Outdoor Advertising Registration Program


Individuals and entities engaged in the outdoor advertising business must register as Outdoor Advertising Companies (OACs) with the Department. As part of registration, OACs must include a detailed inventory of every sign, sign structure, and sign location under its control which is located:
  • Within 900 feet and in view of an arterial highway
  • Within 200 feet and in view of a public park one-half acre or larger


Failure to Register

Outdoor Advertising Companies without an active registration number from the Department are subject to fines of up to $25,000 per day as well as the loss of the ability to bid on City contracts.

Outdoor Advertising Companies that fail to register signs near arterial highways and public parks as required are subject to fines, removal of the signs, and revocation of their registration as an Outdoor Advertising Company.



To register, submit the following documents:
  • Letter of Credit Form – OACs must provide a Letter of Credit to the Department printed on their bank's letterhead. This is required for applicants submitting a Sign Inventory. 
    *Note: you must have your bank transfer this information onto their letterhead.
  • Letter of Credit Agreement
    The Letter of Credit Agreement defines the terms for which the Department may access funds in the Letter of Credit. The agreement must be signed by the applicant and accompany the Letter of Credit.


Registration Fees

Initial registration $1,500 per advertising company
Renewal $750.00 per advertising company
Initial sign registration $125.00 per sign, sign structure or location
Renewal $50.00 per sign, sign structure or location


Documentation for Existing Signs

You may need to obtain permit-related information for your sign, including copies of construction, electrical, or illuminated sign permits. To request application copies and permit records, contact the Record Room at the appropriate borough office.


Construction Applications & Permits
  • Electronic Records – The Department’s Building Information System (BIS) has basic information available for pre-1990 applications and more comprehensive information for those after 1990.
  • Inspection Records – Scanned copies of Department of Buildings’ sign inspection reports and accompanying photographs from the late 1970s and 1980s, are available by contacting the Sign Enforcement Unit. Files are in PDF format and may be e-mailed upon request.
  • Hard-Copy Records

    • Hard copies of newer documents are available from files in the borough record room.
    • Permit docket/log books are available in either hard copy or microfilm in the borough offices.
    • Hard copies of older documents are generally stored on microfilm in the borough office or archived off-site.
    • Archived documents require approximately one week for retrieval.


Electrical Applications & Permits
  • Electronic Records – The Department’s Building Information System (BIS) has basic information related to electrical permits filed from 1984 to present.
  • Hard Copy Records

    • Applications and permits are available through the electrical units. Pre-2002 applications and permit are generally archived.
    • If the Control Number is unknown:

      • Control Numbers may be determined by searching files available on BIS or by looking on the sign itself for a DGS or BEC electrical tag number.
      • If the sign is metered, Con Edison will have record of the electrician who installed the meter.
      • Providing DOB with the name of the electrician is another way to search our records for the sign Control Number  
If further assistance is required, contact the Borough Electrical Chief of the appropriate borough.


Illuminated Sign Permits

Illuminated sign permits are applied for at the time of initial sign installation through the Borough office where the sign is located and must be renewed annually.
  • Electronic Records – The Department’s Building Information System (BIS) has basic information related to illuminated sign permits.
  • Hard Copy Records

    • Hard copies of illuminated sign permit applications and permits may be obtained through the borough office.


Additional Assistance

If you are unable to find the documentation you need, contact the Special OAC representative in the appropriate borough office.


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