Sign Permit

The Zoning Section implements and enforces the sign ordinance and in the following cases, a Sign Permit must be obtained (see ordinance for all requirements(PDF, 255KB)).

Types of sign permits and rules to follow.

Residential home builders/developers are required to use kiosks for off-premise directional signage. Any interested builder or developer should contact George Faris at Baker Clearview Kiosk Systems, 817-737-4472 or gfaris@clearviewkiosk.com 

Online Account

Step 1.Sign Permits Online

The Fort Worth online sign permit system allows users to

Step 2.How to create my account

As a new user select this link and under accounts "Create a Login"

Download the "Find Permit

  • Enter the permit number
  • Select Locate Permit button

Step 3.Log into your account

 Log into your account using this link, "Login"

  • Use your username and password to access

Online

Step 1.What is required for Electronic Submittal

  • Sign Permit Application(PDF, 25KB)
  • Review the Sign Submittal Checklist(PDF, 95KB)
    • One (1) complete set of plans/exhibits
      • Written description of the project
      • Sign / Building Elevations
      • Architectural rendering of the project
      • Site/Sign Plans(PDF, 118KB)
      • Demonstration of Overall Reduction in Sign Size, Height and Number.
      • Exhibits must be no bigger than 8 ½” x 11” or PDF and only be one-sided and must clearly detail the requested information 
    • One (1) copy of legally recorded and certified plat*
    • One (1) Signature Authority Statement
    • Payment for $1500.00 initiation fee
  • Unified Sign Agreement Checklist & Application(PDF, 192KB) to be uploaded to Accela Automation by CFA Office Staff
  • Unified Sign Agreement Process(PDF, 132KB)
    • Turned into the CFA Office Staff
      • Unified Sign Agreement Submittal Checklist and Application
      • Payment of $1,500.00 administrative fee
      • One (1) set of exhibits specific to the project
        • Site/Sign Plan
        • Elevation Plan
        • Architectural renderings of the project
      • The Unified Sign Agreement Submittal Checklist, application and exhibit(s) will be uploaded into Accela Automation by the CFA Office Staff and routed for Plan Review.
      • CFA Office Staff will then provide the applicant with the permit number (“USA” number) and will notify them in writing of the items required to complete the Unified Sign Agreement process. Plan Review progress can be monitored online 24/7 at https://accela.fortworthtexas.gov/citizenaccess/. Follow the steps below:
        •  Click on "Development"
        • Enter your case number that was provided to you by office staff
        • Click “Search” > “Record Info” > “Processing Status” Departments that have an hourglass to the left of them are still pending for review. If a department has approved the review, you will see a green check mark. If corrections are needed, you will see a red “X”.
      • Once Plan Review has been completed and Development Coordination office receives the supporting documentation needed to complete the Unified Sign Agreement, the agreement will be routed for signatures and approvals from the following persons:
        • Compliance Manager
        • City Attorney
        • Development Services Director
        • City Secretary
        • Tarrant County Courthouse
      • Once the Unified Sign Agreement(s) has been recorded at Tarrant County Courthouse, the contact person listed on the Unified Sign Agreement Application will be notified in writing that the Executed Agreement is final and attached is your electronic copy. 
  • Unified Sign Agreement(PDF, 137KB)

Contact Lynn Goforth 817-392-2513 for additional information

Step 2.Permit Fees

Sign Permit Fee Schedule
 Item  Increment  Fee
Application fee:  $33.00* 
Revisions: Per Hour  $50.00 
Unified Sign Agreement:  $1,500.00 
 Board of Adjustment:    
Non-Residential Variance    $750.00* 
Non-Residential Special Exception   $1,000.00*

If you have additional questions concerning the sign or zoning ordinance, contact the zoning staff at 817-392-8028.

* Additional fees may apply

Step 3.Apply online by clicking here

Apply for Sign Permit

In person

Step 1.What is required for in person submittal

At this time all sign permit applications are accepted online only

  • Sign Permit Application(PDF, 25KB)
  • Review the Sign Submittal Checklist(PDF, 95KB)
    • One (1) complete set of plans/exhibits
      • Written description of the project
      • Sign / Building Elevations
      • Architectural rendering of the project
      • Site/Sign Plans
      • Demonstration of overall reduction in sign size, height and number.
      • Exhibits must be no bigger than 8 ½” x 11” or PDF and only be one-sided and must clearly detail the requested information 
    • One (1) copy of legally recorded and certified plat*
    • One (1) signature authority statement
    • Payment for $1,500 initiation fee
  • Unified Sign Agreement Checklist & Application(PDF, 192KB) to be uploaded to Accela Automation by CFA Office Staff
  • Unified Sign Agreement Process(PDF, 132KB)
    • Turned into the CFA Office Staff
      • Unified Sign Agreement Submittal Checklist and Application
      • Payment of $1,500 administrative fee
      • One (1) set of exhibits specific to the project
        • Site/Sign Plan
        • Elevation Plan
        • Architectural renderings of the project
      • The Unified Sign Agreement Submittal Checklist, application and exhibit(s) will be uploaded into Accela Automation by the CFA Office Staff and routed for Plan Review.
      • CFA Office Staff will then provide the applicant with the permit number (“USA” number) and will notify them in writing of the items required to complete the Unified Sign Agreement process. Plan Review progress can be monitored online 24/7 at https://accela.fortworthtexas.gov/citizenaccess/. Follow the steps below:
        • Click on "Development"
        • Enter your case number that was provided to you by office staff
        • Click “Search” > “Record Info” > “Processing Status” Departments that have an hourglass to the left of them are still pending for review. If a department has approved the review, you will see a green check mark. If corrections are needed, you will see a red “X”.
      • Once Plan Review has been completed and Development Coordination office receives the supporting documentation needed to complete the Unified Sign Agreement, the agreement will be routed for signatures and approvals from the following persons:
        • Compliance Manager
        • City Attorney
        • Development Services Director
        • City Secretary
        • Tarrant County Courthouse
      • Once the Unified Sign Agreement(s) has been recorded at Tarrant County Courthouse, the contact person listed on the Unified Sign Agreement Application will be notified in writing that the Executed Agreement is final and attached is your electronic copy. 
  • Unified Sign Agreement(PDF, 137KB)

Contact Lynn Goforth 817-392-2513 for additional information

Step 2.Permit Fees

Sign Permit Fee Schedule
Item Increment Fee
Application fee: $33*
Revisions: Per Hour $50
Unified Sign Agreement: $1,500
Board of Adjustment:
Non-Residential Variance $750*
Non-Residential Special Exception $1,000*

If you have additional questions concerning the sign or zoning ordinance, contact the zoning staff at 817-392-8028.

* Additional fees may apply

Step 3.Apply online by clicking here

Apply for Sign Permit

Inspections

Signage does not require an inspection card and the document regarding the reface is attached to and included on the computer that the inspector carries with him in the truck.  The following outlines signage inspections. Numbers preceding inspection name are the inspection codes for the IVR system.

 

505 Sign Location - Required for all signs.  Contractor’s presence during inspection is not required unless there is an initial question regarding the placement.  Subsequent to this inspection an extension of 90 days is added to the permit prior to install/expiration.

 

500 Sign Final - Required for all signs on day of install prior to installation of sign.  Contractor’s presence during inspection is not required on refaces when face replacement is all that is done. 

Contractor must call the morning of this installation between 7:30-8:30 AM in order that inspector can meet onsite with installer’s, check signs and appropriate state licensing required.  Sign is inspected on the ground before going up and partial approval is given.  When the install is completed the sign will be approved and finaled out.

Call Greg Compton at (817) 201-1965 or Juan Fernandez at (817) 201-6026.

 

510 Sign Foundation – Required for detached signs and billboards where the height of the sign or billboard is greater than >25’-0” tall.

 

503 Sign Installation Final – Billboard Inspection Only

 

520 Sign Annual – Billboard Inspection Only

 

505 & 500 above needed on sign reface.

 

On-premise detached signs in commercial and industrial districts

Unless exempted under the provisions of § 6.403, the following regulations shall apply to all detached on-premise signs erected in districts “E” through “K,” except for signs for large retail stores subject to § 5.134(a)(8) and for signs in mixed-use districts which are additionally subject to §§ 4.902(d)(3), 4.903(d)(3), 4.1300(d)(3), 4.1301(d)(3), 4.1302(d)(3) and 4.1303(d)(3).

  • Types of detached signs.
    • Monument signs are permitted by right.
    • Pylon signs are only permitted as part of a unified sign agreement, per § 6.410.
    • Freeway signs are only permitted on property immediately adjacent to a designated freeway. Provided however, freeway signs are prohibited along the Chisholm Trail Parkway (SH 121) freeway scenic corridor.
  • Monument signs.
    • Maximum height. Eight feet.
    • Maximum width. Sixteen feet.
    • Maximum advertised message area. Ninety-six square feet.
    • Minimum ground contact. Seventy-five percent of structure’s width.
  • Pylon signs.
    • Maximum height. Eight feet at the right-of-way line and one additional foot in height for each one foot of setback, up to 20 feet. Setback sign one foot for each foot in height from all adjacent property lines.
    • Maximum width. Twelve feet.
    • Maximum advertised message area. Two hundred square feet.
    • Minimum ground contact. Fifty percent of structure’s width. (
  • Freeway signs.
    • Maximum height. Twenty-five feet allowed at the right-of-way line and one additional foot in height for each one foot of setback, up to 35 feet. Setback sign one foot for each foot in height from all adjacent property lines. (Administrative approval allowed for up to 50 feet in height to allow sign to be 20 feet above adjacent main travel lanes of freeway.)
    • Maximum width. Twenty-four feet.
    • Maximum advertised message area. Three hundred and twenty square feet.
    • Minimum ground contact. Twenty-five of structure’s width.
  • Detached signs. One detached sign may be erected on each platted lot or on property which is subject to a unified sign agreement executed in accordance with § 6.410. Additional signs may be erected under the following circumstances:
    • On corner lots and through lots and on corner tracts and through tracts that are subject to a unified sign agreement, one sign shall be allowed on each street on which the property has frontage;
    • On lots having more than 100 feet of street frontage, more than one detached sign may be installed provided that such signs are at least 100 feet apart and the total area of all signs does not exceed the maximum allowable sign area set forth in subsection
    • below; and
    • On property subject to a unified sign agreement having more than 300 feet of street frontage, more than one detached sign may be installed provided that such signs are at least 300 feet apart and the total area of all signs does not exceed the maximum allowable sign area set forth in subsection (b) above.
  • Maximum allowable sign area.
    • The maximum allowable sign area shall be the lesser of one square foot of signage per linear foot of street frontage or:
      • One hundred and twenty square feet for minor arterials or neighborhood streets;
      • One hundred and sixty-five square feet for major arterials;
      • One hundred and ninety-five feet for principal arterials; or
      • Six hundred square feet for freeways or toll roads.
    • Street types are as defined in the most recently adopted/amended master thoroughfare plan.
  • Non-advertised message area. A minimum of 25% of the sign face, excluding the base, shall contain non-advertised message area (see definition). The non-advertised message area shall be of construction materials similar to the building and shall be non-illuminated. The non-advertised message area shall also be clearly distinct from the sign face and provide a vertical framing element to the sign.

On-premise attached signs in commercial and industrial districts

Unless exempted under the provisions of § 6.403, the following regulations shall apply to all attached on-premise signs erected in districts “E” through “K,” except for signs for large retail stores which are subject to § 5.134(a)(7).

  • The following size limits apply to buildings occupied by a single tenant and to individual tenant spaces in buildings with multiple tenants. One or more attached signs may be erected on each facade of the occupied space. The signs may have a total area of 10% of the area of the facade to which the signs are attached, with a maximum aggregate area of 500 square feet per facade. Doors and windows shall be included in the calculation of the facade area. The facade area shall be calculated by multiplying the width times the height, with a maximum calculated height of 15 feet. For structures exceeding 15 feet in height, allowable sign square footage shall be calculated as one and one-half square feet per linear foot of building facade.
  • Length of an attached sign is limited to 75% of the lineal footage of the building or commercial space, whichever is less.
  • The entire length and height of backlit awnings in which the lighting causes the illumination of the awning, of which the length will be limited to subsection (b) above, will be counted toward the allowed square footage of attached signs.
  • Signs shall not project more than three feet from the building or canopy. No sign projection shall encroach over public property except as permitted by the sign code (Chapter 29 of the city code).
  • Signs may be installed upon the roof subject to the following conditions:
    • The area of the sign shall not exceed 10% of the area of the closest wall of the building above which the sign is placed;
    • The sign shall not exceed four feet above the roof or top of the parapet wall at the roof, whichever is higher; and
    • All roof signs placed upon a building or buildings upon one platted lot shall be similar in size, shape, area and design.
  • A maximum of 1,340 square feet of attached on-premise signage shall be allowed, regardless of the number of facades or buildings associated with a single business or tenant.

Sales office and model home signs

Sales office and model home signs (signs identifying a developer’s sales office/model home sites) are subject to the following.

  • Signs shall not exceed a maximum size of 32 square feet.
  • Signs shall be not exceed a maximum height of six feet.
  • No sign shall be illuminated between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Only one sign advertising a model home may be permitted per builder in the subdivision.
  • Sign must be located on the site of the model home/sales office and shall be set back a minimum of ten feet from the public right-of-way.
  • Model home sign shall be allowed only after a certificate of occupancy has been issued for the model home
  • No sign may be erected for more than two years.
  • Signs shall meet all requirements of the sign code (Chapter 29 of the city code), including permitting requirements. 

Sign not requiring a permit

The following signs are exempted from the requirements of this article and may be erected or constructed without a permit:

  • Signs on vehicles or trailers, provided, however, signs on vehicles or trailers that are parked or located for the primary purpose of displaying the sign are prohibited pursuant to § 6.405;
  • Temporary signs, as follows:
    • Temporary decorative flags; and
    • Temporary signs erected in accordance with temporary banner policy administered by the transportation and public works department for signs in the public right-of-way, large banner policy administered by the park and recreation department for signs on park property, policy governing erection of banners on Main Street, and other temporary banner policies administered by city departments or their designees.
  •  One temporary sign is permitted per business during its business hours subject to the following conditions:
    • The sign shall be displayed on private property within ten feet of the front door of the business or tenant space;
    • The sign shall not exceed eight square feet;
    • The sign shall not exceed 42 inches in height;
    • The sign shall be constructed of rigid weather resistant materials, and be kept in good condition;
    • The sign shall not be illuminated;
    •  The sign shall not contain any moving elements;
    •  The sign may not be located in the public open space easement (P.O.S.E.); and
  • Provided however, a temporary sign may be displayed in the public right-of-way without the necessity of obtaining city council approval under the following conditions:
    • There is not adequate space on the private property to place the sign;
    • The front door of the business is less than ten feet from the sidewalk edge or the curb, whichever is the closest to the business; and
    • The sign meets all of the criteria listed in subsection (b)(3)a.2. through (b)(3)a.8. above.
  • Warning, security and directional signs for parking or vehicle access;
  • Government signs, flags, insignia, legal notices or informational, directional or traffic signs;
  • Political signs referring to the candidates or issues involved in a public election, subject to the following conditions:
    • The sign is located on private real property with the consent of the property owner;
    • The sign does not exceed eight feet in height;
    • The sign may not have an effective area greater than 36 square feet;
    • The sign shall not be illuminated; and
    • The sign shall not contain any moving elements.
  • Signs in windows subject to the following:
    • Window signs may occupy a maximum of 25% of the window area on each building facade. However, signs exceeding 10% of the window area shall be included in the calculation of the maximum square footage of on-premise signage allowed as described in § 6.408(f);
    • Window signs shall be limited to the first floor of a multi-story building; and
    •  Window area shall be calculated as described in § 6.406(c).
  • Other than electrical, all signs not visible from off the property;
  • Nameplate and street address signs not exceeding one square foot in area;
  • One non-illuminated real estate sign, temporary in nature, advertising the sale or lease of real property on which the sign is located or announcing contemplated improvements of real property on which the sign is located; provided, however, that said sign shall not exceed eight square feet in area in any one- or two-family dwelling district or 60 square feet in area and eight feet in height in any other district; provided, further, however, on corner lots and through lots, one such sign, shall be allowed for each street on which the lot has frontage. The sign shall be removed within 30 days after the sale or occupancy of the property;
  • One non-illuminated estate or garage sale sign, not to exceed two square feet in area, temporary in nature, advertising the sale of items on property for which a garage sale permit has been obtained. The sign shall be removed within 24 hours after the sale ends;
  • One construction sign, not exceeding four square feet in area in any one- or two-family dwelling district or 40 square feet in area and 12 feet in height in any other district, denoting the owner, architect, financial institution, general contractor, subcontractor or any statement pertaining to the project on the real property on which the sign is located; provided, however, on corner lots and through lots, one such sign shall be allowed for each street on which the lot has frontage. The sign shall be removed within 30 days after completion of the project;
  • “No Dumping,” “No Trespassing,” and “No Solicitation” signs;
  • Noncommercial residential signs. In addition to the other noncommercial signs permitted by this article, a maximum of four signs not exceeding a total of 16 square feet in area may be erected on any lot used for residential purposes and may contain noncommercial copy. No one sign shall exceed eight square feet in area;
  • Signs depicting or relating to a national, local or religious holiday or season if installed maintained or displayed for not more than 45 consecutive days;
  • Signs designed and used in conjunction with aircraft;
  • Signs of not more than two square feet with a ground clearance of not more than four feet within 20 feet of a driveway or other ingress/egress to private property which restricts parking on said property. Corners of this type of sign shall be mitered or rounded Signs erected by a public utility or transportation organization operating pursuant to a franchise agreement with the city, where such signs are erected or displayed for the purpose of public instruction, traffic control and similar uses incidental to the public interest.

(Ord. 17872-11-2007, § 1, passed 11-6-2007; Ord. 18745-08-2009, § 3, passed 8-4-2009; Ord. 19227-07-2010, §§ 1, 2, passed 7-13-2010)

Electronic changeable copy signs

  • Electronic changeable copy signs may be permitted by special exception of the board of adjustment in commercial, industrial, mixed-use and community facility zoning districts, subject to the following conditions. Provided however, electronic changeable copy signs shall not be allowed within the Chisholm Trail Parkway (SH 121) freeway scenic corridor.
    • A maximum of 25% of the sign face may be devoted to changeable copy.
    • The message rate shall not change at a rate faster than one message every 20 seconds.
    • On detached signs, electronic changeable copy shall be limited to monument signs, except where pylon and freeway signs are allowed under § 6.409.
    • Electronic changeable copy signs shall have automatic dimming technology installed limiting the sign to no more than 0.3 footcandles above ambient light, measured at a distance equaling the square root of the product of the sign's square footage multiplied by 100. The distance shall be rounded to the closest whole number.
    • All sound shall be prohibited.
  • The board of adjustment shall not grant variances which are less restrictive than the conditions of the special exception.
  • In granting the special exception, the board of adjustment shall consider the following:
    • the presence of other electronic changeable copy signs in the vicinity;
    • the visibility from residential districts;
    • the street classification of the adjacent roadways; and
    • the proximity to scenic areas or corridors.

(Ord. 17872-11-2007, § 1, passed 11-6-2007; Ord. 18745-08-2009, § 5, passed 8-4-2009; Ord. 21716- 04-2015, § 1, passed 47-2015, eff. 4-25-2015; Ord. 23737-08-2019, § 1, passed 8-6-2019, eff. 9-8-2019)


Sign kiosk program

In November 2007, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 17872, which amended the sign regulations to authorize the construction of kiosks for home builders and developers as part of an effort to reduce the proliferation of “bandit” signs used by home builders and developers to advertise their product. The purpose of the City of Fort Worth Kiosk Sign Program is to provide directional signage for home buyers locating subdivisions, housing developments, home builders, public facilities and community events within the City, while discouraging the placement of unsightly and hazardous off-site directional signs.

The City of Fort Worth awarded Baker-Clearview Operating, LLC as the kiosk vendor in charge of manufacturing and installing Kiosk Sign structures and sign panels throughout the City of Fort Worth in accordance with the specifications set forth in the Sign Kiosk Agreement.

There will be Primary Kiosk Sign Structures, (12 feet above average grade), Community Kiosk Sign Structures (8 feet above average grade), and Neighborhood Kiosk Sign Structures (6 feet above average grade). Individual sign panels on the Primary and Community Kiosk Sign Structures shall not exceed 52.5 inches in horizontal length by 10 inches in height. Individual sign panels on the Neighborhood Kiosk Sign Structures shall not exceed 24.5 inches in horizontal length by 12 inches in height. The panels may reflect the names, logos and colors of the home builders, developers or facilities. The monthly rental fee will be $50.00 per sign panel.

Under the new ordinance, on-premise developer signs are not allowed. However, staff recommended a zoning text amendment that would allow developer signs not to exceed 64 square feet on private property at the subdivision entrance. The Zoning Commission will present this proposed amendment to the City Council on May 6, 2008.

Off-premise developer signs are still prohibited unless they have a permit under the old ordinance that has yet to expire. City staff will begin taking enforcement action on any off-premise signs that are non-compliant during the month of April.

For questions regarding renting space on the kiosk signs, locations, and maintenance of the sign structures, please contact George Faris, II, Manager of Baker-Clearview at 817- 737-4472. For questions regarding the details of the program, please contact Phyllis Johnson, Contract Compliance Administrator at 817-392-7353. 

Zoning Map to determine Zoning District requirements for signage

Residential home builders/developers are required to use kiosks for off-premise directional signage. Any interested builder or developer should contact George Faris at Baker Clearview Kiosk Systems, 817-737-4472 or gfaris@clearviewkiosk.com.