Sign Permits

If you are considering putting up new signage, or changing the existing signage for your business you will need to obtain a sign permit.

Guide: Sign Permits

The Sign Bylaw

The City of New Westminster’s Sign Bylaw controls all signs within the City. A sign is defined as “any structure, device or visual display which communicates information or attracts the attention of persons for any purpose.” Each zoning district has requirements for the types and size of signs allowed.

Click here to view the Sign Bylaw.


The City of New Westminster is currently updating the Sign Bylaw, which regulates business advertising and identification signage. The Sign Bylaw Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts on the proposed changes. We are now reviewing your feedback and will report back in early 2017.

Click here to read the staff report to Council from September 12, 2016.

Processing Applications for Sign Permits

  1. The applicant makes a formal application to the Building DivisionClick here for Application Form and Submission Requirements.  

  2. The applicant pays the required fee and submits two complete sets of plans to support the application.

  3. The plans are reviewed by the Planning Division for Sign Bylaw compliance.

  4. The plans are reviewed by the Building Division for Building Code compliance. The applicant may be required to submit sign plans sealed or stamped by a Structural Engineer.

  5. When all requirements have been met and approvals received the permit is issued and the applicant may commence work.

  6. When the sign installation is completed, a letter from the engineer or associated firm must be deposited with the Building Division stating that the sign has been installed and inspected under the engineer’s supervision, and the work is in accordance with the submitted plans.

  7. The Building Division does the final inspection.

  • Do I require a sign permit to put up a sign to advertise my business?

    Yes. The Sign Bylaw requires that a person shall obtain a sign permit from the City if they are proposing to construct, erect, alter, rebuild, reconstruct, move, demolish or remove a sign.

    There’s a sign already in place in the location I’m moving into. I will only be changing the face of the sign to the name of my business. Do I need a sign permit?

    Yes. A face change or reskinning of a sign requires a permit.

    The business across the street from me has a projecting sign but according to the Sign Bylaw I can’t have one. This doesn’t seem fair.

    Most likely that sign across the street was put up several years ago when the bylaw did allow that type of sign. It is now considered “legally non-conforming” to the bylaw today. If that sign were to come off the wall in a storm or be damaged in some way that necessitated its removal, a replacement sign would not be allowed, as any new signage must conform with the bylaw of today.

    What if I don’t get a sign permit for my new or changed sign?

    You could receive a Municipal Ticket from the City that will carry a fine of $250. Should you elect to pay the fine as a cost of doing business and still not get a permit you will be repeatedly ticketed until you do obtain a sign permit.

    I would like to make the sign permit application myself rather than hiring a sign company to do it. Is this allowed?

    It is preferable that a professional sign company make the application, as the company will have the expertise to properly install a sign. Professional sign companies also have insurance that covers liability in the event that one of their signs falls off a building and injures a pedestrian. If a business owner wishes to make an application himself he should be prepared to submit complete application.

  • The City's Sign Bylaw also covers murals which are public art done by a qualified artist.

    Mural Policy and Guidelines

    Mural Permit Application Form

  • Planning Division
    Building Division