Highways, Ferries, and Winter Roads

Highway Sign Permit

A permit is required before any sign can be installed within a public highway right-of-way in the Northwest Territories.

Guidelines and Requirements

  • Signs that will be permitted include static, unlighted signs without moving parts or flashing lights.
  • Signs that will not be permitted include: 
    • Signs with flashing, rotating or moving lights; 
    • Signs that is floodlighted in such a way that can cause interference to the travelling public; and
    • Signs that have any moving parts
  • Signs shall be clearly legible to the travelling public, and shall not create a traffic or safety hazard through their size, shape, message or installation.
  • Signs shall not be placed in any location that creates a traffic or safety hazard.
  • No permit shall be issued for a proposed sign if:
    • the sign exceeds 9.29 m2 in area
    • the sign exceeds 6.09 metres in length
    • the sign is not of sound construction
    • the sign has an appearance and style that is not suitable for the surrounding area
  • All signs shall be placed at a distance of 22 metres or greater from the centerline of the public highway.
  • The bottom edge of the sign(s) shall be a minimum of 1.5 metres above the ground.
  • Signs shall be installed so that the face of the sign is at an angle of not less than 92 degrees from the direction of travel to reduce the effect of glare.
  • Commercial signs within municipal corporate limits shall only be placed at the location(s) specified within the designated Commercial Sign Corridor or as approved by municipal council. Sign corridor location information may be obtained from the municipal office for the area.
  • The owner of any sign installed in accordance with these guidelines shall save the municipal community and the Department of Infrastructure (INF) harmless from all liabilities and actions, etc., arising from the installation of such signs within the public highway right of­ way.
  • INF may at any time, move or remove any sign which, in the opinion of the Director of the Transportation division, creates or causes a traffic or safety hazard.
  • No sign shall be permitted which resembles, or may be confused with an official highway sign or traffic control device. The use of reflective materials on commercial signs will not be permitted.
  • Signs Installed in accordance with these guidelines shall be maintained by the owner in good condition. INF may require signs to be removed by the owner which do not meet good maintenance standards. Maintenance by the owner shall include the cutting of grass and brush within two metres of the sign each year before July 15 and whenever such growth exceeds 25 centimetres in height. The owner shall repair or replace the sign if it becomes damaged or defaced.
  • Neither the municipal community nor INF accepts any responsibility for damages to signs erected within the public highway right of way, caused by maintenance and/or construction activities carried out by, or on behalf of their organizations.

How to Apply

  1. If a sign is being installed within municipal corporate limits, an application must be submitted to the applicable municipal office for their approval (if required) prior to sending to INF for review.
  2. Once municipal approval is granted (if required), submit a completed application form to the appropriate INF regional office. The application must include:
  • An illustration of the sign which clearly illustrates the size, shape, content including logos, images, text, font size, colours proposed for the sign.
  • A site plan (sketch or Google image) or map showing the location of the sign including applicable Highway Number or Road name, a kilometre and/or distance to a landmark, intersection or reference to closest community or feature location (i.e. Park, Access Road, etc.).
  • A sketch of the sign stand, type, and dimensions of stand components and their spacing, as well as the minimum height of the sign from the ground.
  1. Once the application is reviewed and accepted by the GNWT, the applicant will receive the signed application documents along with approval to erect the sign.