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“ASK A TROOPER”

by Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol

Question: Is there a law against putting signs along the roadway for political candidates and advertising?  

Answer: It is illegal to place signs for political purposes and advertising on the road right-of-way. Highway rights-of-way include driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections. All state, county, city and township roads and highways fall under the same state law.

In addition, the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act also prohibits placing advertising materials on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.

Signs may be placed on private property with permission from the landowner. Auction signs are permitted, but have requirements under the law.

MnDOT is required to remove unlawfully placed signs and impound them at a local maintenance truck station. For information about the proper placement of signs, contact your local MnDOT office. See also mndot.gov/govrel/rw_signs.html. 

If you have specific questions, you would need to contact the appropriate local highway department.  This would depend on the type of road (state, county or city.) This would also be your contact if local authorities or technicians removed your signs.

It is important to note that civil penalties may apply if the placement of signage contributes to a motor vehicle crash.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)