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Is Sign Spinning Legal? By State, City, County

Is Sign Spinning Legal? By State, City, County

When it comes to grabbing the attention of passersby, few tactics are as effective as sign spinning. But one crucial question often lingers: is sign spinning legal? The laws governing this form of advertising vary by state, city, and even county in the United States. This blog post aims to delve into the complexities surrounding the legality of sign spinning, examining both sides of the argument—why some people consider it should be illegal and why businesses advocate for it.

Why the Legality of Sign Spinning is a Grey Area

The reason sign spinning legality falls into a grey area is due to the varying ordinances across different jurisdictions. While some states have clear regulations, others leave it to individual cities or counties to set the rules. This inconsistency often leads to confusion for both businesses and sign spinners.

State-by-State Overview of Sign Spinning Laws

  • California

In California, sign spinning is generally permitted, but local ordinances might have restrictions concerning the size of the sign, location, and even the hours of operation. Sacramento’s signs ordinance can be found here and Los Angeles signs rules here.

  • Texas

Texas has a more lenient stance on sign spinning but leaves the final regulations up to local governments, who may impose restrictions based on safety concerns. Austin’s signs ordinance can be found here. Dallas’s signs ordinance can be found here.

  • Florida

Florida has specific laws regulating sign spinning, often requiring permits and specifying where sign spinning can take place. Miami’s signs ordinance can be found here.

  • New York

In New York, sign spinning is generally allowed, but there are restrictions related to obstructing pedestrian movement and ensuring public safety.

  • Illinois

Illinois does not have a statewide rule, leaving the legality of sign spinning up to individual cities and counties. In Chicago, for example, you need a permit for public advertising.

The list continues, but the general rule is that regulations can differ widely even within states, making it essential to check local ordinances for each of the states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, 

The Case Against Sign Spinning



  • Safety Concerns

One of the main reasons people argue that sign spinning should be illegal is the potential safety hazard it could cause. Sign spinners often perform near busy intersections, which could distract drivers and lead to accidents.

  • Visual Pollution

Another concern is that sign spinning contributes to visual pollution, cluttering public spaces and detracting from the community’s aesthetic.

  • Potential for Public Nuisance

Some individuals consider sign spinning as creating a public nuisance, particularly if the activity obstructs pedestrian pathways or involves loud and distracting behavior.

The Business Case for Sign Spinning

  • Effective Local Advertising

Businesses advocate for the legality of sign spinning primarily because it works.It is an effective way of catching attention and drawing foot traffic to stores or events.

  • Job Creation

Sign spinning offers employment opportunities, often attracting young adults and students looking for part-time work.

  • Community Engagement

Some businesses argue that sign spinning adds a layer of entertainment and local flavor, enhancing rather than detracting from community life.

  • Know Your Local Laws

Before embarking on a sign spinning campaign, it’s crucial to consult your local laws and obtain any necessary permits. Failure to do so could result in fines or legal action, turning what could have been a successful advertising campaign into a costly endeavor.


While the legality of sign spinning varies by state, city, and county, the debate over its pros and cons is universal. While safety and aesthetic concerns form the crux of the arguments against it, the effectiveness of sign spinning as an advertising strategy and its benefits to the local economy make a strong case for its legalization. As always, if you’re considering employing sign spinning as a marketing tactic, be sure to consult local laws to ensure you’re in compliance. A