Permit Flip

I am in the process of applying for a permit for an 8 sheet sized sign. The application requires detailed specifics of what the sign will look like, construction materials, exact location, height and so on. Also, once the permit is granted, the state holds the applicant of the permit accountable for building the sign according to the approved specs listed in the permit application. If my end goal is to sell the permit, would it be wiser to approach the permit buyers before I apply for the permit? This would allow the buyer to determine themselves what they want for the sign and allow for their name to be on the permit application.

No, that would be a bad strategy. If you contact a buyer before the permit is in your hands, you face the very real threat that he will go around you and steal the location from you. You have to have your groundlease and permit complete, and in your hands, before you try and sell it. You should instead file to transfer the permit after it is sold. I am unaware of any jursidiction that does not have a template to change owners of a permit from one to the other – look at the huge consolidation of billboards by CBS in recent years; they got hundreds of permits changed over.

I am looking into the same situation on my first board. By the way, the land sits by an overpass so it would be nice to have one direction 10 feet off the ground and the other 70 feet for the highway traffic. How tough is it to change or transfer the figures, lets say the real height of the board is gonna be 70 feet tall and we initially say 10 feet ? Also, I dont see where to apply for a digital permit as this isn’t mentioned on the permit app, should I just add it as an additional comment ?
Thanks for any help as your billboard books have been very informative!


The height of the billboard and the permit have to match exactly. If you need 70’, then put that in your initial application. Don’t even consider getting a 10’ permit and building 70’ – the other sign companies will turn you in immediately.

Digital permits are normally on a city level, and even then the technology is new and many inspectors won’t know what you’re talking about. If your intent is to build an LED, then be very clear with the state and/or city about what you are building. You would not want to risk the enormous cost of an LED on a permit that is flawed.

With permits, honesty is more than the best policy – it is the ONLY policy.