Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–303.23. Penalties and enforcement.

(a) Enforcement and adjudication of infractions of these rules shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.] (“Civil Infractions Act”), Chapter 9A of Title 50 [§ 50-921.01 et seq.] (“DDOT Establishment Act”), and Chapter 1A of Title 12A of the Construction Codes. The Mayor shall enforce the rules applicable to signs on public space, public rights-of-way, public buildings and structures, and other property owned or controlled by the District under the Civil Infractions Act and the DDOT Establishment Act. The rules applicable to signs on private property shall be enforced under the Civil Infractions Act and Chapter 1A of Title 12A of the Construction Codes. The Mayor shall also establish, by rulemaking, a schedule of fines and penalties for infractions of these rules, which shall be subject to Council review and approval as described in § 1-303.21.

(b) A person or entity, whether as principal, agent, or employee, violating rules issued pursuant to § 1-303.21 or this section shall, upon conviction in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, be fined no less than $5 nor more than $200 for each offense, and a fine shall be imposed for each day that the violation continues.


(Mar. 3, 1931, 46 Stat. 1486, ch. 399, § 4; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 457, 32 DCR 4450; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-289, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2328; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 4(b), 61 DCR 12690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-327.

1973 Ed., § 1-233.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote the section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-207 rewrote (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-497, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12749), applicable after the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property, and with the condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(d) of D.C. Law 19-181 amended § 1-303.23 to read as follows:

“(a) In addition to the remedies applicable under section 1a, the Mayor may summarily abate a violation of rules issued under section 1 if the violation presents a hazard to the public. In these circumstances, the permit holder and the owner of the property where the sign is displayed shall be entitled to an expedited hearing within 72 hours after the abatement.

“(b) Unauthorized signs and signs that are otherwise out of compliance with rules issued under section 1 shall be removed within 10 days after the permit holder, or the owner or occupant of the premises where the sign is displayed, receives a written notice of violation from the Mayor. The owner and occupant of the premises where the sign is displayed and the permit holder shall be responsible for removing the sign and may be held responsible for any penalties imposed for the violation. If the owner, occupant, or permit holder fails to remove the sign within the 10-day period and fails to request a hearing, the Mayor may remove the sign and the owner, occupant, and permit holder shall be responsible for the costs of the removal.”

Section 8 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the act shall apply upon the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property pursuant to section 2 of the act.

Section 11(b) of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.