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ISA/SSSA Work Clarifies Electrical Sign Licensing Requirement for Florida Companies

ISA and the Southern States Sign Association (SSSA) have accomplished the difficult task of influencing state legislation, solving a challenge to sign companies operating in Florida. This is the latest successful state legislative win for ISA and SSSA, which also teamed to positively impact licensing of sign companies in South Carolina a few years ago.  

The issue in Florida began when several cities required sign companies with electrical sign (ES) licenses to hire a general contractor to pull permits for non-electrical sign work. This came from their interpretation of existing Florida laws.

SSSA members notified ISA of their members’ frustration. ISA and SSSA met with the local jurisdictions to clarify their positions and sought input from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). It became clear that the only sure way to succeed would be to clarify the law. 

“Changing state law is never easy,” said David Hickey, ISA’s vice president of advocacy. “We only needed to add two words to existing law to clear the matter up. Still, it took a lot of work from active SSSA members to make that happen. We’re pleased with the result. It makes completing sign projects more efficient for ES licensed sign companies.”

On May 10, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law, adding “and non-electrical”—the two needed words—into the existing law. The law takes effect July 1, 2024. 

ISA and SSSA recommend that ES license holders have specific language handy, if local officials aren’t aware of the changes. The specific language can be found in Section 16. Subsection (19) of section 489.505. 

This is also the latest win that ISA and SSSA have enjoyed in Florida in recent years. The two organizations recently worked in Orlando on sign code changes that allowed electronic message centers for the first time. As with the state licensing issue, the EMC issue came from strong SSSA member involvement and commitment. 

ISA and its Affiliated Associations work on behalf of members and the sign and graphics industry at the local, state and federal levels. Amplify frustrating issues like these by emailing them to