Placement of campaign signs and other unauthorized objects in state highway rights of way is prohibited under MN State Statute 160.27, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In addition, campaign signs may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits without landowner consent.
Highway rights of way include the driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.
MnDOT crews will remove any unlawfully-placed signs and impound them at one of its local maintenance truck stations.
Violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties also may apply if the placement of such material contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.
In addition, the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act (MN State Statute 173.15) prohibits erecting advertising devices on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.
MnDOT administers these laws in a fair and impartial manner. Political campaign signs are treated in the same way as any other signs wrongly placed on state highway property by businesses, churches, private citizens or charitable groups.
For information regarding the proper placement of campaign signs or where to find signs that have been removed, contact MnDOT’s Baxter office (north central Minnesota) at 218-828‑5700, or the St. Cloud office (south central Minnesota) at 320-223‑6500. See also www.dot.state.mn.us/govrel/rw_signs.html.