A City of London Corporation notice has informed activists they must clear the “public highway” by the evening.
The order only applies to public land – while territory owned by the church is not covered by the notice.
The eviction notice is addressed to “each and every person taking part in and/or having erected tents or other structures at St Paul’s Cathedral”.
However, protesters say they have “no intention” of leaving and many of the eviciton notices have been ripped off the tents. A sign on one tent read “Hell no. We won’t go!”
The corporation resumed action against the camp, which has been outside the cathedral for a month, after talks failed.
The corporation said it would begin legal proceedings at the High Court to seek the protestors eviction, if they have not moved by 6pm tonight.
Naomi Colvin, an Occupy London spokeswoman, said the group would remain defiant.
“It is not something we need to be remotely worried about – we’ve been prepared for it,” Ms Colvin said.
“If they want to get an order in the High Court, it could take months. We will contest it.”
The notice was issued a day after U.S. police cleared the Occupy Wall Street camp in New York.
But British lawyers confirmed the situation was more complex here due to human rights laws and the eviction could drag on for months.