Apply for a Sign Permit

Looking to install a new sign for your business or organization? Need to re-face an existing sign?  Want to place a temporary sign for short-term purposes? You need to apply for a permit to make sure your sign meets our community’s standards as defined in the Grand Rapids Zoning Ordinance and the Michigan Building Code.

Online Form

Create a Citizen Access account

We use a third party application called Citizen Access for Sign Permits.  If you've never used Citizen Access, we recommend that you review how to create an account before starting your application.

Make sure you have time to apply

This application will take about 20 minutes once you've gathered the required information identified in the steps below. You can save your application and resume later if you need more time.

Review the requirements

Determine your zoning and review the relevant sign provisions of Article 15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

For help with understanding these requirements, give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section. Ask to speak with the Sign Inspector. You might have to leave a message, since the Sign Inspector is frequently out of the office performing inspections.

Make sure you have all the required information

During the application process you will need upload the following attachments:

  • Photographs of the building and all existing signs on the property
  • Site Plan – Scale drawings including proposed sign dimensions, building frontage dimension, lot lines & dimensions, right-of-way, and setback of sign from front property line
  • Sign Elevation – Scale drawing including upper height of the sign from grade, location of the sign on the building, and orientation of the sign
  • Write up sign specifications – including materials and details of construction, and anchorage or method of attachment
  • If you are not the building owner, you will need to include a written statement from the owner authorizing you to install the sign
  • If your sign includes electronic messages, you'll need to complete an Electronic Message Center Acknowledgement form with the building owner. You may submit a Sign Permit application now, but we will not be able to issue a permit until we receive the acknowledgement form separately.

Have your credit/debit card ready

You'll need to enter your credit/debit card information to pay the permit fee. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Apply online

Login to Citizen Access and choose the Sign Applications category using the link below.

Apply Online for a Sign Permit

We'll review your application

Expect to hear from us within 1-2 business days. We'll email you to confirm receipt of your application. Keep in mind that you might need to revise your application or attachments if we notice any missing or incorrect information.

Paper Form

Review the requirements

Determine your zoning and review the relevant sign provisions of Article 15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

For help with understanding these requirements, give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section. Ask to speak with the Sign Inspector. You might have to leave a message, since the Sign Inspector is frequently out of the office performing inspections.

Make sure you have all the required information

You will need to attach the following to your application:

  • Photographs of the building and all existing signs on the property
  • Site Plan – Scale drawings including proposed sign dimensions, building frontage dimension, lot lines & dimensions, right-of-way, and setback of sign from front property line
  • Sign Elevation – Scale drawing including upper height of the sign from grade, location of the sign on the building, and orientation of the sign
  • Write up sign specifications – including materials and details of construction, and anchorage or method of attachment
  • If you are not the building owner, you will need to include a written statement from the owner authorizing you to install the sign
  • If your sign includes electronic messages, you'll need to complete an Electronic Message Center Acknowledgement form with the building owner. You may submit a Sign Permit application now, but we will not be able to issue a permit until we receive the acknowledgement form separately.

Complete the application

Download, print, and fill out the printed application.

Download the Sign Permit Application

Bring your completed application to our office

We only accept printed sign permit applications in person. You can find our address in the Contact Us section of this page. We can't accept mailed, emailed, or faxed sign permit applications.

If you can't make it to our office, apply online using Citizen Access.

We'll review your application

Expect to hear from us within 1-2 business days. We'll email you to confirm receipt of your application. Keep in mind that you might need to revise your application or attachments if we notice any missing or incorrect information.

Phone

Call us for instructions

You can find our number in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you all the information you need to apply for your Sign Permit. We don't take applications over the phone, but we'll make sure you have everything you need to get your application approved.

In Person

Review the requirements

Determine your zoning and review the relevant sign provisions of Article 15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

For help with understanding these requirements, give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section. Ask to speak with the Sign Inspector. You might have to leave a message, since the Sign Inspector is frequently out of the office performing inspections.

Make sure you have all the required information

You will need to attach the following to your application:

  • Photographs of the building and all existing signs on the property
  • Site Plan – Scale drawings including proposed sign dimensions, building frontage dimension, lot lines & dimensions, right-of-way, and setback of sign from front property line
  • Sign Elevation – Scale drawing including upper height of the sign from grade, location of the sign on the building, and orientation of the sign
  • Write up sign specifications – including materials and details of construction, and anchorage or method of attachment
  • If you are not the building owner, you will need to include a written statement from the owner authorizing you to install the sign
  • If your sign includes electronic messages, you'll need to complete an Electronic Message Center Acknowledgement form with the building owner. You may submit a Sign Permit application now, but we will not be able to issue a permit until we receive the acknowledgement form separately.

Come to our office and fill out an application

You'll find our address in the Contact Us section of this page.

You can download and print the application beforehand if you want. Otherwise, we'll get you a copy when you come in.

Download and Print the Sign Permit Application

We'll review your application

Expect to hear from us within 1-2 business days. We'll email you to confirm receipt of your application. Keep in mind that you might need to revise your application or attachments if we notice any missing or incorrect information.