The Permit Process
Chicagoans planning to hold garage, yard and apartment sales can obtain their required permits at any of the city's 50 ward sanitation offices. Locations of these ward offices can also be obtained by calling the city's 311 non-emergency number.
As of October 1, 1996, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance requiring such permits to guard against seemingly perpetual yard sales that actually were serving as unlicensed retail operations in residential neighborhoods. The ordinance limits each household to two per calendar year, unless a third sale is needed because the applicant is moving permanently from their residence.
All such sales are limited in duration to three consecutive days between 9:00 a.m. and sunset. In case of rain, the sale can be held during the next three days after the permit period, but is still limited to three total days. If more than one household is joining in a single sale, each household needs its own permit even if the sale is at the address of only one participating household.
The ordinance specifically prohibits advertising these sales with signs posted anywhere except on the property where the sale is taking place. Violators face fines ranging from $50 to $500 with each day representing a separate offense.
Charitable organizations, churches and schools are exempt from the ordinance. To get your permit, complete the attached application form and mail it at least two weeks prior to the starting date.
There is no fee for obtaining these permits. For more information, call the City's request line at 3-1-1. (TTY: 312.744.8599)