Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–763(Perm). Restrictions on use of signs.

(a) Exterior signs advertising alcoholic beverages, which signs have a total cumulative area in the aggregate in excess of 10 square feet, shall be prohibited.

(b) No sign advertising alcoholic beverages on the exterior of, or visible from the exterior of, any licensed establishment or elsewhere in the District shall be illuminated at any time when the sale of alcoholic beverages at the licensed premises is prohibited.

(c) A sign advertising alcoholic beverages on the exterior of, or visible from the exterior of, any licensed establishment, which is illuminated with intermittent flashes of light shall be prohibited.

(d) A retail licensee shall not erect or maintain at the licensed establishment, except to the extent required by federal law, a sign or lettering using the words “Wholesale,” “Wholesaler,” “Wholesale department,” or any other word or words designed or intended to mislead or deceive the general public into believing that the licensee is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages as a wholesaler.

(e) A sign which does not conform to this section shall be removed.

(f) In addition to the provisions of this section, signage shall be subject to § 1-303.21 and any rules issued pursuant to that section.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-289, § 6, 60 DCR 2328.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6 of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary amendment of (f), see § 6 of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-499, 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condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.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 6 of D.C. Law 19-181 amended (f) to read as follows:

“(f) In addition to the provisions of this section, signage shall be subject to section 1 of An Act To regulate the erection, hanging, placing, painting, display, and maintenance of outdoor signs and other forms of exterior advertising within the District of Columbia, approved March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1486; D.C. Official Code § 1-303.21), and any rules issued pursuant to that section.”

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 6 of D.C. Law 19-289 would have rewritten (f) to read as follows: "In addition to the provisions of this section, signage shall be subject to § 1-303.21, and any rules issued pursuant to that section.

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 19-289, § 6: Section 10 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the act shall not apply until 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 2 of D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote §§ 1-303.21 and 1-303.23, and repealed § 1-303.22.