Sign permit

All signs on private property in Vancouver require sign permits except:

  • Signs containing only the building number and street name
  • Signs located within a building, if the sign cannot be seen from the street ; however, these signs may require a building permit and an electrical permit if they are lit
  • Signs related to traffic, parking, directions, bus shelters, and so on if those signs are authorized by the City Engineer

You need a permit for any sign type described in the Definitions section of the Sign Bylaw. If a sign type is not described in the Sign Bylaw, it is not allowed. Depending on the type of sign, you may need a sign permit, awning permit, billboard permit, and building permit. For more information, read the Sign Bylaw or contact the Development and Building Services Centre.

Sign Bylaw

If the property is on the Vancouver Heritage Register, a heritage alteration permit is also needed. You can apply for that permit at the same time as the sign permit.

Requirements

To apply for a sign permit, submit the following:

  1. Completed application form 
  2. Original copy of an owner's undertaking letter 
  3. Unaltered photo of the building elevation or property frontage where you want the sign to go
  4. Two copies of each of the following drawings:
    • A dimensioned site and floor plan
    • A dimensioned elevation drawing
    • A text or copy drawing
    • A partial section of the building, showing the location where you want the sign to go

    Learn the requirements for these drawings 

We may need additional information if you apply for a permit for these types of signs:

  • All free-standing signs
  • All facia signs located 15 ft (4.5 m) or more above ground
  • All signs weighing more than 200 lbs (91 kg) including the combined weight of the channel letters
  • All fixed-frame and retractable awnings
  • Projecting signs weighing more than 50 lbs (22 kg)
  • Canopy signs penetrating an I-beam or similar structural element of a canopy
  • Any other signs where City staff are concerned with the structural integrity of the sign

Process

Register for an online account and submit your application.

You may also bring your application to the Development and Building Services Centre (see contact on this page).

Fees

Item Fee
Permit fee, per sign $93.00
Additional fee for signs that need an electrical connection, per sign $93.00
Additional fee for signs that have a supporting structure, per sign $93.00
Additional fee for billboards, free-standing signs, or parking lot advertising signs, per sign $93.00

You pay for the permit when you apply for it. If you are applying by mail or courier, include a cheque payable to the City of Vancouver. If you are applying in person, you can pay by cheque or credit card.

If you have a sign on your business that was installed without a permit, the penalty is $450.00.

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning

Phone
604-873-7611

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon