Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Traffic Engineering

Orange barrels on a highway

Reservation road signs

Guide and service sign programs

Information on the design and placement of signs on state highways at and within the boundaries of reservations located throughout Minnesota.

  • Tribes and Transportation website
  • Administered by MnDOT district traffic offices.
  • Some of the signing programs are based on federal guidelines.
  • Many of these signs allow the display of text, logos or pictographs as appropriate, that may be unique to each reservation.
  • References to state statutes that specify additional signing program specifics are included.
  • The casino signing program is the result of consulting with the tribes on MnDOT's Casino Signing Policy guidelines.
  • Reservation Road Signs brochure (PDF)

Questions on the signing programs should be directed to the MnDOT District Traffic Engineer.

This does not cover standard signs such as speed limit (regulatory) and chevron (warning) signs. For the safety of the road user, the usage and placement of standard signs needs to be in accordance with the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MN MUTCD) and MnDOT's Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM).

Dakota and Ojibwe language signing program

Dakota or Ojibwe language signing example

  • Sign size variable based on MnDOT sign design standards
  • May be installed on conventional road trunk highways
  • Requests may include boundary (city, county and reservation) and geographic feature (lakes, rivers) signs
  • The language legend is either Dakota or Ojibwe and is the idiomatic equivalent of the English legend
  • Paid for by the community
  • Program details and process (PDF)
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.11

Community identification signs

Grand Portage Community Identification sign example

  • Sign size: 750 square feet maximum
  • Sign to be installed outside trunk highway right of way
  • No advertising allowed on sign
  • Must be located within two miles of community
  • Must obtain approval of governing body of community
  • Community must consult with road authority on sign placement and location
  • Community must obtain consent of land owner on which sign is to be erected
  • Community fabricates, installs and maintains
  • Paid for by community
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.07.02
  • Ref. Minnesota Statute 173.08, subd. 1(10)

Reservation boundary signs

Grand Portage Reservation Boundary sign example
  • Sign size: variable based on sign message and font sizes
  • May be located at Federally recognized reservation boundaries
    crossing trunk highways, except freeways
  • May include pictograph and year of treaty or population on sign
    panel
  • Sign panel design to be approved by MnDOT prior to fabrication
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.07.08

Community recognition signs (panels)

 Community Recognition sign example

  • Sign size: typical 2' x 2', maximum 12 square feet (6 feet long x 2 feet high)
  • May be installed on reservation boundary sign structures
  • May be installed on city population sign structures with city consent
  • May be installed only on two lane two way trunk highways in Metro area
  • May be installed on trunk highways, excluding interstate highways, in Greater Minnesota (79 counties)
  • Community fabricates, installs and maintains under MnDOT permit process
  • Paid for by community
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.07.02
  • Ref. Minnesota Statute 173.08, subd. 1(10)

Casino signing

Casino signing example
  • Sign size variable based on MnDOT sign design standards
  • May be installed on trunk highways
  • Fabricated, installed and maintained by MnDOT or under contract
  • Paid for by casino
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual Ch. 6, Appendix page A7

Educational institution signing (postsecondary schools)

Educational Institution signing example

  • Sign size: variable based on MnDOT sign design standards
  • May be installed on trunk highways
  • Fabricated, installed and maintained by MnDOT or under contract
  • Paid for by educational institution
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual Ch. 6, Appendix page A10

Minor traffic generator signing

Minor Traffic Generator signing example

  • Sign size: variable based on MnDOT sign design standards
  • Numerous categories of businesses and facilities
  • May be installed at intersections on trunk highways and interchanges on rural bypasses outside of Metro area (8 counties)
  • Fabricated, installed and maintained by MnDOT
  • Paid for by requesting business or facility
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual Ch. 6, Appendix page A5

Logo signing

Logo signing example

  • Business panel size: 5 feet x 3 feet (mainline), 1.5 feet x 1 foot (ramp)
  • Gas, food, lodging, camping, attraction and 24 hour pharmacy
    businesses are eligible
  • May be installed on rural interstate highways and selected urban freeways
  • Paid for by business
  • Logo sign fabricated, installed and maintained by Minnesota Logos (Dave DeSutter 952-895-8079 or 1-800-769-3197)
  • Business panels fabricated by private vendor at expense of business; business panel installation on logo sign at expense of business
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.09.01
  • Ref. Minnesota Statute 160.80
  • More information on logo signing

Specific service signs

Specific Service signs example

  • Sign size: 6 feet x 1.5 feet
  • Eligible businesses: resorts, recreational camping areas, motels, restaurants, rural agricultural, places of worship, tourist-oriented and gasoline service station or retail motor fuel business
  • May be installed at rural intersections on non-freeway trunk highways
  • Sign fabricated, installed and maintained by MnDOT, paid for by business
  • Optional business panel (up to 4 feet long x 1 foot high) fabricated
    and paid for by business
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.09.02
  • Ref. Minnesota Statute 160.292-160.298

Community destination signs

Community Destination signs example

  • Sign size - top panel with community name (pictograph optional) variable depending upon legend; destination panel (max. of 3) up to 6 feet long x 2 feet high
  • May be installed on two lane two way trunk highways or expressways (at grade intersections)
  • Only destinations/attractions in MnDOT's Minor Traffic Generator Signing Program are eligible for signing
  • Sign panel designs to be approved by MnDOT prior to fabrication
  • Community fabricates, installs and maintains under MnDOT permit process
  • Paid for by community
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-8.03

Adopt-a-highway signs

Adopt-A-Highway signs example

  • Sign size: 5 feet x 3 feet
  • MnDOT statewide anti-litter effort
  • Sign identifies adopted highway section and volunteer group name
  • May be installed on most trunk highways
  • Fabricated, installed and maintained by MnDOT at MnDOT's expense
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-8.01

Memorial highway signs

  • Sign size: variable based on MnDOT sign design standards
  • May be installed if authorized by state law
  • May be installed on non-freeway trunk highways
  • May be installed in freeway rest areas
  • MnDOT fabricates, installs and maintains
  • Paid for by requesting organization or community (MS 161.319)
  • Ref. MN MUTCD, Sections Sections 2M.10
  • Ref. MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manual 6-7.08
  • Ref. Minnesota Statute 161.14