Call 911
Call 911 to report an accident or immediate danger.

Need something else?

You can report a problem with a building sign. Violations are issued when appropriate.

An illegal storefront building sign is one that does not follow permit regulations or a sign with lights that shine too brightly into a residential building. Light complaints may not be made anonymously. You must provide a phone number and access for the inspector to investigate. 

Include in your report, if possible:

  • The size of the sign

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to report a building sign that is:

  • Unsafe
  • In danger of falling
  • Installed without a permit
  • Installed or removed unsafely, after hours, or by a unlicensed worker

Building Signs versus Advertising Signs

A building sign is not the same as an advertising sign. An advertising sign directs attention to goods or services not found at the location of the sign.

Each type of sign carries with it different permits, regulations and penalties for non-compliance from the Department of Buildings.


A marquee is a permanent roofed structure attached to and supported by the building that projects into the public right-of-way. 

Marquees are most commonly placed over the entrance to a hotel or theater. They have signage stating either the name of the establishment or other venue information. The marquee is often identifiable by a surrounding cache of light bulbs, usually yellow or white, that flash intermittently or as chasing lights.

Chasing lights are strings of adjacent light bulbs that cycle on and off frequently to give the illusion of lights moving along the string.

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