What States Use Purple Paint Law and Why: A Comprehensive List

Have you ever heard of the purple paint law? It’s a unique and lesser-known method used by some states to mark their private property boundaries. Instead of traditional markers like fences or signs, these states allow property owners to use a simple swipe of purple paint to signify their land boundaries. It may sound strange, but it’s a legal and effective way to prevent trespassing and protect property owners’ rights.

Currently, there are more than a handful of states that have adopted the purple paint law. Texas was the first state to implement this unusual marking system in 1997, and since then, some southern and Midwestern states have followed suit. Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and North Carolina, to name a few, have all adopted variations of the purple paint law. It’s an intriguing concept that may be unfamiliar to many people, but it’s worth exploring if you’re a property owner or simply curious about how states can protect private land.

The use of purple paint instead of traditional markers has its advantages. It’s less obtrusive, more affordable, and easier to maintain than signs or fences. However, it’s important to note that different states may have different regulations on how to properly use the purple paint method. So, if you’re a landowner or plan on utilizing the purple paint law in your state, make sure to research and follow the specific guidelines set forth by your state.

The Importance of Property Marking Laws

Property marking laws, also known as purple paint laws, are important for a number of reasons. These laws allow property owners to mark their land boundaries in a highly visible and legally recognized manner. By doing so, they can deter trespassers and prevent disputes over property lines.

  • Preventing Trespassing: Property marking laws provide clear warning to potential trespassers that they are entering private property. This can help prevent accidental trespassing, as well as deter intentional trespassing by those looking to hunt, fish, or engage in other activities on someone else’s land.
  • Resolving Property Line Disputes: Property marking can help prevent disputes between neighboring landowners. Clearly marked boundaries can help prevent accidental encroachment and disagreements over where one person’s property ends and another’s begins.
  • Protecting Property Rights: Property marking can also help protect landowners’ property rights by providing a legal way to assert their control over their land. This can be especially important in cases where trespassers cause damage to an owner’s property.

How Purple Paint Laws Work

States that have enacted purple paint laws allow property owners to mark their land boundaries by painting vertical lines on trees or posts. These lines must be at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide, and they must be spaced no more than 100 feet apart. The paint must also be bright purple and visible from at least 100 feet away.

Each state may have its own specific rules and requirements for property marking, so it’s important for landowners to check their state’s laws before using the purple paint method. In addition, it’s important to note that property marking alone may not be enough to prevent all forms of trespassing, so landowners should take additional measures such as installing gates or fences as appropriate.

Purple Paint Laws by State

State Year Enacted
Arkansas 1987
Illinois 2011
Indiana 2020
Kansas 1997
Missouri 1993
North Carolina 1993
Texas 1997
West Virginia 2016

As of 2021, these are the states that have enacted purple paint laws. It’s important to note that these laws may be subject to change, so it’s important for landowners to check the current laws in their state before marking their property boundaries.

Understanding the concept of “no trespassing”

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “no trespassing”? It’s a common warning sign you’ll see in rural areas and private properties. Essentially, this means that the property owner does not give you permission to enter their land. But did you know that there are specific laws surrounding trespassing in certain states?

  • In some states, property owners can use the “purple paint law” as an alternative to traditional no trespassing signs. This entails marking property boundaries with purple paint on trees or posts. The color and spacing of the paint indicate whether or not the property is off-limits to the public.
  • The purple paint law is currently recognized in 12 states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Maine, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and Texas.
  • The benefit of the purple paint law is that it’s not obstructive and prevents the need for physical signs. This makes it ideal for remote or wooded properties that may be difficult to monitor.

It’s important to remember that trespassing is considered a crime and can result in a fine or even jail time. Property owners have the right to defend their land and can even use reasonable force to detain or remove trespassers.

Now that you understand the concept of “no trespassing,” always be sure to respect private property boundaries and follow the laws in your state. If you’re unsure whether or not a property is open to the public, it’s best to ask the owner for permission beforehand.


Here’s a table of the 12 U.S. states that recognize the purple paint law:

State Purple paint regulation
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 5-62-101
Illinois 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/21-3
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 32-1013(a)
Louisiana La. Rev. Stat. § 14:63.2
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.145
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-159.7
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 402(1)(F)
Florida Fla. Stat. § 810.09(2)(b)
Idaho Idaho Code § 18-7008(3)
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 45-6-203(1)(a)
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-1504(A)(3)
Texas Texas Penal Code § 30.05(b)(3)

Always be sure to check with your state’s laws regarding trespassing for specific regulations and penalties.

Overview of the Purple Paint law across states

The Purple Paint law, also known as No Trespassing law, is a law that allows landowners to use purple paint markings to signify private property. The law is an alternative to posting “No Trespassing” signs and is now recognized in various states across the United States. Here is an in-depth explanation of the Purple Paint law and its different aspects across states:

States with Purple Paint Law

  • Texas
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Arkansas
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

How to use Purple Paint Law

According to the Purple Paint law, landowners can use purple paint to signify “No Trespassing” on their property boundaries. The purple paint mark should be at least eight inches long and one inch wide, placed about three to five feet above the ground, and no more than 100 feet apart. The paint color should be visible from at least 100 feet away and can be reapplied as needed. Landowners can choose to use either oil-based or water-based paint as long as the purple color is clear and visible.

Advantages of using Purple Paint Law

The Purple Paint law has become popular among landowners because it is a cost-effective way to protect private property. Unlike “No Trespassing” signs that can be torn down, damaged or removed, purple paint markings are difficult to tamper with and require minimal maintenance. Also, purple paint markings are more discreet than signs, which can be an advantage for landowners who want to maintain their property’s visual appearance.

Penalties for Trespassing

Trespassing on private property that has been marked with purple paint is a crime in states with Purple Paint law. Penalties vary from state to state, but most states make it a misdemeanor offense with fines ranging from $100 to $500 and possible imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenders, hunters, and anglers may face stiffer penalties.

State Fine Imprisonment
Texas Up to $500 Up to six months in county jail
Illinois Up to $2500 Up to six months in county jail
Missouri Up to $1000 Up to six months in county jail
North Carolina Up to $1000 Up to 60 days in jail

It is essential to check specific state laws to know the penalties for trespassing on private property marked with purple paint markings.

Comparison of Purple Paint Law to Traditional “No Trespassing” Signage

When it comes to communicating to potential intruders that they are not welcome on your property, there are a few different methods to choose from. The most traditional method is to put up a sign with the words “No Trespassing” prominently displayed. However, in recent years, a lesser-known option has emerged: the use of purple paint.

  • Purple paint is a more subtle way of marking property boundaries, and it can be less obtrusive than a large sign.
  • Spray paint can cover a much larger area in less time than it takes to put up individual signs.
  • Many states have adopted purple paint laws, which allow property owners to use this method to indicate that their land is off-limits.

So how does the use of purple paint compare to traditional “No Trespassing” signage? Here are a few key differences:

First, it’s worth noting that the specific regulations for using purple paint can vary by state. However, in general, property owners who use this method must mark their land with at least one vertical line of purple paint, no less than 8 inches in length, and no more than 3 feet above the ground. The paint must also be readily visible from a distance of at least 100 feet.

One advantage of purple paint is that it can be more difficult for someone to claim that they did not see the warning signs. A sign can easily be obscured by trees, foliage, or other obstacles, but purple paint is more likely to stand out. Additionally, the use of purple paint can be a more cost-effective method of marking property boundaries, since it does not require the purchase of individual signs.

Purple Paint Law Traditional Signage
May be less expensive May be more visible
Can cover a larger area more quickly Can be individualized and customized
Less likely to be obscured by foliage or other obstacles May be more familiar to potential intruders

However, there are also some disadvantages to using purple paint. For example, it may not be as recognizable to potential intruders, who may not be familiar with the specific regulations in place in their state. Additionally, purple paint may not always be as durable as traditional signage, which can withstand weather conditions and other wear and tear more effectively.

Ultimately, the decision to use purple paint or traditional signage will depend on the individual property owner’s preferences and the regulations in place in their state. However, for those who are looking for a less obtrusive, more cost-effective method of marking their property boundaries, purple paint can be a viable option.

Enforcement of Purple Paint law by law enforcement agencies

Every state that has enacted the Purple Paint law has also designated specific law enforcement agencies responsible for enforcing its provisions. These agencies include state and local police, conservation officers, game wardens, and other entities tasked with enforcing trespassing laws.

  • Law enforcement agencies ensure that individuals who violate the Purple Paint law are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • If the landowner reports trespassing, the police or other law enforcement agencies investigate and pursue charges against the individual/individuals.
  • The enforcement agencies ensure that landowners’ rights are protected and that individuals respect private property rights.

Moreover, law enforcement agencies often educate the public on the Purple Paint law and its requirements. This education helps people to be aware of the meaning of the purple paint markings and the potential penalties for ignoring them.

Below is a table describing the enforcement agencies in states that have the Purple Paint law:

State Enforcement Agency
Texas Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, game wardens, and sheriffs
Illinois Illinois Department of Natural Resources and state police
Missouri Missouri Department of Conservation and state police
North Carolina North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and local sheriffs
Maine Maine Forest Service and game wardens
Florida Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and state police
Idaho Idaho Fish and Game and state police
Arkansas Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and local police

Overall, law enforcement agencies play a critical role in upholding the Purple Paint law and ensuring that trespassers face legal consequences. The coordination between landowners and law enforcement agencies has resulted in better protection of the property rights of landowners.

Common Misconceptions about Purple Paint Law

People often have misunderstandings about the purple paint law, which is a method used by some states to mark private property. Here are six common misconceptions:

  • The law only applies to fences: Many people believe that purple paint can only be used on fences, but this is not true. It can also be used on posts, trees, and other structures to serve as a property boundary marker.
  • Purple is a universal color for the law: Some people believe that the color purple was chosen as a universal symbol for the law, but this is misleading. The use of purple as a sign for private property is specific to states that have adopted the law for this purpose.
  • The law is new: Although the purple paint law is not widely used, it has been around for quite some time. Arkansas was the first state to adopt the law in 1987, and other states began to follow suit later on.
  • It is only applicable to hunting and trespassing: While the purple paint law is most commonly associated with hunting and trespassing, it can be used for any situation where a person wants to communicate that their property is private.
  • The law is the same in all states: Each state that has enacted the purple paint law has some variations in how it is applied. Some states require the paint to be a specific shade, while others have different requirements for where the paint can be applied. It is important to check your specific state’s laws to ensure compliance.
  • It is not legally binding: The purple paint law is as legally binding as any other property marker. If a person trespasses on private property marked by purple paint, they can be charged with criminal trespassing just as if they entered through a physical gate or other boundaries.


The purple paint law is a simple yet effective way to mark private property boundaries, but it is important to understand the nuances involved. By dispelling some of these common misconceptions, we can ensure that the use of purple paint is fully understood and legally respected.

State Purple Paint Law Enacted
Texas 1997
Illinois 2011
Maine 2019
Florida 2020

As of 2021, there are a total of 14 states that have enacted the purple paint law, with others considering adoption.

Benefits of using Purple Paint law for landowners

For landowners, the Purple Paint law is a game-changer. Here are the top seven benefits of using the Purple Paint law:

  • Cost-effective: When compared to traditional fencing methods, using the Purple Paint law is a cost-effective solution for marking boundaries on your land.
  • Time saver: Using the Purple Paint law can save you a lot of time that would otherwise be spent building and maintaining fences. It’s a quick and easy way to indicate your land boundaries.
  • Non-intrusive: The Purple Paint law is a non-intrusive way to mark your land boundaries. It doesn’t require any structures that may obstruct the view or hinder wildlife movement.
  • Less maintenance: Traditional fencing methods require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. With the Purple Paint law, there is no need for any maintenance once it is done.
  • Easier to change: If you need to change your land boundaries, it’s easier to do so with the Purple Paint law. You can simply paint new marks where you need them without having to remove any structures like you would with fencing.
  • Consistent: The Purple Paint law is a consistent way to mark land boundaries, which makes it easier for others to understand and respect your property lines.
  • Legal protection: The Purple Paint law has legal protection in various states, which means that if someone crosses your property line marked by purple paint, they could be charged with trespassing.

The Legal Protection Provided by the Purple Paint Law

As a landowner, it’s important to know what legal protection the Purple Paint law provides. The Purple Paint law has legal protection in states that have adopted it. If someone crosses your land boundary marked by purple paint, they can be charged with trespassing. This legal protection is a powerful tool that can help you protect your land from those who may want to misuse it.

The Importance of Following the Requirements of the Purple Paint Law

When using the Purple Paint law to mark your land boundaries, it’s important to follow the requirements of your state. Each state has specific requirements regarding the size, spacing, and color of the paint used. Some states also require the use of specific markings to indicate the boundary lines.

State Color Size Spacing
Texas Post Office P-67 Vertical line at least 8 inches long and between 1 and 2 inches wide No more than 100 feet apart on forest land and no more than 1,000 feet apart on other land
Illinois Shades of purple, blue, or lavender Vertical line at least 3 feet long and between 1 and 2 inches wide No more than 100 feet apart on forest land and no more than 660 feet apart on other land
Kansas Post Office P-67 Vertical line at least 8 inches long and between 1 and 2 inches wide No more than 100 feet apart on forest land and no more than 1,000 feet apart on other land

Following these requirements is essential to ensure that your land boundaries are legally protected and that the boundaries are clear and understandable to others.

FAQs – What States Use Purple Paint Law?

Q: What is Purple Paint Law?
A: Purple Paint Law is an alternative way for property owners to mark their boundaries, especially if they live in states where property fencing is not commonly used. It allows them to use a purple paint to mark trees or posts at the boundary line.

Q: How many states have adopted the Purple Paint Law?
A: As of this moment, 13 states have adopted the Purple Paint Law in the United States. Some of these states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, and Virginia.

Q: How is a Purple Paint Line different from a Fence?
A: A fence is a physical boundary constructed to separate two properties, while a purple paint line is a visual representation of a boundary using a purple-colored paint. A Purple Paint Line is easier to maintain and costs less than installing a fence.

Q: Can anyone use the Purple Paint Law for marking their property?
A: No. Depending on the state, there may be specific requirements for using the Purple Paint Law. In some states, property owners can use it if they own the land, while in others, the land should be used for agriculture.

Q: What shade of purple is used for the Purple Paint Law?
A: The Purple Paint Law has specific requirements for the shade of purple to be used, which is usually marked as purple paint lines or vertical bars. It has to be a shade of purple that is noticeable from 100 feet away.

Q: Do Purple Paint Lines have the same effect as “No Trespassing” signs?
A: Yes. Purple Paint Lines have the same effect as “No Trespassing” signs. It is a warning to individuals that they are not allowed to be on the property without permission from the owner.

Q: What are the penalties for trespassing on property with Purple Paint Lines?
A: The penalties for trespassing on a property with Purple Paint Lines vary depending on the state. In some states, it is considered a criminal offense and a misdemeanor, while in others, it is a civil offense.


Thank you for reading our article about what states use purple paint law. The Purple Paint Law is an innovative way for property owners to mark their boundaries without the need for a physical fence. It is important to be aware of the Purple Paint Law’s specific requirements and the penalties for trespassing on property with Purple Paint Lines. If you have any questions or comments about the Purple Paint Law, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Visit us again soon for more informative and exciting articles!