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ADM-10.01 - Visual Markings for City Vehicles

Binding City Policies (BCP)
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ADM-10.01 - Visual Markings for City Vehicles Exhibit A


This administrative rule establishes the City’s policy for requiring visual markings on City vehicles and equipment. Consistent visual markings allow vehicles to be readily identifiable as vehicles belonging to or operated by the City of Portland, and provide useful information to the public.


The CityFleet Manager, within the Bureau of Internal Business Services, is responsible for implementing this rule.


All City-owned, leased or rented vehicles and equipment will have vehicle markings providing specific information applied in a standard format by CityFleet at the time of acquisition. Exceptions are made for undercover vehicles, for marked police patrol and command vehicles, and for firefighting apparatus and command vehicles.

Standard Format 

The CityFleet Manager shall maintain and propose updates as necessary to a City Vehicle Marking Guide (ADM 10.01.01) to provide guidance on the accepted standard for vehicle paint color and the standard format and placement of vehicle markings.

The standard format for the vehicle markings shall include:

  • “City of Portland”
  • The City website address: “
  • The City's Information and Referral phone number: “503-823-4000”
  • The relevant vehicle identification number, and
  • The assigned bureau’s name or identification as a shared CityFleet vehicle.

The standard format for vehicle markings shall allow for:

  • The City Flag or
  • A bureau logo (and slogan, if applicable)

The Vehicle Marking Guide provides guidance for adapting the standard format for different vehicle types and sizes. The vehicle identification number may be required in multiple locations on the vehicle.

Legislated decals, mandatory safety inspection decals, equipment specific operating safety decals, and other required service stickers affixed by CityFleet, are not considered vehicle markings defined by this policy, and may only be removed or omitted by authorized CityFleet personnel. Warnings (for example, “Many stops, do not follow”) may also be affixed as appropriate.

Bureau-sponsored bumper stickers may be allowed only under the exception process described below.

No other private decals or markings are allowed.

Approved Exceptions for Portland Police and Portland Fire & Rescue

The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue may establish different vehicle marking and vehicle paint standards for their emergency response and command vehicles. The Commissioner-in-charge of the bureau shall approve any changes to previous designs, at the recommendation of the bureau’s Chief and the CityFleet Manager. Police and Fire & Rescue vehicles not routinely involved in emergency response activities shall be subject to the City standard format as described in the Style Guide. Documentation of the Commissioner-in-charge’s approval shall be provided to the CityFleet Manager.

Any City vehicles used in undercover operations shall not be subject to the City Vehicle Marking Style Guide or any bureau-specific vehicle marking or vehicle paint standards.

Heavy equipment vehicles (e.g. backhoes, excavators, etc.) may retain their manufacture standard paint.

Other Exceptions 

Limited exceptions to the policy for eligible vehicles may be granted by the Mayor, at the recommendation of the CityFleet Manager and the requesting Bureau Director, under the following conditions:

  • Where the display of standard City visual markings could somehow threaten the safety of the driver or vehicle occupants,
  • Where the display of standard City visual markings could impede the work the vehicle or driver is involved in by attracting undesirable attention,
  • Where external sponsorship of City programs may need to be recognized in the form of a decal or decaling scheme on a City vehicle, and/or
  • Where unique program-specific needs are identified by a Bureau Director, requiring a limited exception for a period of time specific to the program’s needs.


Under City Code 3.15, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is charged with direction and control of the Office of Management and Finance (OMF), which is responsible for providing and coordinating administrative services of the City (including fleet services) in support of the operational needs of City bureaus.

The CAO is authorized by City Code 3.15.010 to formulate, approve and issue administrative rules, procedures and systems for providing these services.

The CityFleet Manager shall maintain the City Vehicle Marking Guide and necessary equipment and materials for producing and applying vehicle markings.

Related Policies and Procedures

Portland City Code 1.06 Official Flag


Resolution No. 37231, adopted by City Council September 7, 2016.

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