Signs & Banners

City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance Article 51 regulates signs and banners in residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Because there are many types of signs and banners, the information provided on this page is intended to be used only as a guideline. Please inquire with the City of Rockford's Land Use and Zoning Department page or call 779-348-7163 for more detailed answers. Permits are required for most signs and banners and can be obtained through the Construction and Development Division or by visiting the Permits page.

Signs Not Permitted

The following is a non-comprehensive list of common sign types that are prohibited in the City of Rockford:

  • Signs which change messages by rotating or swiveling
  • Strobe/flashing lights
  • Mobile signs and other signs designed to be moved easily and not permanently affixed to the ground or to a structure or building (example: feather flags and banners)
  • Searchlights, except by temporary permit
  • Signs erected on public property and right-of-way areas
  • Signs posted on fences which are located on property lines
  • Signs posted on utility poles, trees, or on other natural features
  • Sign erected on rooftops
  • Signs attached to or painted on a vehicle parked on or adjacent to a public thoroughfare for the sole purpose of advertising
  • Signs carried, waved or otherwise displayed by persons either on public rights-of-way or in a manner visible from public rights-of-way intended to draw attention for a commercial purpose.

Garage, Yard, or Rummage Sale Signs

No permit is required if the proposed sign does not exceed 2 feet by 2 feet or 4 square feet total and is displayed only on private residential property for no more than 4 consecutive days in any 6-month period. Such signs shall be removed the day following the sale. Garage, yard or rummage sale signs are limited to one per zoning lot in residential districts. Such signs are not permitted on public property or property not used for residential purposes.

Temporary Advertising Banners

Banners or inflatable signs and advertising devices are permitted in Commercial and Industrial Districts for not more than 7 consecutive calendar days in any single 6-month period. There is a limit of 2 total banners or devices and a temporary sign permit

is required through the Construction and Development Division or by clicking here.

Political Signs

  • Residential Property: Political signs on a residential property shall not exceed 5 square feet in size. There are no restrictions on the number or duration of said signs.
  • Commercial and Industrial Districts: Political signs on the commercial and industrial zoned property shall not exceed 32 square feet in size and no more than 2 signs per candidate or issue. Political signs are subject to the same regulations as any temporary sign or inside window sign. Additional political signs are permitted only to the extent allowed under the zoning regulation.

Real Estate Signs

No permits are required for signs that meet the following restrictions. In residential districts, "For Sale", "For Rent", or "Open House" signs are permitted up to 5 square feet in size. Such signs are limited to one per zoning lot, except corner lots may display one sign visible from each street frontage, and may be displayed as long as the property is for sale or rent. Property directional signs are not larger than 2 square feet may be installed at the head of a cul-de-sac or an arterial street leading to the property during sale or lease period, but must be private property (e.g. not within the parkway between sidewalk and curb) and have that land owner's permission.

In commercial and industrial districts: Signs up to 32 square feet on property up to 5 acres in size and up to 64 square feet on property of 5 acres or more. Such signs are limited to one per zoning lot, except corner lots may display one sign visible from each street frontage. Signs must be located a minimum of 5 feet from property line, located outside of the sight triangle and not distract the view of traffic. Signs must be removed within 14 days of sale or lease.