Real Estate signs
Placement of real estate signs by realtors, brokers, developers, financers and others, including homeowners selling their own property, is subject to Iowa's regulatory sign laws and rules and in instances where the signs are visible from a state highway. Other local ordinances may also apply to signs placed along county roads and city streets.
View frequently asked questions about real estate signs.
Personal opinion signs
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees its citizens certain rights, including the right of free speech. If a landowner or resident wishes to express their opinion on a matter, they may do so through a message on a sign posted on property they own or on property where they reside.
Personal opinions may not be expressed through the posting of signs on the public right-of-way. Personal opinion signs should not obstruct the view for motorists at intersections or railroad crossings. The signs should not resemble or imitate official traffic control devices. Lighting should not be used in such a way that it causes glare on the roadway or impairs the vision of motorists. Advertising products or services within the message is prohibited without a state outdoor advertising permit from the Iowa DOT, in accordance with Iowa Code chapters 306B and 306C.
Political campaign signs are prohibited by Iowa Code 318 from placement within the public right of way of any highway, road, or street. Such signs are subject to removal by the highway authority with or without prior notice depending upon the proximity of the sign to the travelled portion of the roadway. Removal costs may be assessed against the person responsible for the placement of the sign. Although the condition of a removed sign cannot be guaranteed, signs removed by Iowa DOT personnel are generally preserved and held for 60 days at the nearest highway maintenance facility. For contact information in order to arrange to pick up removed signs, please visit the Iowa DOT Districts website.
Placement on private property may be permissible with landowner permission. However, restrictions for placement on private property exist within Iowa Code 68A.406. Questions regarding these restrictions may be directed to the Iowa Ethics Campaign and Disclosure Board.
Crop variety signs (also referred to as seed company signs)
During the growing season "ABC Seed" signs are allowed if plot contains "ABC Seeds" and the signs are located on private property and not within the right of way. The public right of way line is generally the same as the property line. Please ensure that you are able to identify this line and keep the sign on the private side. If the fence is running concurrent with this line, please refrain from posting the sign on the highway side of the fence.
Crop variety signs are not allowed to reference off-site locations where crop varieties or other products can be obtained, as these references are considered to be "off-premise," and thus not allowed in agricultural areas.
The sign/signs must be removed when the crop variety or product is no longer being shown or demonstrated on the site.