Iowa Road Signs




Signs are placed by the department within the highway right-of-way, in advance of the intersection from which the business or site will be accessed. Businesses or sites which are open to the general public for at least 20 hours per week and which are located in rural areas may be eligible, provided the signs will not direct motorists more than ten miles away from the signed intersection. Businesses and sites which are located directly along the highway may not qualify for this program if passing traffic is able to recognize the business before passing the intersection or the business has adequate highway frontage to place its own sign. All fabrication and installation of TODS signs is performed by the department. Applicants will be billed prior to installation, with the most common charge being $700 for a set of two. Annual renewal fees are $50/sign but are not charged for the smaller wayfinding signs installed along city streets or secondary road systems. Details and restrictions can be viewed in the administrative rules for the program.

The application and installation process may take up to four months, so plan accordingly. All applications are subject to review by an independent committee comprised of representatives from public agencies and tourist-related organizations.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding TODS, contact Iowa DOT's Right-of-way agent Stephanie Anderson at 515-239-1746.

Attention iconView a complete list of TODS frequently asked questions (and their answers).



Tourist Oriented Directional Signing (TODS) examples

Examples of TODS signs
  • Example 1: Up to three individual signs can be attached to a single structure to give directions to the attractions.
  • Example 2: A TODS can include the name of the attraction, mileage, and directional arrow.
  • Example 3: TOD signs are 72 inches long and 18 inches high. Lettering is white on a blue background with white border.


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