No Trespassing – All State Laws & Sign Requirements

Presumably simple, the term ‘trespass’ can sometimes be confusing for property owners and violators involved. While most laws define trespassing as ‘an unauthorized entry upon the land of another,’ trespass can also be a chemical substance or a gas pipeline straying from one landowner’s land to another’s. For the most part, these actions represent a civil law tort more commonly known as trespass to land, where intent is one of the prime considerations. People are dragged to court because they are not authorized, licensed, or invited to a property, and they knowingly enter or remain on the property, even after they have been asked to leave by the owner.
About 28 states- require posting no trespassing warning signs and notices to restrict unwanted access to the property. These signs, when placed at conspicuous locations and sufficiently, act as 24/7 legal notices.

 

 

Are No Trespassing Signs admissible in court?

Most states require ‘No Trespassing Signs’ or similar notices but their definition of trespassing and requirements for the signs may vary. Based on individual state laws, several courts over the years have reiterated the importance of no trespassing signs in their rulings.

In People v Barnes 2015, Thomas Barnes was charged with criminal trespass in the second degree and third degree (Penal Law § 140) because he was found in a building's vestibule posted with a "No Trespassing" sign.

Not posting a sign played a crucial role in reversing the conviction in New Mexico v. Merhege 2017, when it was established that the property’s driveway was not posted with a “no trespassing” sign and the property owner gave no other explicit warnings not to enter, considering it as presumptive permission to enter.

Interestingly, the mere presence of a sign is not enough - it is important to make sure that the signage is proper and placed in accordance with the concerned law. In State v. Albertson, 2019, the motion to suppress by Alberston was denied after concluding that the sign at issue did not convey a clear and unambiguous message to the public to refrain from approaching the property. Simply put, it was not prominent enough to revoke the license to enter.
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Let’s take a look at all state laws and sign requirements.

Alabama

Alabama Trespassing Laws
In Alabama, if the person knowingly enters and remains on the said property unlawfully, it is considered trespassing. The person may be charged with criminal trespass: first degree, second degree, third degree, and by motor vehicle.
Alabama statutes state that a person cannot enter or remain in any building or on vacant land unless authorized to do so.

Alabama No Trespassing Sign Requirements
As per Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-7-1, a personal notice, or a notice given by posting in a conspicuous manner is required. “A sign or signs posted on the property, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden
For trespassing by motor vehicle, the parking area needs to be identified with one sign or in case of large parking spaces, one sign for every 150 parking spaces. Parking space no trespassing signs should carry the message to following effect –
“Notice Private Property
Entry restricted to our tenants, their customers, employees and invitees. Remaining after proper use is prohibited. Violators may be charged with trespassing.”
 

Alaska

Alaska Trespassing Laws
Alaska pays importance to intent. As per Alaska Statute AS 11.46.350, it is not a criminal trespass if a person enters or remains on land without any intent to commit a crime unless a no trespassing notice has to be personally communicated by the owner or authorized person, or the notice against trespass is also acceptable by posting in a reasonably conspicuous manner.

Alaska No Trespassing Sign Requirements
No Trespassing Notice Requirements include –

  • - Trespassing signs/notices must be in English and clearly legible.
  • - They should be at least 144 square inches in size along with the name and address of the person under whose authority the property is posted and the name and address of the person who is authorized to grant permission to enter the property,
  • - Signs can be placed at each roadway and at all known accesses onto the property.
  • - Signage must be placed along the perimeter at each cardinal point, in case of an island.
  • - Signs should explicitly state the specific intended prohibitions like hunting, trespassing, fishing, digging, etc.
 

Arizona

Arizona Trespassing Laws
Arizona laws charge in first, second and third degree for criminal trespass depending on the type of trespass. As per Arizona Statute ARS § 13-1502, a person commits criminal trespass in the third degree when deliberately entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request from the owner, law enforcement officer, or any other authorized person for the property. A reasonable notice prohibiting entry is also a valid notice against trespassing.
In simple terms, in Arizona, trespassing can happen when someone violates a ‘No Trespassing sign’. Specifically when someone remains on train tracks or railroad company property unlawfully.
In Phoenix, property owners can submit an ‘authority to arrest’ form that enables law enforcement officers to patrol the property and catch trespassers.

Arizona No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Installing signs at all known entrances to indicate no trespassing and also on boundaries at regular intervals is required. It is recommended that these signs be a minimum 16 inches by 24 inches, and in English and Spanish, mentioning the trespassing law ARS 13-1502.
 

Arkansas

Arkansas Trespassing Laws
The Arkansas state under AR code § 5-39-203 considers it a criminal trespass if a person purposely enters or remains unlawfully (without consent in a vehicle of another person, or in premises owned or leased by another person.

Arkansas No Trespassing Sign Requirements
AR Code § 18-11-405 specifies signage requirements for real property. Owners or lessees may post signs that “shall bear the words "posted" or "no trespassing", or both”. The letters should be at least four inches (4") high and should be placed in a position of high visibility for people approaching the property.
Moreover, signs should be placed around the boundaries of the property no more than one thousand feet (1,000') apart and at all entries.
 

California

California Trespassing Laws
California details several acts of criminal trespass, most often charged as a misdemeanor, under Penal Code Sections 601 and 602. The common element for an act of trespassing in California occurs when any person Defendant willfully enters the property belonging to someone else, without permission with an intention to interfere with the rightful owner's property.
Trespassing under California Penal Code Section 602.8 PC is an infraction that is punishable by a fine.

California No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The law clearly states that it is a willful trespass where signs forbidding trespass are displayed, not less than 3 at regular intervals per mile, along all exterior boundaries, and at all roads and trails entering the land.
California Civil Code (CIV § 1008) specifies that an owner can, to avoid easement of unused land, post at each entrance to the property or at intervals of not more than 200 feet along the boundary a sign reading substantially as follows: ?“Right to pass by permission, and subject to control, of owner: ? Section 1008, Civil Code .”
 

Colorado

Colorado Trespassing Laws
Colorado classifies trespassing into first, second and third degree, depending upon what barriers or other obstructions to entry are crossed or breached in order to gain unlawful access to the property.
The CRS 18-4-502 states that a criminal trespass occurs when a person unlawfully enters or remains on another person’s property. Unlawfully here would mean without permission or consent, whether express or implied, of the owner of the property.

Colorado No Trespassing Sign Requirements
As mentioned in CRS § 33-6-116(1), a personal notice or a notice forbidding entry is given by posting with signs is required.

Signs must -

  • - be place at intervals of not more than four hundred forty yards, or
  • - by posting with signs at such entrance to the private land or the forbidden part of the land

If the designated access road is not posted, said notices shall be posted at the entrance to private land and shall be read: “ENTERING PRIVATE PROPERTY REMAIN ON ROADS”.
 

Connecticut

Connecticut Trespassing Laws
In Connecticut penal code, there are three degrees of Criminal Trespass punishable as misdemeanors. As per section 53a-109 of the code, a person commits third-degree criminal trespass when, knowing he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains on any premises for hunting, trapping, or fishing or enters or remains on premises that are posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or that are fenced or enclosed to exclude intruders.

Connecticut No Trespassing Sign Requirements
There are no particular signage specifications but Connecticut classifies a violation as Class C or Class B misdemeanor when the person enters or remains on public land which is posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.
 

Delaware

Delaware Trespassing Laws
Title 11 – Section 821 of Delaware law states that “a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully upon real property.”
An unusual law in Delaware under section § 820 is that of the “Peeping tom”. Trespassing with intent to peer or peep into a window or door of another is a class B misdemeanor.
 

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Trespassing Laws
As per section 22-3302 of the DC Code, an individual (without legal authority) who enters, attempts to enter, or remains on the private or public property against the will of the lawful occupant or of the person lawfully in charge of the property can be charged with this misdemeanor offense.

District of Columbia No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The law clearly states that the presence of a ‘no trespassing sign’ for a vacant or not to be entered property is sufficient to consider it an unlawful trespass.
 

Florida

Florida Trespassing Laws
Florida defines criminal trespass in detail under sections § 810.09, § 810.10, and § 810.011. Essentially criminal trespass occurs when a person unlawfully, i.e. without authorization, invite or license of the owner, willfully enters the property structure or conveyance. Also, if a person is authorized, licensed or invited but refuses to depart after warnings by the owner, or lessee.

Florida No Trespassing Sign Requirements
In addition to painted notices, § 810.011 specifications of posted signs clearly mention:

“Posted land” is that land upon which:
  • - Signs are placed not more than 500 feet apart along, and at each corner of the boundaries of the land
  • - They are prominently displayed
  • - Letters of not less than 2 inches in height
  • - the words “no trespassing” and along with the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of said land
  • - Signs shall be placed along the boundary line of posted land in a manner and in such position as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line

The state also specifies signage requirements for different sites in section 810.09 relating to Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.
 

Georgia

Georgia Trespassing Laws
Under Georgia code § 16-7-21 criminal trespass occurs when “a person commits the offense of criminal trespass when he or she intentionally damages any property of another without consent of that other person and the damage thereto is $500.00 or less or knowingly and maliciously interferes with the possession or use of the property of another person without consent of that person.”

Georgia No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Law specifies ‘notice from the owner’ as the warning against trespassing, without specifying the type of notice.
 

Hawaii

Hawaii Trespassing Laws
In Hawaii, a person commits criminal trespass in the second degree when he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon a premises that is enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or are fenced; or in or upon a commercial premises after they have received a reasonable warning or request to leave by the owner or the lessee or police officer. Reasonable warning herein refers to warning or request communicated in writing at any time within the year prior to the date of the incident.

Hawaii No Trespassing Sign Requirements
For unenclosed agricultural land, Hawaii specifies signage requirements under section § 708-814. This includes –

  • - Providing sufficient notice with signs that reads “Private Property” or “Government Property--No Trespassing”
  • - Minimum 2-inch sign letter height
  • - Placed at reasonable intervals, no less than 3 signs for a mile along the boundary line.
  • - Placed at roads and trails in a clearly noticeable manner, from the outside boundary line.
 

Idaho

Idaho Trespassing Laws
Idaho has simplified its trespassing laws and clarifies what does not constitute as criminal trespassing in detail along with regular definitions under section 18-7008. The state also classifies any unauthorized removing or destroying of "no trespassing" signs or markers as a ‘damage’ to property.

Idaho No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Landowners who want to keep trespassers out and reserve the right for possible prosecution or civil action are required to post conspicuously on their uncultivated property that adjoins public land with no trespassing signs or orange paint at the corners of fence lines, at navigable streams, roads, gates and right of ways in such a manner that a “reasonable person would be put on notice that it is private land.” If the property is unfenced and uncultivated, the requirement is to be posted at all corners.
 

Illinois

Illinois Trespassing Laws
Illinois classifies trespassing separately for real property (720 ILCS 5/21-3), residences (720 ILCS 5/19-4) and vehicles (720 ILCS 5/21-2), with largely the definition consisting of unlawful entry and stay in a property without the consent or authorization of the owner or authorized person.

Illinois No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The owner is required to post conspicuous notices or inform personally in oral or written form. "No trespassing" signs as well as purple paint signifies a notice to not enter. Owners may mark the property by placing identifying purple marks on trees or posts around the forbidden area.
 

Indiana

Indiana Trespassing Laws
In Indiana, under the Code § 35-43-2, a person is trespassing when he or she “knowingly or intentionally enters the real property of another person after having been denied entry by the other person or that person’s agent.” Residential entry trespass is a Level 6 felony in Indiana.

Indiana No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The Indiana Division of Forestry puts the posting of ‘no trespassing’ signs as the foremost line of defense against liability. New laws in Indiana allow the use of purple paints as well.
 

Iowa

Iowa Trespassing Laws
Iowa criminal trespass laws cover the land, structures, dwellings, and vehicles. Section § 716 of the Iowa code defines trespassing in its various forms along with what is not construed as trespassing (like retrieving personal property). It also includes penalties for criminal trespass.
As of June 2020, Iowa has put a new food trespass law into effect as well. “A person commits food operation trespass by entering or remaining on the property of a food operation without the consent of a person who has real or apparent authority to allow the person to enter or remain on the property.”

Iowa No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Amongst other things, it is considered trespassing if a printed or written notice forbidding such entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance to the property or the forbidden part of the property.
 

Kansas

Kansas Trespassing Laws
Chapter 21, article 21-3721 defines criminal trespass as “entering or remaining upon or in any land, nonnavigable body of water, structure, vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, other than railroad property as defined in K.S.A. 21-3761”

Kansas No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Signs and postings against trespassing are required as mentioned under articles 21-3721 and K.S.A. 32-1013 in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders. Purple marks on trees or posts are also acceptable forms of notice.
 

Kentucky

Kentucky Trespassing Laws
Ky. Rev. Stat. § 511.080 specifies all forms of trespassing, regardless of the type, as misdemeanors, as long as they happen isolated from any other criminal activity. It also includes trespassing in or on someone’s land, vehicle and even their dwelling.

Kentucky No Trespassing Sign Requirements
General provisions also state that trespassing occurs if a person enters and remains an unused or unimproved land after person notice or when notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner.
 

Louisiana

Louisiana Trespassing Laws
Trespassing in Louisiana as under RS 14:63 occurs when a person enters or remains in any structure, watercraft, or movable owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.
Possible intruders should be forbidden from entering the property by explicit information either verbally or in writing.

Louisiana No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Law clearly specifies posting sign or signs at places that are reasonably expected to be seen.
 

Maine

Maine Trespassing Laws
As per Maine Law, a person is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing that that person is not licensed or privileged to do so. This is applicable to dwellings, structures, land and more.

Louisiana No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Signage plays a crucial role as per Maine Revised Statutes Title 17-A- § 402.
“It is trespassing if the property is posted in accordance with subsection 4 or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or that is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders”
Signs are required to-
 
  • - Signs must indicate that access is prohibited, that access is prohibited without permission of the landowner or landowner's agent, or that access for a particular activity is prohibited.
  • - Be marked at intervals no more than 100 feet and at all access points from a public road
  • - Be posted on only the prohibited part of the property
- Vertical paint markings are also a valid form of conspicuous notice.
 

Maryland

Maryland Trespassing Laws
In Maryland, violators are charged with a misdemeanor for trespassing and can be fined and/or imprisoned.

Maryland No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Maryland law §6–402 provides that if you post a reasonably placed clear prohibition sign on your property where they are easily seen and say something like “No Trespassing Private Property” or “No Trespassing Violators Will Be Prosecuted,” you have met state law requirements that the owner or his agent must notify persons not to enter the property.
Paint marks are also acceptable notices that conform with regulations that the Department of Natural Resources adopts under § 5-209 of the Natural Resources Article
 

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Trespassing Laws
In Massachusetts, trespass involves the act of entering or remaining in or upon someone’s dwelling house, building, boat, or even improved or enclosed land, a wharf, or pier without the owner’s permission or other rights. It is also considered Trespassing if a person enters or remains in a school bus after explicitly being informed to not do so by the person who has lawful control of said premises, whether directly or by a notice posted on the property.

Massachusetts No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Massachusetts law M.G.L. c. 266, § 120. emphasizes the requirement of notice by the owner or someone with legal control. In order to prove trespassing a notice at a distinctly visible and suitable place is required or a personal one.
 

Michigan

Michigan Trespassing Laws
Similar to other states, Michigan law 750.552 states trespassing as an act of unlawfully entering and remaining on the land or premises after having been forbidden or notified to do so by the owner or occupant or the agent of the owner or occupant.
Entering or remaining without lawful authority on fenced or posted farm property of another person without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent also accounts for trespassing in Michigan.

Michigan No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Section 324.73102 under Natural Resources And Environmental Protection Act states sign requirements entering or remaining on property of another person’s property.

  • - Property needs to be posted in a conspicuous manner to forbid entries.
  • - Minimum letter height on the posting signs shall be 1 inch.
  • - Each posting sign shall be not less than 50 square inches.
  • - Signs shall be spaced to enable a person to observe not less than 1 sign at any point of entry upon the property.
 

Minnesota

Minnesota Trespassing Laws
Treated as misdemeanor(s), a variety of acts fall under the definition of criminal trespass in Minnesota detailed in section 609.605. This includes schools, land, property, agricultural land, school bus, and more.

Minnesota No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Minnesota also specifies clear requirements for signage against trespassing. The posted property includes –

  • - 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches sign posted in a conspicuous manner on or inside the building/property
  • - Sign should carry a general notice warning against trespass
  • - 1 additional sign for area protected in less than 3 Acres and additional 2 signs in area between 3 and 10 acres.

Refer to state laws here for complete sign requirement details.

Section 97B.001 of Minnesota statutes also carry sign requirements for posted land against outdoor recreation purposes –

This includes-

  • - Landowners, lessees, or authorized managers need only post their land once a year.
  • - Carry clear message like "no trespassing" or similar terms
  • - Minimum letter height to be 2 Inches
  • - Should be signed by or include the legible name of the owner, occupant, lessee, or authorized manager
  • - Must be installed at intervals of 1,000 feet (500 feet in wooded areas) or may be placed at primary corners of each parcel and at access points to the property.
 

Mississippi

Mississippi Trespassing Laws
In Mississippi § 97-17-97 Trespass means “going into or upon, or remaining in or upon, buildings, premises or lands of another after being forbidden to do so.”

Mississippi No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Signs count as legal notices and should be reasonably placed for conspicuity, forbidding clearly against trespass.
 

Missouri

Missouri Trespassing Laws
Under Section Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.140, of the Missouri Law, “a person commits the offense of trespass in the first degree if he or she knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property.”

Missouri No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The law states that unless there is actual communication to the actor or posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, it is not trespassing. Along with signs, specified purple marks are also notices against trespass.
 

Montana

Montana Trespassing Laws
As per Montana law MCA § 45-6-203 a person commits the offense of criminal trespass to property if the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in an occupied structure, vehicle or in or upon the premises of another.
If the owner or legally authorized person fails to post notice denying entry onto private land, it works in favor of the trespasser.

Montana No Trespassing Sign Requirements
For posting of private land through which the public has no right-of-way – “notice must be placed on a post, structure, or natural object by marking it with written notice or with not less than 50 square inches of fluorescent orange paint, except that when metal fenceposts are used, the entire post must be painted”.
For private unfenced lands – “place a conspicuous sign no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway where it enters the private land, stating words substantially similar to “PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING OFF ROAD NEXT ··· MILES”.
 

Nebraska

Nebraska Trespassing Laws
Nebraska law divides criminal trespass into two categories, first and second degree, depending on the circumstances of the trespass.
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-521, it is second-degree criminal trespass if a person knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by actual communication to the intruder or by posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or fencing.
 

Nevada

Nevada Trespassing Laws
As per Nevada code NRS 207.200, it is trespassing is a person “willfully goes or remains upon any land or in any building after having been warned by the owner or occupant thereof not to trespass”

Nevada No Trespassing Sign Requirements
A sufficient warning against trespassing as stated is given by painting with fluorescent orange paint, fencing or Posting “no trespassing” signs or other notice of like meaning.
Signs should be posted at: Intervals of such a distance as is necessary to ensure that at least one such sign would be within the direct line of sight of a person standing next to another such sign, but at intervals of not more than 500 feet; and at each corner of the land, upon or near the boundary.
 

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Trespassing Laws
In New Hampshire a person is guilty of criminal trespass under Section 635:2 if knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a class B felony for any subsequent offense.

New Hampshire No Trespassing Sign Requirements
To secure the premises against trespassing, the law defines secured premises as one any place which is posted in a manner prescribed by law or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, or which is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.
The prescribed manner of posting signs under 635:4 includes-

  • - Posting signs of durable material with any words describing the physical activity prohibited, such as "No Hunting or Trespassing'',
  • - Letters should be printed with block letters no less than 2 inches in height, and
  • - Name and address of the owner or lessee of such land is required.
  • - Such signs shall be posted not more than 100 yards apart on all sides and shall also be posted at gates, bars and commonly used entrances.
 

New Jersey

New Jersey Trespassing Laws
In New Jersey, trespassing is classified into three forms – unlicensed entry of structures, unlawful peering into windows, and defiant trespassing.

New Jersey No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Under New Jersey Statutes 2C:18-3, one of the ways a person becomes a defiant trespasser is if clear posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders is present.
 

New Mexico

New Mexico Trespassing Laws
New Mexico simply defines criminal trespassing under section 30-14-1 as knowingly entering or remaining upon posted private property without possessing written permission from the owner or person in control of the land.”

New Mexico No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Statute § 30-14-6 clearly states the requirements for notices to be posted against trespassing –
(1) be printed legibly in English;
(2) be at least one hundred forty-four square inches in size;
(3) contain the name and address of the person under whose authority the property is posted or the name and address of the person who is authorized to grant permission to enter the property;
(4) be placed at each roadway or apparent way of access onto the property, in addition to the posting of the boundaries;?and
(5) where applicable, state any specific prohibition that the posting is directed against, such as “no trespassing,” “no hunting,” “no fishing,” “no digging” or any other specific prohibition.
 

New York

New York Trespassing Laws
New York law section 140.10 defines it as knowingly entering or remaining on the property without the property owner or manager’s permission or refusing to leave when asked to do so. New York recognizes differing levels of criminal trespass based on factors such as where the trespass occurs and whether weapons were involved.

New York No Trespassing Sign Requirements
A no trespassing notice can be posted in a conspicuous manner, for legalities.
The Department of Environmental Conservation also provides specific information on ‘posting your land’ signs to prevent trespassing on the property.
As per DEC,

- Signs must be a minimum of 11 inches by 11 inches.
- They also must bear the name and address of the owner, lawful occupant or other person or organization authorized to post the area.
- The sign must bear a conspicuous statement which shall either consist of the word "POSTED" or warn against entry for specified purposes or all purposes without the consent of the person whose name appears on the sign.
- These words must cover a minimum space of 80 square inches (about 9 by 9 inches) of the sign.
- At least one sign must be set on each side of the protected area and on each side of all corners that can be reasonably identified.
- Signs shall be no more than 660 feet apart, set close to or along the boundaries of the protected area.
- The signs must be conspicuous - they should be high enough, and spaced closely enough to be seen. Illegible or missing signs must be replaced at least once a year.
 

North Carolina

North Carolina Trespassing Laws
A person commits the offense of second-degree trespass in North Carolina under N.C.G.S § 14-159.13 if, without authorization, he enters or remains on premises of another after he has been asked to not stay by an authorized person or if the property is posted in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, with notice not to enter the premises.

North Carolina No Trespassing Sign Requirements
A clearly exhibited POSTED or No Trespassing sign, on private property is adequate notification to be given to potential intruders. Those found violating can be charged with trespass.
In addition to purple paint marks on trees and posts, NC also specifies posted signs regulations under § 14-159.7

  • - owner or lessee of the property may place notices, signs, or posters on the property.
  • - These should measure not less than 120 square inches and shall be conspicuously posted on private lands not more than 200 yards apart close to and along the boundaries.
  • - At least one such notice, sign, or poster shall be posted on each side of such land, and one at each corner thereof, provided that said corner can be reasonably ascertained.
  • - For the purpose of prohibiting fishing, or the taking of fish by any means, in any stream, lake, or pond, it shall only be necessary that the signs, notices, or posters be posted along the stream or shoreline of a pond or lake at intervals of not more than 200 yards apart.

North Dakota

North Dakota Trespassing Laws
In North Dakota as per section § 12.1-22-03, an individual is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if, knowingly without license or privilege, an individual enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by actual communication to the actor by the individual in charge of the premises or other authorized individual or by posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

North Dakota No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Posted signs require the name of the person posting the premises must appear on each sign in legible characters. In addition, there are trespassing and posting laws for hunting in private lands. Refer to this link for more details.
 

Ohio

Ohio Trespassing Laws
In Ohio (section § 2911.21), when a person knowingly or recklessly enters or remains in someone else’s property and refuses to leave even upon being notified by a visible sign or any other notice, it is considered trespassing.

Ohio No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Ohio law is specific about the type of signs that must be posted in order to warn potential trespassers off the owner's property. No trespassing postings in Ohio must be done “in a manner reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders, or by fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to restrict access.”
 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Trespassing Laws
Oklahoma law Statute 21-1835 considers an act as trespassing when a person “willfully or maliciously” enters any property without permission.

Oklahoma No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The law specifically states that the language on no trespassing signs can include “PROPERTY RESTRICTED”; “POSTED – KEEP OUT”; “KEEP OUT”; or “NO TRESPASSING.”
Regardless of the property being fenced or not, the signs must be conspicuous, including at all places where normal entry to the property would occur.
Update: A new bill has been approved in 2021 that does not require landowners to post signs. Detailed text here.
 

Oregon

Oregon Trespassing Laws
As per Oregon law § 164.245, “a person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the second degree if the person enters or remains unlawfully in a motor vehicle or in or upon premises.” This is treated as a Class C misdemeanor.

Oregon No Trespassing Sign Requirements
For purposes of ORS 164.245, a landowner or an agent of the landowner may close the privately owned premises of the landowner to motor-propelled vehicles by posting signs on or near the boundaries of the closed premises at the normal points of entry. Signs must:

(a) Not be smaller than 8” (H) and 11” (W)
(b) Contain the words “Closed to Motor-propelled Vehicles” or words to that effect in letters no less than one inch in height;
(c) Display the name, business address, and phone number, if any, of the landowner or agent of the landowner; and
(d) Be posted at normal points of entry and be no further apart than 350 yards.

Oregon Law ORS 105.700 also describes the requirements for signs prohibiting public access in private lands. The sign–

  • - Must be no smaller than eight inches in height and 11 inches in width;
  • - Must contain the words “Closed to Entry” or words to that effect in letters no less than one inch in height; and
  • - Must display the name, business address and phone number, if any, of the landowner or agent of the landowner.
 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Trespassing Laws
Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3503 details the criminal trespassing act and entering and remaining on a premises without license or privilege. This is for buildings and structures as well as a defiant trespasser.

Pennsylvania No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Defiant trespassing consists of a person entering or remaining in any place where notice against trespassing is given by actual communication, lawful posting or fencing. Again, posting is required in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.
A recent new law in Pennsylvania also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog, along with acceptance of purple pain marks as indicator of no trespassing.
 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Trespassing Laws
Trespassing under Rhode Island law RIGL § 11-44-26 is when a person without a legitimate purpose for doing so enters or remains on the land of another person after having been forbidden to do so. If one enters onto a property having been told not to or you refuse to leave the property after being told by the owner to do so, it could be an act of trespassing.

Rhode Island No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Rhode Island statute § 11-44-30 clearly states the requirement for posting signs.
Whenever any signs are required to be posted to indicate no trespassing, shooting, trapping, fishing, or the like, it shall be sufficient to post the land conspicuously with clear and legible signs which signs can be affixed with cloth, metal, or paperboard, or by conspicuously stencil-painting the word “Posted.”
 

South Carolina

South Carolina Trespassing Laws
SC breaks its trespassing laws in various statutes under Article 7 to streamline better. Accordingly, to the law, trespassing can occur when someone unlawfully enters another’s property, pasture land, etc.
Section 16-11-600 specifies “Every entry upon the lands of another where any horse, mule, cow, hog or any other livestock is pastured, or any other lands of another, after notice from the owner or tenant prohibiting such entry, shall be a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine.

South Carolina No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The laws state “When any owner or tenant of any lands shall post a notice in four conspicuous places on the borders of such land prohibiting entry thereon, a proof of the posting shall be deemed and taken as notice conclusive against the person making entry, as aforesaid, for the purpose of trespassing.”
In short, in SC, if there is a sign notice outside property, it is unlawful to trespass.
 

South Dakota

South Dakota Trespassing Laws
Statute 22-35-5 and 22-35-6 define criminal trespass as “Any person who, knowing that he or she is not privileged to do so, enters or remains in any building or structure surreptitiously, or enters or remains in any critical infrastructure facility”.

South Dakota No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of trespassers or actual communication or fencing is required to charge an intruder for a class 2 misdemeanor.
 

Tennessee

Tennessee Trespassing Laws
Tennessee code (T.C.A.) § 39-14-405 states that trespassing occurs “when a person commits criminal trespass if the person enters or remains on the property, or any portion of property, without the consent of the owner.”

Tennessee No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Person can be charged for trespassing if the owner posts the property with signs that are visible at all major points of ingress to the property being posted and the signs are reasonably likely to come to the attention of a person entering the property.
 

Texas

Texas Trespassing Laws
Texas clearly states its trespassing laws in Section § 30.05 and emphasizes the importance of notice.
“A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person had notice that the entry was forbidden or received notice to depart but failed to do so.”

Texas No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Amongst other things, ‘Notice’ consists of –

  • - a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building
  • - it should reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders
  • - clearly indicate that entry is forbidden.
 

Utah

Utah Trespassing Laws
In Utah as per Section § 76-6-206, trespassing occurs when a person enters or remains upon or in possession of the land of another without the possessor’s consent.

Utah No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Notices are required to be given verbally or in a way that is reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders. Additionally, under Section 23-20-14 of the Division of Wildlife Resources, posting specifications are clearly stated –
"Properly posted" means that "No Trespassing" signs or a minimum of 100 square inches of bright yellow, bright orange, or fluorescent paint are displayed at all corners, fishing streams crossing property lines, roads, gates, and rights-of-way entering the land.”
 

Vermont

Vermont Trespassing Laws
As stated in the Vermont Statutes Title 13 Chapter 081, the state’s trespassing law is cited as 13 V.S.A. § 3705 and mentions up to three months of imprisonment or a fine of not more than $500.00 for any person who enters or stays on land or place without legal authority or the permission of the owner of that land/place.

Vermont No Trespassing Sign Requirements
These lands/places are to be identified with notice against trespass by means of actual communication by the owner or his/her agent or a law enforcement officer on their behalf, or with the help of signs or placards. The law applies to abandoned properties as well where such notices are duly provided.
While Vermont’s trespassing law does not mention any no-trespassing sign requirements, it does identify the use of signs and placards as legit tools that can give reasonable notice about trespassing being prohibited on the land/placed in question.
 

Virginia

Virginia Trespassing Laws
Trespassing laws applicable in Virginia are listed under the Code of Virginia, Chapter 5 Article 5. The article prohibits a person from entering another’s property without permission and staying on the property after being asked to leave. It explores trespassing under a variety of circumstances, such as trespassing when it’s forbidden, denying service to persons not forbidden to trespass, trespassing on a cemetery at night, peeping or spying on a dwelling, trespassing by hunters, and so on.
The article is fairly detailed and defines the applicable misdemeanor charges for each circumstance. The punishment can range from 6 to 12 months in jail and/or a fine between $250 and $2,500.

Virginia No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Virginia trespassing laws identify no-trespassing signs as valid tools to prove that a person knowingly entered another person’s property.
The law also considers intentionally posting no-trespassing signs on someone else’s property a Class 3 misdemeanor. It includes a separate section detailing the method of posting lands, which relates to preventing unauthorized hunting, fishing, and trapping.
 

Washington

Washington Trespassing Laws
Washington State Legislature mentions trespassing in Chapter 9A.52 RCW Sections 9A.52.070 and 9A.52.080. It identifies knowingly entering or unlawfully remaining on a property as criminal trespass in the first degree and knowingly entering or unlawfully remaining on a property in a way that does not constitute first-degree trespass as criminal trespass in the second degree.

Washington No Trespassing Sign Requirements
The Washington State Legislature does not specify any particular rules or requirements regarding no trespassing signs. However, signs certainly serve as a reasonable notice about trespassing being prohibited and give the property owner sufficient room to exercise his legal right to privacy and security.
The legislature does have a separate section, WAC 468-300-806, detailing no trespass warnings that can be issued to individuals.
 

West Virginia

West Virginia Trespassing Laws
West Virginia’s trespassing laws are defined in West Virginia Code §61-3B-3. It defines trespassing as willfully entering in, upon, or under another’s property without permission. Such trespassing may be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony.

West Virginia No Trespassing Sign Requirements
West Virginia requires “posted” land to be

  • - marked using signs placed not more than 500 feet apart along and at each corner of the land boundaries.
  • - The sign should mention “no trespassing”, the name of the owner, lessee, or the occupant of the land in letters that are at least 2” tall.
  • - They should be conspicuous and visible from the outside of the property’s boundary line.
 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Trespassing Laws
The Wisconsin State Legislature covers trespassing in Chapter 943 Subchapter 1 Sections 943.13 to 943.15. It considers trespassing as entering someone else’s land or property without the permission of the owner, or staying on it after being asked to leave. The law covers a variety of property statuses and trespassing scenarios, including a separate mention of agricultural land, open land, uncultivated land, carrying firearms, and more.
It also specifies situations where consent can be considered as implied and the method of posting a land.

Wisconsin No Trespassing Sign Requirements
For land to be considered posted, Wisconsin requires:

- Signs measuring at least 11 inches square to be placed in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected. The sign must carry the name of the owner/occupant followed by the word “owner"/”occupant” as applicable; or
- One-foot-long markings with the phrase “private land" and the name of the owner displayed in a contrasting color. These markings should be made in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected.
The size of a sign stating a restriction should be 5”x7” that is “located in a prominent place near all of the entrances to the part of the building to which the restriction applies or near all probable access points to the grounds to which the restriction applies.
 

Wyoming

Wyoming Trespassing Laws
The Wyoming State Statute 6-3-303 defines criminal trespassing as entering or remaining on someone else’s land or premises without permission or after being notified to leave/not trespass. The statute identifies personal communication by the owner or occupant or their agent or a peace officer as well as posted signs as valid tools to notify potential intruders.
Trespassing in Wyoming is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 6 months in jail and/or a fine of not more than $750.

Wyoming No Trespassing Sign Requirements
Wyoming state does not have any specific rules for no trespassing/posted signs other than the requirement that they should be posted conspicuously so as to attract the attention of intruders.

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