Iowa Road Signs

Destination signs


Destination signs

Destination signs (also referred to as guide signs) are essential to direct motorists along highways; to inform them of intersecting routes; to direct them to cities, towns or other important destinations; to identify nearby rivers and streams, parks, forests, and historical sites; and generally to give such information as will help them along their way in the most simple, direct manner possible. Destination signing is not intended to promote or advertise the existence of the destinations. The Transportation Map and specific directions provided by the destination are the best sources for finding your specific destination.

There are two basic categories for destination signs (different standards, guidelines and criteria apply to each of these categories).

  1. Destination signs on the interstate and freeways.
  2. Destination signs on the remainder of the state highway system.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding destination signs, please contact Iowa DOT's Tim Crouch, state traffic engineer at 515-239-1513.

If you have a question or request about a specific destination sign, contact the appropriate Iowa DOT district office.


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

Destination sign examples

Examples of destination signs
  • Example 1: A Supplemental Destination (Guide) Sign on the interstate. The Saylorville Lake portion of the sign is brown because it is a recreational destination. Des Moines Area Community College is an approved destination because it is an accredited college within 15 miles of the interchange and the enrollment is greater than 500 students.
  • Example 2: A Supplemental Destination (Guide) Sign for a historic site of regional or national significance. The brown sign color is used for historic, cultural and recreation sites.
  • Example 3: An Advance Destination (Guide) Sign on the interstate. The street name is shown since there are multiple exits for this community.