Ohio Yard Sign Regulations

Ohio Welcome You sign above the highwayOhio span almost 45,000 square miles. That’s a lot of area for campaign signs and a lot of opportunities for campaigns to find themselves on the wrong side of the state’s yard sign regulations. One of the best piece of advice that I’ve ever heard about candidates for elected office is that “the only bad candidate is the one who thinks he can’t lose.” One of the insights from this quote that you can take to the bank, voting booth rather, is that you shouldn’t take your opponent for granted.

Don’t play fast and loose with sign regulations. Always think that your opponent, local media outlets, or a concerned citizens will pick up on the violation and make your campaign for office more challenging than it already is!

Ohio Sign Law

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.

If you need to find your local ODOT garage location, determine what district you’re in by looking at the map. Then, you’ll find the contact information for your local Department of Transportation garage facility where you can pick up your signs:

Map of Ohio DOT districts

District 1 – Lima

Serving the Counties of:
Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot

1885 N. McCullough St.
Lima, Ohio 45801
Phone: (419) 222-9055
Fax: (419) 222-0438

District Deputy Director:
Kirk Slusher, (419) 999-6804
Public Information Contact:
Rhonda Pees, (419) 999-6803

District 2

Serving the Counties of:
Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood

317 East Poe Road
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402-1330
Phone: (419) 353-8131
Fax: (419) 353-1468

District Deputy Director:
Todd M. Audet, (419) 373-4412
Public Information Contact:
Theresa Pollick, (419) 373-4428

District 3

Serving the Counties of:
Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne

906 Clark Ave.
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone: (419) 281-0513
or (800) 276-4188 (OH only)
Fax: (419) 281-0874

District Deputy Director:
Allen C. Biehl, (419) 207-7002
Public Information Contact:
Christine S. Myers, (419) 207-7182

District 4

Serving the Counties of:
Ashtabula, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull

2088 S. Arlington Road
Akron, Ohio 44306
Phone: (330) 786-3100
or (800) 603-1054 (OH only)
Fax: (330) 786-2210

District Deputy Director:
Anthony M. Urankar, (330) 786-2200
Public Information Contact:
Justin Chesnic, (330) 786-2209

District 5

Serving the Counties of:
Coshocton, Fairfield, Guernsey, Knox, Licking, Muskingum and Perry

9600 Jacksontown Rd.
Jacksontown, Ohio 43030
Phone: (740) 323-4400
Fax: (740) 323-3715
District Deputy Director:
Joe Rutherford, (740) 323-4400
Public Information Contact:
Lauren Holdsworth, (740) 323-5204

District 6

Serving the Counties of:
Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union

400 East William St.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Phone: (740) 833-8000
Fax: (740) 833-8100
District Deputy Director:
Ferzan M. Ahmed, (740) 833-8211
Public Information Contact:
Nancy Burton, (740) 833-8063

District 7

Serving the Counties of:
Auglaize, Clark, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery and Shelby

1001 St. Marys Ave. SR 29
Sidney, Ohio 45365
Phone: (937) 492-1141
Fax: (937) 497-9734

District Deputy Director:
Randy Chevalley, (937) 497-6770
Public Information Contact:
Mandi (Abner) Dillion, (937) 538-0979

District 8

Serving the Counties of:
Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren

505 South SR 741
Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Phone: (513) 932-3030
or (800) 831-2142 (OH only)
Fax: 513-932-7651
District Deputy Director:
Steve Mary, (513) 933-6594
Public Information Contact:
Sharon Smigielski, (513) 933-6511

District 9

Serving the Counties of:
Adams, Brown, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross and Scioto

650 Eastern Ave.
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
Phone: (740) 773-2691
or (888) 819-8501 (OH only)
Fax: (740) 775-4889

District Deputy Director:
Vaughn Wilson, (740) 774-8833
Public Information Contact:
Kathleen Fuller, (740) 774-8834

District 10

Serving the Counties of:
Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Vinton and Washington

338 Muskingum Dr.
Marietta, Ohio 45750
Phone: (740) 568-3900
or (800) 845-0226 (OH only)
Fax: (740) 373-7317

District Deputy Director:
T. Steve Williams, (740) 568-3901
Public Information Contact:
David Rose, (740) 568-3904

District 11

Serving the Counties of:
Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas

2201 Reiser Ave.
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
Phone: (330) 339-6633
Fax: (330) 308-3942

District Deputy Director:
Lloyd MacAdam, (330) 308-3950
Public Information Contact:
Becky (McCarty) Giauque, (330) 308-3949

District 12

Serving the Counties of:
Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake

5500 Transportation Blvd.
Garfield Heights, OH 44125
Phone: (216) 581-2100
or (800) 732-4896 (OH only)
Fax: (216) 584-2274

District Deputy Director:
Myron S. Pakush, (216) 584-2000
Public Information Contact:
Amanda Lee, (216) 584-2005

Local Sign Laws

In addition to state sign laws, each locality can have additional rules that your campaign needs to follow. While this video is out of date from a political campaign perspective, it shows the kind of negative press that your campaign could receive from violating sign regulations and the consequences of those sign violations:

There are two great takeaways from this news story. First, not only will violating the state’s yard sign laws get your campaign in legal hot water but it may also backfire with voters who look at signs on the highway as a nuisance. Second, there are too many different local ordinances to mention, so if you are running for state legislature or any office that includes several localities, be sure to figure out what the sign ordinances are there before you order signs to avoid potential problems.

If you got what you were looking for some this post, would you please add a link to this page on your site or share it on social media, so that you can keep your fellow candidates and politicos on the right side of California’s campaign sign regulations as well?

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

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