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Check Your State Laws Before Putting a ‘For Sale’ Sign On Your Car

When a retired teacher named Will Cramer in Pennsylvania decided to sell his truck, he did not expect to get a ticket. After accepting a new job that required him to leave the country, he listed his truck online to try to sell it. 

Unfortunately, it did not sell. 

Cramer did not think anything of it when he put a for-sale sign on the window of his 1987 Chevrolet truck. Like many in Nazareth, he has no driveway and parks his truck in the street in front of his home.

A few days later, he found a parking ticket on his truck, which surprised him. He would later learn that there is an ordinance restricting township residents from parking vehicles that display a “for sale” sign on a public street.

The town does allow signs and advertisements on cars, just not for sale signs.

In April 2024, Cramer joined forces with the Institute for Justice to fight back. Their status is that the town cannot discriminate by allowing some messages and not others. They argue that Cramer can defend low-cost commercial speech under the First Amendment.

“People have put for-sale signs in car windows for as long as cars have been around, and there is no legitimate reason for the government to ban doing so,” said Bobbi Taylor, an attorney with the nonprofit Institute for Justice who represents Cramer.

A member of the Borough Council, Danial Chiavaroli, noted that the law was passed in 1991 to prevent people from buying, selling, and reselling cars. At one point, they noticed some residents would have several cars outside their homes for sale.

Chiavaroli also stated that parking on the street is a privilege, not a right.

“We’re allowed to regulate the way the privilege is exercised,” Chiavaroli said.

On a positive note, Cramer could sell the truck before he was forced to remove the sign. He also has a 2009 Buick Lacrosse he would like to sell. He plans on winning this legal battle and legally placing a for sale sign on it when he returns from his year abroad.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge John M. Gallagher.

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