law: where and when

  1. In Ohio, what is the penalty for a candidate not putting their disclaimer on their yard signs? Also, can a landlord put his sign in the yard for the home I am paying rent for, without my permission?

    1. Great questions.

      As to the penalty, (U) Whoever violates section 3517.20 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars. Source: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3517

      I’m not a property lawyer, or a lawyer at all, but the second question depends upon whether you have exclusive use of your yard. If you are in an apartment complex, the answer is likely no. If you have a single family or small multi unit, there is a good sporting chance that you do. Check your lease to see what it says. If there is nothing in there about it and you think you can have a civil conversation with your landlord about it, that’s the 2nd step I’d take…. Of course, you can get more confrontational if you would like such as putting a sign out for the other guy and using that as leverage to remove both signs, contacting an attorney, etc. There may also be some state law / legal precedence that if your lease doesn’t say anything about who has use, exclusive or not, of the yard that there is a default, but that’s way out of my wheelhouse.

      Good luck!

  2. I live in a small town in Perry County. There is a person running for school board who has hung signs on the posts of stop signs and street signs. Is this legal?

  3. I thought there was a time limit regarding how long after an election signs may be displayed. Is there such a limit, and if so, does it pertain to private property?

    1. No there is no limit at the state level. There may be a local ordinances that impacts your particular community. It generally does not pertain to private property.

  4. Just voted this morning and noticed that at my polling place they had signs for 1 particular candidate all over the place in the yard. Is that allowed?

    1. It’s likely okay. Many states have rules requiring that political signs and other political activity occur so many feet from the polling place. So long as that regulation is met, it’s fine to have signs at polling places.

    1. On state roads, no. From the article:

      ‘The Ohio Department of Transportation will remove any signs that are found along the right of way. ‘

      Local roads are a different story and vary depending upon the locality.

    1. The poll workers themselves not so much, but the campaigns can so long as they abide Ohio’s regulations as to how far they need to be from the polling place.

    1. This is a great question and unfortunately the answer is yes. Here’s why:

      As a private entity, homeowners associations cannot violate your first amendment rights like a governmental entity can. That means that aside from a state law preventing homeowners associations from making restrictions on placing yard signs on private property, HOAs limit a private property owner’s ability to show support for their chosen candidate with a political sign.

      There is a little section on homeowners associations here if you want a little more information https://www.campaigntrailyardsigns.com/yard-sign-resources/election-sign-rules/.

  5. Forgot to add what the last one was. It said Ashland County Sheriff department votes no on marijuana with a giant pot leaf in the middle. These are no ordinary sings. These are 4×4 posts and big wooden signs I would estimate to be 4×8 or 4×6

  6. I’ve been very upset by political signs in a public park within the city of Ashland Ohio. Recently every time election day is near these religious nuts take over a park with their signs right on the corner of a busy intersection. I always thought you could not put political signs on public land/parks. Please tell me I’m right! Today they have 3500 crosses shoved in the ground all over the place and a HUGE sign about abortion.

    1. From a state perspective, any time. There might be a local restriction, but 9 times out of 10 not unless you’re in a city and even then there are typically few restrictions when you can put a sign on private property.

  7. I live Iin Liverpool township, Ohio. Do we have a time limit or frame when campaign signs can be in our yards. Like is it lawful to have them up now 9/20/16. Thank you

    1. Unfortunately I couldn’t find their ordinance online, so you’ll have to reach out to the municipality directly. That said, my strong hunch is that you will have no problems putting them up on your private property from 9/20 on.

    1. Public schools, no. Private school yes, though if they are parochial there may be issues with a religious group advocating for a particular politician and their nonprofit status. Distance shouldn’t matter from the school, just whether the sign is on or off school property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *