The Hawaii Department of Transportation has been busy removing illegal campaign signs from state roads.

Hundreds of unpermitted signs have been collected in the past month alone, with a new batch removed Monday. Officials say the problem is statewide.

“One thing that will happen is a campaign or someone might put up that political sign, then we’ll get a complaint from the public saying, ‘Why are you supporting this person?’ or ‘Did you allow this campaign to put it on there?’ which we did not,” said DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara. “So we will have to go out there and take the signs down and that does take away from all some of the other duties that these maintenance crews and staff have to do.”

The DOT says signs are typically kept for two weeks. If they’re not picked up, they’re thrown away.

If you see unpermitted campaign signs, you can notify the state by island:

  • Oahu: (808) 831-6714 or email
  • Hawaii Island: (808) 933-8878
  • Maui: (808) 873-3535
  • Kauai: (808) 241-3000 (follow the voice prompts for potholes or other maintenance)

Federal Highway Administration 23 CFR §750.704 Statutory Requirements

Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) restricts signs adjacent to Interstate and primary highways which are visible from the main-traveled way and within 660 feet of the edge of the right-of-way to the following:

  • Directional and official signs
  • Signs advertising the sale or lease of property upon which they are located
  • Signs advertising activities conducted on the property on which they are located
  • Signs which are zoned industrial or commercial under State law
  • Signs which are unzoned industrial or commercial as determined by the State and U.S. Secretary of Transportation
  • Landmark signs which have been lawfully in existence since October 22, 1965

Hawaii Revised Statutes §264-72 Control of outdoor advertising. 

No person shall erect or maintain any outdoor advertising outside of the right-of-way boundary and visible from the main-traveled way of any federal-aid or state highway within the State, except the following:

  1. Directional and other official signs and notices, which signs and notices shall include, but not be limited to, signs and notices pertaining to natural wonders, scenic and historic attractions as authorized or required by law.
  2. Signs, displays, and devices advertising the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located.
  3. Signs, displays, and devices advertising activities conducted on the property upon which they are located.
  4. Signs lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, determined by the director to be landmark signs, including signs on farm structures or natural surfaces, of historic or artistic significance the preservation of which would be consistent with the purpose of this section. [L 1966, c 45, pt of §2; HRS §264-72; am L 1975, c 39, §1]

Click here for more information from the Hawaii Office of Elections.