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Campaign Signs and Materials#

white line drawing of an election campaign sign against a blue background

The City of Fort Collins generally regulates campaign signs through its rules for temporary signs in the Land Use Code. These regulations dictate the allowed location, type, materials, and display duration of temporary signs in Fort Collins. Permits are required only if your temporary sign is a banner.

A typical campaign sign is a temporary yard sign made of inflexible vinyl or hard or corrugated plastic material. Single-family homes and duplexes can display an unlimited number of these signs, while multi-family residences can generally display 1 such sign per 20 ft. of property frontage. These signs must be no taller than 4 ft., their sign area cannot exceed 6 sq. ft., and they must be at least 2 ft. away from all property lines and other signs. The maximum duration such signs, made of this material, can be displayed is 60 days per calendar year. Thus, if a property owner wishes to display a typical campaign sign, as described, through the November 7 election, the sign cannot be displayed prior to September 9. However, if the property owner has already displayed a previous yard sign during the calendar year, their maximum duration may differ.  For example, if the property owner displayed a yard sign made of inflexible vinyl for 30 days in March, they could only display a new yard sign made of inflexible vinyl in the fall for 30 days to comply with the maximum of 60 days for a yard sign of that material. Additionally, if the property owner displayed a sign made of metal for 140 days earlier in the year, they could only display a sign made of inflexible vinyl for 40 days as the maximum posting days per year for yard signs, regardless of material, is 180 days.

Temporary signs are not permitted in the public right-of-way – on park land, medians, sidewalks, street rights-of-way, in front of City buildings or any other public area owned or controlled by the City of Fort Collins – without a permit. Signs improperly located in the public right-of-way will be removed by City staff and stored for at least 30 days at 281 North College Avenue.  You or your registered representative can retrieve your signs from this location. Please bring identification and ask for Neighborhood Services at the front desk. The building hours are 9-12 am and 1-5 pm Monday through Friday.

Questions about the City’s temporary sign regulations should be directed to Neighborhood Services. You can contact staff by phone at (970) 224-6046 or by email at

Temporary (Election) Signs FAQs

Whenever a candidate or candidate committee makes an expenditure for the purpose of financing communications expressly advocating a particular result in an election or solicits any contribution or contribution in-kind through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, direct mailing or any other type of general public political advertising, the communication must clearly state that the communication is paid for by the candidate or candidate committee. (City Code Sec. 7-140

Signs including the name of a candidate, whether or not they expressly call for action (such as “Vote for Candidate X”), will be deemed to advocate for the election of said candidate, unless such sign is clearly for another purpose (such as a sign advertising the sale of a house for which the candidate is the listing real estate agent).

Signs including the name of a candidate that include any words or symbols implying that a voter should not vote for the candidate will be deemed to advocate for the defeat of the identified candidate. One example of this would be a candidate’s name with a red circle with a diagonal line through it, commonly known to mean “NO.”

These forms of communication include, but are not limited to, websites or social media of a candidate or candidate committee that are available to the general public and which required some expenditure of funds, and advertisements placed for a fee on another person’s website or social media. The statement required must be clear and conspicuous in the communication. The required statement does not apply to communications where including the statement would be impractical, such as:

  1. Bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens and similar small items upon which the disclaimer cannot be conveniently printed;
  2. Skywriting, water towers, wearing apparel, or other means of displaying an advertisement of such a nature that the inclusion of a disclaimer would be impracticable; or
  3. Checks, receipts, and similar items of minimal value that are used for purely administrative purposes and do not contain a political message. 

Political solicitations are exempt from the City Code provision prohibiting door-to-door solicitations, except where the occupant of a private residence has chosen to post a “NO SOLICITATION” or “NO TRESPASSING” sign near the entrance to the premises. Posting of such a sign prohibits any kind of solicitation at that residence.

City Code provisions relating to noncommercial door-to-door solicitation are found in Chapter 15, Article IV, Division 1

Campaign material is not exempt from littering prohibitions. Campaign materials must be securely placed or deposited so as to prevent them from being blown or scattered by the wind. It is not permissible to place campaign materials in any fashion on motor vehicles without the vehicle owner’s permission. 

Failure to comply with the City Code and Land Use Code provisions relating to door-to-door solicitations and temporary signs is a misdemeanor and upon conviction punishable by a fine not to exceed $3,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 180 days, or both. (City Code Sec. 1-15)