Garage sale 101

Choosing the right date to have a garage sale is critical. (Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS)

Now that spring cleaning is done and many people have gathered stuff into bags and piles, it’s time to decide to just throw the stuff away, donate it or have a yard sale to make some quick change.

Yard sales are prevalent throughout Utah County this time of year.

However, those planning to have a yard sale should check the yard sale laws in their city. Rules vary from city to city. Some require permits. All cities require that sales must be held by residents of the premises where it is being held.

Generally all cities do not allow signage of any kind on power poles, telephone poles, trees, signs or any property that is owned by the city.

Breaking the garage sale laws are considered class C misdemeanors and penalties are based on Utah state law — that can include up to a $500 fine and/or not more than three months in jail.

Here are additional rules for some cities in Utah County.


Provo does not require residents obtain a temporary permit for a garage sale as long as it does not operate for more than a total of five days in any calendar year.


Families may join and hold a “multifamily” sale on one resident’s yard. They must be the personal belongings of the residents and not items acquired for resale. The sale cannot exceed three consecutive days.

Residents may hold only two yard sales in a 12-month period.

Breaking yard sale rules can incur fees up to $500 or imprisonment for no more than 3 months or both, according to 22-1-6 Orem city code.


Springville requires all yard sales to be approved by the city before the date of the planned sale. There is no cost to have a yard/garage sale. All approved yard sales are listed on the Springville city website.

Once a form has been submitted, the city will review the request and notify individuals via email when it is approved. Weekend yard sale requests must be submitted and approved by 3 p.m. on Friday. If a returned email approval is not received by 5 p.m. on the Friday the week of the yard sale, the yard sale will be in violation of city code 11-6-115.

Yard sales are limited to no more than two consecutive days and no more than three such sales may be conducted from the same property in any 12-month period.

American Fork

Yard sales may not include new or used merchandise bought for resale. Any merchandise for sale shall be removed from public view no later than noon the day after the yard sale has concluded and is not to be displayed earlier than 24 hours prior to the start of the sale.

No more than eight signs advertising a yard sale are allowed. Each sign must have a sticker displayed on the front of the sign on the bottom left-hand corner. The stickers are obtained from the city administration building, free of charge. The city will issue up to eight stickers and mark, in permanent ink, the final day of the anticipated yard sale on each sticker.

Any party who displays a sign without the required sticker, or who displays a sign after noon of the day following the date listed on the sticker, will be assessed a $50 fine for each sign violation by city enforcement officers.

Spanish Fork

Those conducting garage sales, yard sales, or activities relating to city authorized or sponsored events are exempt from licensing, provided that any garage or yard sale does not operate for more than three events of 48-hours or less within a 12-month period at the same residence or street address.

Goods offered for sale should not be placed over a public sidewalk or a public right-of-way unless a permit for the same has been obtained from the business license administration.


Lehi is mostly concerned about signage and keeping city streets clean. The city offices need 48-hours prior to the sale to ensure the notice gets posted on the city website.

There can be no more than two signs that are four square feet on the property where the sale will take place and three directional signs of two square feet elsewhere. Directional signs must contain the address of sale location and the date of the sale.

In Lehi, breaking the sign posting guidelines is a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable with up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Some cities, like Vineyard, have no yard sale codes on the official books, but ask that signs stay off of public property and right-of-ways.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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