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Highway Advertising (Billboards)

The Highway Advertising Program (HAP) is part of the Utility Coordination and Permits Section of MDOT. Federal law mandates the state establish procedures for effective control of signs along regulated routes. These control procedures are:

  • Permitting of signs, displays and devices in areas adjacent to the interstate system, Federal Aid Primary System, and freeways.
  • Maintaining inventories and periodic surveillance of controlled routes in order to discover illegal signs.
  • Monitoring other signs controlled by the Highway Advertising Act of 1972, as amended.

The intent of the HAP is to protect the public investment in highways, to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel, and to preserve natural beauty.

Important Information on January 30, 2014 Amendments to the Highway Advertising Act of 1972

As of January 30, 2014, the Highway Advertising Act of 1972 was amended through House Bill 4629. The amendments now require new applications to be submitted for Digital Billboards, a new fee structure for digital billboard applications and digital renewal fees, a change in annual commercial permit renewal fees, along with changes in the vegetation management process and associated fees.

Please be advised that the new digital billboard application forms and digital billboard application guidelines will be posted on this website beginning Tuesday, February 4. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will not accept any documents that are submitted prior to Tuesday, February 4. Applications that are not on MDOT approved forms and/or do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted. Any questions relating to these amendments can be directed to Melissa Staffeld, Highway Advertising Specialist, at (517) 335-2209.

Click here to access the new Digital Permit Application Guidelines and Forms.  Please note: The Digital Permit Application Guidelines and Forms were updated as of 3:00 p.m. on February 5, 2014. 

Click here to access the new Guidelines for Business Owned Sign Permit Applications. 

Click here to access the new Guidelines to Request Reinstatement of Canceled Permit for Existing Sign. 

Michigan Business One Stop
All highway advertising permit applications are submitted and purchased through the Michigan Business OneStop online service. For questions and assistance navigating this submittal process, please call the Customer Assistance Center; toll free, at 877-766-1779.

Click here to access directions for registering through the Michigan Business OneStop for the Highway Advertising Program. 

Online Resources

For more information, contact:

Melissa Staffeld
Highway Advertising Specialist
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Related Documents
Digital Permit Application Guidelines and Forms - 100811 bytes PDF icon
Guidelines for Business Owned Sign Permit Applications - 82716 bytes PDF icon
Guidelines to Request Reinstatement of Canceled Permit for Existing Sign - 71538 bytes PDF icon
MBOS Registration Directions for IHAP - 779400 bytes PDF icon
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