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Sign Regulations

What you need to know before you post a sign in Albuquerque.

The City of Albuquerque’s Integrated Development Ordinance has specific regulations related to the posting of signs. In most cases, permits are required to post signs, including electronic signs. 

Sign Placement

To ensure your sign is placed in accordance with the applicable codes and regulations, read the General Sign Regulations in IDO Section 14-16-5-12

Please also note, that when a sign is posted illegally, it may be removed by the City. Various departments throughout the City are responsible for the collection and removal of illegal signs depending on the sign location:

  • Illegal signs improperly placed on traffic signals, traffic signs, arroyos/bridges, sidewalks, utility poles and other public right-of-way areas may be removed and disposed of by the Department of Municipal Development.
  • Illegal signs located within landscaped and non-landscaped street medians may be removed and disposed of by the Solid Waste Management Department.
  • Illegal signs placed in parks, within City limits, may be removed and disposed of by the Parks & Recreation Department.

Enforcement of Sign Regulations

The Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division handles all enforcement efforts for signs placed on private property. This includes on-premise and off-premise signs. The Code Enforcement Division uses the regulations located in the City's Integrated Development Ordinance to identify and enforce upon signs that are not in compliance. 

It's important to note that the Code Enforcement Division does not have the authority to regulate or enforce sign content. Instead, the regulations only govern size, placement location, illumination level, zoning, permit approval, etc. Concerns about sign content should be directed to the sign/billboard owner. 


Licenses: One of the following licenses is required in order to obtain a sign permit

  • GB-98 or GS-23 - May erect a sign structurally including foundations. May NOT connect or construct electrical signs.
  • ES-01 or ES-98 - May erect electrical signs including foundations and structural elements.

Wall Signs: Please include three copies of the following with your permit application

  • Elevation showing location(s) of sign(s)
  • Design of the sign including how it will be constructed
  • Method of fastening

Freestanding Signs: Please include three copies of the following with your permit application

  • If sign is over 12ft tall, provide approval from Public Service Company of New Mexico
  • If sign is over 6ft tall, provide engineered design complete with the seal of a structural engineer licensed to practice in the state of New Mexico
  • Provide a site plan or plot plan showing the location and dimensions of the sign


Below you’ll find links to assist you with securing a sign permit and answering your sign regulation questions.