BEMIDJI -- The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminded 2020 candidates in a press release recently about how private signs are prohibited in any kind of highway right-of-way.

In the release, MnDOT cites state law which bars signs in right-of-way, including driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches, sight corners at intersections and boulevards in urban areas. State law also notes that signs may not be placed on private land without consent from land owners.

A violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Additionally, civil penalties may also apply if the placement of such material contributes to a crash, results in an injury, or causes damage to a motor vehicle that runs off the road.

The release also notes the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act, which also prohibits placing advertising materials on public utility poles, trees and shrubs.

MnDOT workers are required to take down private signs located on the state highway right-of-way. Additionally, county, city and township employees administer these laws on their roads.

The transportation agency is also reminding residents who are placing signs on their own property to call 811 before digging to safely place campaign material without striking any underground utility.