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Illegal Signs
Sign RemovalSigns placed in the right-of-way that are not part of the roadway system are considered illegal under Pierce County Code. Such signs impact visibility for motorists and pedestrians, and impede Pierce County road maintenance activities.

Pierce County road crews remove illegal signs from the right-of-way on a regular basis. You can report an illegal sign at (253) 798-6000 or www.piercecountywa.org/rfa.

Political signs are allowed under the Freedom of Speech. Candidates can find sign regulation information in the Pierce County Auditor's Election Guide for Candidates here.

Sign removal by Pierce County
  • Any sign in the Right-of-Way (ROW) that poses a hazard to the traveling public will be removed once Pierce County Public Works becomes aware of it.
  • Crews regularly patrol the top 10-15 intersections where illegal signs accumulate on a monthly or quarterly basis to remove signs and discourage future placement.   
  • Crews sweep high volume arterials quarterly to clean the roadside and discourage future placement of signs.
  • Crews will also respond to sign-related service requests as they are submitted.  
  • Pierce County will send a letter to repeat offenders to inform them that their signs have been removed and explain Pierce County sign laws.

Sign owners
Pierce County will hold signs at the Central Maintenance Facility in Frederickson for a minimum of one week or until the volume of signs requires that they be recycled at a local recycling center. You may call (253) 798-6000 to see if your sign is onsite, and schedule a pick-up time.

If you believe your sign was improperly removed by Pierce County, you may file a Claim for Damage with Pierce County Risk Management.

Determining Right-of-Way
With the exception of political signs, signs may not be placed in right-of-way. If you are unsure of where the right-of-way is located, please contact a licensed land surveyor. 

You may also view this graphic to help you get a general idea of where the right-of-way boundary typically falls and what features the right-of-way typically includes.

Related Links
Pierce County Code, Chapter 12.28 
Pierce County Code, Chapter 18B