Advertising and activities on road reserves

A road reserve is the public land beyond your property. It can include the road, footpath, nature strips, roadside, drains and kerb.

Any advertising and activities in road reserves must be safe, properly maintained and suitable for the area.

They must not disrupt:

  • road users
  • temporary roadworks or
  • public utilities.

When you need a permit

For government-managed road reserves, you must follow certain rules. This includes applying for a permit in most cases.

Check roads managed by the NT Government.

Before you apply for a permit, you must read the advertising and activities in NT Government road reserves guidelines PDF (6.0 MB)

The guidelines also explain how to apply for a permit and when permits are required.

When you don't need a permit

In some cases, you don’t need to apply for a permit to advertise or conduct activities.

You don’t need a permit from the NT Government if the road reserve is owned or controlled by:

You may need another kind of permit or follow specific rules for the following:


Depending on what you'd like to do, you must meet the following requirements.

To advertise in a road reserve, you must meet the advertising criteria.

For urban areas, advertising permits are limited to selected zones. Refer to the guidelines for these locations or the interactive map on the online permit application.

Other requirements

When you apply, you will need the following supporting information:

You remain responsible for maintaining advertising signage and materials.

You must fix any sign that needs maintenance. If you don’t, it will be removed.

You must not access signs within the road reserve without a permit to work in the road reserve.

Pay renewal fees

You must pay renewal fees to continue advertising in road reserves.

If you don’t pay the fees, or follow the guidelines, the signage will be removed.

You must make sure that activities for the sale or exchange of goods or services are safe and the area remains tidy.

The following rules apply:

  • you must have and maintain adequate public liability insurance
  • activities must not cause a traffic hazard by:
    • distracting road users or
    • attempting to attract the attention of drivers other than approved static signage
  • you are liable for any risk associated with activities within the road reserve
  • motorists must be able to access and exit sites safely
  • vehicles used must be registered and the registration maintained.

All activities must comply with the guidelines.

If you don’t follow the guidelines, your permit may be cancelled.

When you apply, you will need the following supporting information:

  • business or charity information
  • insurance – certificate of currency
  • image of any vehicles or stalls
  • image or details of any signs to be used.

Apply for a permit

Before you apply for a permit, you must read the guidelines.

By applying for a permit, you agree to accept and comply with:

  • the requirements specified in the guidelines
  • any other conditions stated in any permit granted to you.

Fees and charges may apply.

Conditions will apply to the permit and each will be valid for a specified period of time.

Apply online

Fees and charges

A new system will be in place to manage signs and activities in road reserves.

Fees will apply from 1 July 2021.

All costs including signage and installation are your responsibility.

After you are granted a permit

If you want to continue advertising or doing activities after your permit expires, you must renew it before it expires.

For more information, read the guidelines.


For more information, contact your nearest DIPL office:

Office locationPhoneEmailStreet address
Darwin 1300 011
Level 3 Highway House
Palmerston NT 0830
Katherine 08 8973
Government Centre
First Street
Katherine NT 0850
Tennant Creek 08 8962
Leichhardt Street
Tennant Creek NT 0860
Alice Springs 08 8951
Floor 1 Green Well Building
50 Bath Street
Alice Springs NT 0870
Nhulunbuy 08 8987
John Flynn Drive
Nhulunbuy NT 0880

Last updated: 18 March 2021

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