Official Business Directional Signs (OBDS)

This Section is responsible for regulation of Official Business Directional Signs (OBDS) that are installed and maintained by the department throughout the State of Maine.

Pay Your Invoice Online

MaineDOT OBDS Payment Service (Offsite)

Checklists and Forms for OBDS Signs

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. How do I get a business sign?
    You must apply to the Maine Dept. of Transportation's Right-of-Way Control section for a permit. The mailing address can be found on each permit.
  • Q. How many signs can I have?
    Each business is allowed to have a maximum of 6 signs installed within a 10 mile radius of the business.
  • Q. Does State of Maine make the signs?
    No, the State of Maine does not make the signs. Once a permit has been issued, the business/organization is responsible for the fabrication of the sign(s).
  • Q. Does the State of Maine only allow OBDS signs on State Highways?
    No, the State allows OBDS signs on any public way with local approval.
  • Q. Who signs the application within the municipality/town where the sign is to be located?
    In most municipalities, it is the Code Enforcement Officer or another designated municipal official who signs the applications.
  • Q. Who installs the signs?
    The Maine Dept. of Transportation region sign crews will install the sign(s).
  • Q. How much does a sign cost?
    The cost varies in different towns, cities, and counties>
  • Q. Can I pay my invoice online?
    Yes you can view and pay your invoice using this Online Service
  • Q. How many kinds of signs are allowed?
    There is one type that MaineDOT allows, Reflectorized signs in two (2) sizes.
  • Q. What are the sign dimensions?
    • Reflectorized: 12" X 48", 16" X 72"
    • The size is determined by MaineDOT
  • Q. Can I have the sign installed along the roadway in advance of my business?
    No, the OBDS is for change of direction.
  • Q. Can I make my own sign?
    No, reflective signs must be made by a sign manufacturer, but it's size and layout must conform to the specifications on the permit.
  • Q. Can I use any Logos?
    Yes, a business logo is acceptable, general logos should be similar to the examples shown on the Forms Page.
  • Q. Can I apply for a sign permit online?
    Not at this time, however you can download and print out the application forms on the Forms Page of this web site; and mail them in.
  • Q. Do I need an application for each sign?
    No, but you will need a separate application for each intersection, an application may indicate a request for (2) signs, one for left turns and one for right turns at the same intersection.
  • Q. Do I need to send payment in with the application(s)?
    Yes, the cost for Reflectorized signs are $30.00 each.


Fabrication Methods Allowed - Updated February 2022

MaineDOT will require the following:

Retroreflective Sheeting: ASTM Type IV (could be white or blue) Fabrication Methods allowed:

  1. Traffic Blue Electro-cut Film (Plotter cut and applied over White ASTM Type IV Sheeting) (from the same manufacturer)
  2. Cut Copy (Plotter cut white or blue ASTM Type IV Sheeting- from the same manufacturer)
  3. Screen Printed (Transparent Screen Process Inks to match base sheeting manufacturer)
  4. Digitally Printed (Transparent digital inks printed onto base sheeting or printed on clear laminate, then must be overlaid with same manufacturers Traffic Clear Overlay)
  5. No Vinyl is allowed
OBDS Sign Materials Allowed


Signs not made to standards will not be installed.

Sign Material:

Minimum ½ inch thick, medium density, overlaid plywood. Other materials maybe considered if they don't deform, warp or bend under normal weather conditions. All materials must have MDOT approval. Plain boards and plywood less than ½ inch thick will not be accepted.

Other Materials approved:

  1. ½ inch minimum density overlay plywood MDO.
  2. Aluminum .080 for 12" X 48",  .125 for 16" X 72".
  3. Aluminum composite material ex. Dibond, Signabond, Epanel or similar material at ½ inch or as close as possible with metric measurement.
  4. Alumalite or similar material at ½ or as close as possible with metric measurement.
  5. Lusterboard or similar material at ½ or as close as possible with metric measurement.
Blue ASTM Type IV Sheeting Material

MaineDOT requires Blue ASTM type IV sheeting material for all OBDS signs. See the FHWA Sheet Guide website for more information.

image showing approved and disapproved sheeting materials for sign creation

List of Maine's National Highway System Roads

The National Highway System was created by US Congress in 1990.  It consists of roadways important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The NHS was developed by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

Maine’s NHS meets national defense requirements and serves interstate and interregional travel and consists of:

  1. interconnected urban and rural principal arterials and highways (including toll facilities) which serve major population centers,
  2. international border crossings,
  3. ports & airports,
  4. public transportation facilities & other intermodal transportation facilities and,
  5. other major travel destinations
  6. all Intermodal Connectors

Interstate System

  • All routes are part of the NHS

Non-Interstate Routes

  • US Routes
    • US Route 1
      • From Brunswick easterly along the midcoast through Camden, Belfast, Bucksport, and terminating at US Rt 1A (High St) in Ellsworth.
      • A second portion runs from Route 103 in Kittery northerly to Route 236.
      • A third portion runs from I-95 in Houlton northerly to the International Bridge in Ft Kent.
      • A fourth portion runs from Route 9 in Baring southerly to Route 190 in Perry.
      • Calais-St Stephen Int’n’l Border Crossing – from US Route 1 west to Int’n’l border.
    • US Route 1A
      • From US Route 1 in Stockton Springs north through Hampden, Brewer, and Bangor and then southeast through Holden to US Route 1 in Ellsworth.
      • A second portion runs from the ME/NH border in Kittery northerly to US Route 1.
    • US Route 2
      • From Maine’s western border in Gilead easterly through Bethel, Rumford, Farmington, Skowhegan, to Newport.
    • US Route 201
      • From I-95 Ex it 133 in Fairfield northerly through Skowhegan and Jackman to the US/Canadian border.
    • US Route 202
      • From Route 25 in Gorham westerly through Buxton, Sanford, and Lebanon to the ME/NH border.
    • US Route 302
      • From I-295 Exit 6 at Forest Avenue in Portland northerly through Windham, Bridgton, and Fryeburg to the ME/NH border.
  • State Routes
    • State Route 3
      • From I-95 Exit # 113 in Augusta easterly through China to US Route 1 in Belfast.
    • State Route 4
      • From Washington Street in Auburn northerly through Livermore and Jay to US Route 2 in Wilton.
    • State Route 9
      • From US Route 1A (Wilson Street) in Brewer easterly through Amherst/Aurora to the intersection with US Route 1 in Baring on the eastern border.
    • State Route 15 Business
      • (South Main Street) in Brewer from US Route 1A (Wilson Street) southerly to I-395.
    • State Route 24
      • From US Route 1 in Brunswick south to Forrestal Drive
    • State Route 25
      • From US Route 202 in Gorham easterly through Westbrook, along the Westbrook Arterial, past the Maine Turnpike Exit 47 to Brighton Avenue, then into Portland on Brighton Avenue and Bedford Street to Forest Ave (US Route 302).
    • State Route 26
      • From the Turnpike Exit 63 in Gray northerly through Oxford/Paris to US Route 2 in Bethel.
    • State Route 103
      • in Kittery from US Route 1 easterly to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard entrance.
    • State Route 109
      • From Turnpike I-95 Exit 19 in Wells northwesterly to US Route 202 in Sanford.
    • State Route 111
      • From Turnpike I-95 Exit 32 ramp in Biddeford westerly through Arundel and Lyman to US Route 202 in Alfred.
    • State Route 190
      • From Route 1 in Perry southeasterly through Pleasant Point Reservation to its terminus with Water Street in Eastport.
    • State Route 196
      • From US Route 1 in Brunswick northerly through Lisbon to US Route 202 in Lewiston.
    • State Route 236
      • In Kittery from Turnpike Exit 2 easterly to US Route 1.

Intermodel Connectors

These are roads that provide access between major intermodal facilities and the other four subsystems making up the National Highway System.  In Maine, they exist in Bangor, Portland, Auburn, and Ellsworth to Trenton.  Specific details can be found at the FHWA National Highway System website (Offsite).

National Nighways in Maine Document

Maine's National Highway Systems - 2015 (Word)