USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs


Traffic signs are critical elements of the highway because they communicate the rules, warnings, guidance, and other highway agency information that drivers need to safely and efficiently navigate roads and streets. Well maintained signs are important as they help drivers make good decisions. This guide is intended to help local agency maintenance workers ensure their signs are maintained to meet this need.

This guide is not a comprehensive design guide for roadway signing—there are many aspects to signing that cannot be covered here. For standards and guidance on all signs, refer to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the Standard Highway Signs Handbook, and the many other references found at the end of this guide. These references provide more detailed information on the sign topics briefly covered here:

  • Principles and Types.
  • Materials.
  • Supports.
  • Installation.
  • Management System.
  • Inventory.
  • Inspection.
  • Preventive Maintenance.
  • Repair and Replacement.
  • Recordkeeping.

Appendices are provided for:

A. Materials and equipment used for sign maintenance.
B. Clear zone description.
C. Typical work zone traffic control plans for sign maintenance activities.