Except for minor 2-lane highways, you must apply for a permit for all proposed signs, including sign information changes, within:
- 300 m of a provincial right-of-way (existing highway limits)
- 800 m of the centerline of a highway and public road intersection
Permits are issued by Alberta Transportation and are subject to:
- Section 11-19 of the Highways Development and Protection Act, Chapter H-8.5 2004
- Highways Development and Protection Regulation
You cannot install or change a sign by a provincial highway before a permit has been issued to you by Alberta Transportation.
Ineligible sign types
Permits will not be provided for signs that:
- display an intermittent flashing, rotating or moving light
- are floodlit, which could distract drivers
- have any moving or rotating parts
- imitate the wording of a standard or commonly used highway traffic signs, such as "Stop", "Stop Ahead" or "Yield"
- imitate or resemble a traffic control device, such as traffic signal or traffic signs
- display commercial advertising, other than for the purpose of identifying a business or guiding traffic
- use red or yellow background
Permits are also not granted for any associated yard lights, area lighting and other lights that, in the opinion of Alberta Transportation, are excessively distracting to the public or create a traffic hazard.
Signs should follow these general guidelines to improve their visibility and readability:
- made of reflective material to help ensure they are visible at night
- be developed professionally, using conventional exterior sign materials
- use a minimum letter size of at least 15 cm
- use of readable letter styles for improved legibility
Alberta Transportation provides guidelines for the safe installation of election signs along provincial highways. If a sign does not comply with the guidelines, a peace officer or person authorized by Alberta Transportation may, without notice or compensation, remove the sign.
Read about election sign guidelines.
How to apply
Step 1. Contact the area Transportation District Office
Ask the district office contact if your sign requires a permit.
Step 2. Complete the application form
- sign installation application (PDF, 51 KB)
- print your responses
- describe the proposed sign in detail
- have your application signed by your organization’s owner or authorized agent (if applicable)
- site plan (8-1/2 x 11” pages) (PDF, 245 KB) showing proposed sign setback and distance from the highway
- diagram that includes the sign’s:
- layout, including wording and lettering
- background colour
Step 3. Submit the form to Alberta Transportation
Return your completed form and its attachments to the appropriate Alberta Transportation District Office.
For more information about highway development and permits:
- use the Roadside Management Classification Map to explore which type of highway network your proposed development is on or nearby
- find your district by checking the Alberta Transportation Region and District Offices map (PDF, 1.4 MB)
- use the Contact List (PDF, 173 KB) to find the Alberta Transportation District Office that is closest to your community