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Frequently Asked Questions
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Outdoor Advertising
  1. I am interested in doing some outdoor advertising in Massachusetts - what do I need to do to be properly licensed?

    If you are planning to engage in off-premise advertising, you are required to be licensed in Massachusetts. See the MassDOT Office of Outdoor Advertising's License Application for instructions on how to apply for a License.

  2. What if my outdoor advertising business is newly established or new to Massachusetts?

    The OOA's licensure process is for outdoor advertising purposes only - if your business is newly formed or new to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you may be required to register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

    Please review the "Business Filings" (see "Create New Entity") section of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website for information on how to register your business with that office:

    Likewise, please review the Department of Revenue's "Online Services for Businesses, Trusts and Organizations" for registering your business with that office.

  3. What do "on-premise" advertising and "off-premise" advertising mean?

    Generally, advertising is considered "off-premise" in nature when it is unrelated to the occupant of, or business conducted at, the premises, or the property itself.

    (If you are unsure about the distinction between on-premise or off-premise outdoor advertising, or have a more detailed question, please contact the MassDOT Office of Outdoor Advertising at 857-368-9700.)

  4. I want to put up a sign to advertise my business - do I need a permit from the Office of Outdoor Advertising?

    Not usually: if you are planning to advertise your own business at the business location, you do not need a state permit for "on-premise" advertising. However, you should contact your city / town to find out more information about their rules. The Commonwealth Communities webpage contains links to Massachusetts municipalities.

    However, if you are planning to advertise your business at an off-premise location, you are required to apply for an Un-Licensed Permit.

    (If you are unsure about whether the location is off-premise or have a more detailed question, please contact the MassDOT Office of Outdoor Advertising at 857-368-9700.)

  5. I want to advertise my business on the blue ("Food / Gas / Lodging") signs along the highway - who can I contact to find out more information?

    Information and application forms for Logo Board signage are available at the Mass DOT Highway Division's Traffic and Safety Engineering website.

    You should contact the Mass DOT Highway Division District Office in your area and ask the District Office staff for more information about participating in the Logo Board program.

  6. I want to advertise my farm or agricultural business; what kind of options do I have for this type of signage?

    The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ website provides information and the application form for the Agricultural Directional Signage Program at the following link:

  7. I have a vehicle that I want to put a sign on to advertise my business - do I need a permit from the Office of Outdoor Advertising?

    The Office of Outdoor Advertising does not issue permits for signs on moving vehicles.

    However, if you are looking for information about how to obtain commercial license plates, you can contact any full service branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

  8. How can I tell if the road or street where I am interested in installing a display for off-premise advertising is subject to 700 C.M.R. 3.00; M.G.L. Chapter 93D, ss 1 - 7; and/or the Federal Highway Agreement?

    Please see the "Interactive Mapping Tool" section of the MassDOT OOA's website.

    A few things to keep in mind...

    • Off-premise displays are prohibited on scenic byways.
    • Off-premise displays on or visible from a National Highway System road require permitting from the Office of Outdoor Advertising.
    • Off-premise displays on or visible from a public way require permitting from the Office of Outdoor Advertising.

    (If you have a more detailed questions please contact the Office of Outdoor Advertising at 857-368-9700.)

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