Frequently Asked Questions About Street Name Signs

How large do street name sign letters have to be?

The Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requires different size letters depending on where the street name sign is posted in section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraph 03.

For street signs posted on local roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less: uppercase letters must be at least 4 inches tall and lowercase letters must be at least 3 inches tall. TrafficSign.com's 6 inch tall street signs follow these specifications.

For street signs posted on local roads with a speed limit of 40 MPH or less: upper-case letters should be at least 6 inches tall and lower-case letters should be at least 4.5 inches tall. TrafficSign.com's 9 inch tall street signs have 6 inch tall uppercase letters and 5 inch tall lowercase letters.

Refer to MUTCD Table 2D-2 for recommended letter sizes on all street name signs.

Supplemental street name sign letters such as "W" or "Ave" should have uppercase letters that are 3 inches tall and lowercase letters that are 2.25 inches tall.

What size do street name signs need to be?

The sizes of street name signs can vary depending on how many characters must be displayed, and where the sign will be used. The width of the sign depends on how many characters need to be used. For example, an 18 inch wide sign can fit about 5 characters, while a 24 inch wide sign can accommodate 8-12 characters, depending on the letter height.

The height of a street name sign will depend on where the sign will be used.

For use on local roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less: 6 inch tall signs should be used.

For use on local roads with a speed limit of 40 MPH or less: 9 inch tall signs should be used.

What colors should a street name sign be?

According to MUTCD section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 17 and 18, the only acceptable background colors for street name signs are green, brown, white, and blue.

The only color that may be used for the sign's legend (and border) is white, unless the sign background is white, in which case the legend and border must be black.

TrafficSign.com has customizable novelty street signs for sale, which make for a great gift or decoration and are available with red and black background colors. These are not MUTCD compliant, since those colors are not approved for official use.

Do street name signs have to have borders?

According to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 14 and 15, street name signs do not have to have borders. If a border is shown on a sign, then it must contrast the background color and match the color of the legend.

What characters can be on a street name sign?

Street name signs should consist of uppercase and lowercase letters (rather than all uppercase or all lowercase) as this style is easiest to read from a distance. Street name signs also should not contain any punctuation marks unless it is necessary to avoid confusion (MUTCD Section 2A.13 Word Messages, Paragraphs 01 and 04).

Can street name signs contain a prefix or suffix?

According to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 03 and 09, a prefix and suffix (referred to as supplementary text) may be used on street name signs to indicate the type of street or the section of the city (such as Ave or SE). The prefix and suffix should have uppercase letters that are at least 3 inches tall and lowercase letters that are at least 2.25 inches tall.

Can street name signs contain images?

Flat Blade Street Sign
Extruded Blade Street Sign

Yes, street name signs can contain images (referred to as pictographs by the MUTCD). The most common images found on street name signs are community seals, and icons representing a local place of interest. Regardless of what the image is, images on street name signs can't exceed the size of an uppercase letter on the sign legend.

Do street name signs have to be reflective?

Yes, street name signs must be reflective or illuminated during the day and night to show the same shape and color, according to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, paragraph 14. TrafficSign.com street name signs can be purchased in three different kinds of retroreflective sheeting: Engineering Grade, High Intensity Prismatic, and Diamond Grade.

Have some more questions? Learn more about Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices on the MUTCD website.


TrafficSign.com does not recommend or specify the use of a specific safety sign because it does not have knowledge of the hazard(s) our customers are identifying. It is the customer’s sole responsibility to identify the hazard(s) that may be present and select one or more signs (stock or custom) that accurately identify their specific hazard(s) and complies with any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, MUTCD standards). TrafficSign.com disclaims any and all liability (excluding liability for our Product Warranty contained in our Terms and Conditions) for any sign selected by a customer and shall not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of signs purchased from it or for the independent interpretation made of any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations, and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, MUTCD standards). Customer shall identify and hold TrafficSign.com and its corporate parent and its officers, directors, and affiliates harmless from and against any and all claims, loss, or expense (including attorneys’ fees) arising from or related to the purchase and use by customer or any third party of any sign purchased by customer from TrafficSign.com
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