Advertising and Sign Permits
Why and How to Obtain a Advertising or Business Sign Permit
Why Apply: Signs announcing or advertising a business, product or service require a sign permit prior to installation (certain exemptions related to size and type may apply; See Section 4-4-48)
Who May Apply: Applications for sign permits can be submitted by sign professionals holding a current City of Detroit Sign License only.
Sign professionals may contact the department's Construction Division for information on obtaining a sign professional license and registration at (313) 224-3202.
How to Apply: Applications for sign permits are submitted through the City's online ACCELA eLaps permit application portal only (Sign Permit applications are not accepted in-person)
To access the online portal, click the following website: ACCELA eLaps.
(NOTE: EACH PROPOSED SIGN TO BE INSTALLED REQUIRES A SEPARATE PERMIT APPLICATION)
Step 1. Create an ACCELA eLaps Account (requires electronically connecting current sign professional license to the account).
Step 2. Complete electronic application in eLaps (complete all fields in order to proceed to payment).
Step 3. Submit electronic payment through eLaps and save receipt to file.
Step 4. Record Permit Application Number for use when accessing applications or documents, inquiring on status, or asking questions of Plan Reviewer or Information Technician.
Step 5. Access your ePlans account through ProjectDox system and upload drawings from email notice with link (first-time users will receive a temporary password to access account).
Step 6. Access created case by application number and upload all required documents (see Section 4-4-19 for list of required documents). Pages of documents submitted must be in PDF format and uploaded separately.
Step 7. Submit corrections through ePlans (you will be notified by email from ePlans of any corrections needed).
Step 8. Return applicant corrections by completing "Applicant Correction Task" answering check box questions and submit.
Step 9. Download your permit from eLaps.
Step 10. Request a Sign Permit inspection within 160 days of permit issuance (for permit inspections contact the Construction Division at (313) 224-3202).
Step 11. Obtain a Certificate of Acceptance from the Construction Division.
NOTE: A Sign License will be issued along with the Certificate of Acceptance. Renewal of the Sign License must be obtained every two years following the issuance of the Certificate of Acceptance. For more information please contact the Property Maintenance Division at (313) 224-3182.
The following are additional documents and tools to assist with understanding the requirements and completing the Sign Permit online application:
Detroit Sign District Map
Entertainment District Map
DETROIT ADVERTISING AND SIGN ORDINANCE
The City of Detroit has amended Chapter 4 of the 2019 Detroit City Code Advertising and Signs Ordinance for advertisement and business signs. The effective date of the amendment is December 9, 2020:
Chapter 4 Sign Ordinance (12-9-20)
DETROIT ADVERTISING AND SIGN GUIDE
The City of Detroit has prepared a sign guidebook containing graphics, workflows and information that is convenient for the understanding, implementation, and enforcement of the Advertising And Signs Ordinance. For a copy of the Detroit Advertising And Sign User Guide click the following link:
ADVERTISING & SIGN GUIDEBOOK
SIGN PERMIT APPLICATION CHECKLIST: BSEED SIGN APPL CHECKLIST.pdf
SIGN PERMIT APPLICATION DOCUMENT CHECKLIST: SIGN PERMIT APP DOC SUBMITTAL CHECKLIST REV 1-5-21.pdf
SIGN PROFESSIONAL LIST: 2022 LICENSED SIGN PROFESSIONAL LIST
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT ADVERTISING SIGN PERMIT
In accordance with Division 5 of the Chapter 4 Advertising And Sign ordinance, the City of Detroit has established procedures for apply for an Advertising Sign Permit located in the Central Business District. the two-stage process is as follows:
Stage #1 Waiting List Entry Form: An electronic form (Smartsheet generated) accessed in the "Forms" section of this webpage must be completed. this phase begins with the completion of the form, being placed on the Waiting List, and obtaining approval to proceed with Stage #2.
Stage #2 Sign Permit Application: The electronic sign permit application accessed through the ePlans ACCELA system (an approved reference code wil be issued to the applicant to complete the application) and the submitting of all required documents, specifications and plans through the ePlans ProjectDox system.
To access the Waiting List form select from the "Forms" section below. For more information on the process select the Waiting List & Permit Process document in the "Documents" Section below.