OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Interstate Sign Rates and FAQ

Image of Oregon Travel Experience Highway Business SignIf you would like to skip the “rates and FAQs” section and proceed to the application process, please refer to the “technical resources” section at the bottom of this page. You will need the free Adobe Reader application. (A link is provided to the Adobe Reader site as well.)


Oregon Travel Experience sign fees are determined by highway location and traffic density (how many vehicles pass specific mile-marker locations).

Our fee schedules categorize permits by sign type and location. If unclear about the cost after reviewing the files, please contact us (by email) or telephone 503-373-0086, and we will be happy to give you an estimate. Please review the two fee schedules below.

Sign permit glossary

Mainline sign: The first or primary sign a business has in any given direction of travel is known as the mainline sign. This blue sign precedes the exit ramps on the freeway. They include a service designation (e.g. gas, food, lodging, camping, or attraction), next exit or a specific exit number, and a business logo plaque. On the billing invoice, these signs are referred to as “mainline”.

Ramp sign: The secondary sign a business may have in any given direction of travel is known as the ramp sign. If a business is not visible from the freeway exit ramp, they may require a ramp sign. This blue sign typically includes a directional arrow, a service designation (e.g. gas, food, lodging, camping or attraction) and a business logo plaque. When necessary, mileage is also indicated below the plaque. These signs are located on or following the off-ramp. On the billing invoice, these signs are referred to as “ramp”.

The placement of mainline and ramp signs is determined by an engineering study of the Interstate.

Where navigation is difficult, multiple ramp signs may be necessary.

If more than one business requests a sign at the same exit, multiple plaques may be installed on the same logo or supplemental signs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for a sign at my selected location? Unfortunately, signs may not be available at all locations. Federal and state rules govern sign placement, the number of signs in any given area, and what types of businesses are allowed on signs. We will work with you to research availability, and place you on a wait-list if applicable. There is no charge to apply for a sign permit or to retain your rank on the wait-list.

What are Interstate logo signs? Interstate logo signs are seen as an alternative to billboard advertising by many businesses, but in fact they are classified as traffic control devices and must meet all regulations set by the Federal Highway Administration and State of Oregon standards. If sign regulations set by federal and state agencies are not strictly enforced, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) could lose federal funding.

Interstate logo signs are constructed with a blue back panel (sometimes referred to as a “board”) where individual business logos are mounted. Interstate logo signs are split into two different legend categories: “Gas, Food, Lodging, and Camping,” and a separate category for the legend “Attraction.”

How long does it take to get a logo sign? It depends. In addition to OTE’s criteria and roadway review, new sign installation requires an ODOT engineering review. Oregon Travel Experience strives to process applications within 30 days. Once ODOT is in receipt of the application, their process is usually completed within 40 days. After approval, the installation time table is based on customer response to OTE’s contract and plaque manufacturing standards. (Plaque receipt from the customer’s manufacturer of choice impacts the final installation timetable.)

How much does it cost? Annual permit fees are based on population density (how many people live in a particular area) and highway traffic volume (number of cars on the road). For example, a sign located near Portland might cost more than a sign located near Klamath Falls. In addition, there are two categories for businesses: a) non-profit (proof is required for 501/503 c status) and b) commercial rates. If you would like to provide proof of your not-for-profit status, please contact us for the correct form to include with your permit application.

How many logo signs are allowed per interchange (off-ramps or exits)? A maximum of four logo signs may be allowed per interchange, per direction (north and southbound).

How many logo plaques can be placed on each sign? A maximum of six to eight logos may be placed on each sign, dependent upon space availability or existing sign board size.

If there is no sign currently near the exit or off-ramp, can one be installed there? Logo signs can be placed at an interchange as long as it meets highway sign-spacing requirements. Federal regulations require 800 feet between highway logo signs. No signs can be placed near highway junctions or interchanges guiding motorists to another freeway or expressway. Signs cannot be placed at interchanges where a motorist cannot easily exit the highway and re-enter to travel in the same direction.

How many logo plaques can one business have per direction? Logo plaques are limited to one per direction, per business. For example, a business cannot have logo signs at two consecutive interchanges on I-5 northbound. Logo plaques are mounted on signs at the exit closest to the actual business location.

How far away from the interchange (exit) can a business be located and still qualify? A business must be located within 3 miles of the interchange, but they may apply for a distance waiver up to 15 miles.

How can motorists find my business if it is not visible from the off-ramp?  Ramp signs with mileage indicators are placed on exit ramps. They are smaller versions of the highway logo signs. Ramp signs are required when a business is not visible to motorists exiting the highway and where safety might be compromised in routing traffic to the location.

Where do I get a logo plaque? Logo plaques will be supplied by you, after the application process is complete. After sign approval, OTE will provide you with a permit and plaque manufacturing specifications (as well as a list of plaque manufacturers). After the preliminary design sketch is approved by you and OTE, the manufacturer sends the finished plaques to a specific sign crew for installation.

What if my plaque is worn and needs to be replaced?  If OTE finds that the logo plaque is deteriorating and is losing reflectivity, your business is responsible for replacing the plaque. If replacements of logo plaques occur at the customer’s request due to a desire to change the color, design or name on the plaque, a fee will be charged per plaque to cover the costs of removing the old plaques and installing a new design.

What does the legend category “Attraction” mean and what kind of businesses or organizations would qualify? An “Attraction” is a business of regional significance that provides the general public with an agricultural, cultural, historical, or recreational activity, or is a travel plaza. To further define these categories:

Other sign types available

If you are not ready for the Interstate Logo Sign, what about exploring the opportunities to drive traffic your way with an Off-Interstate Logo Sign, Tourist Oriented Directional or Museum or Historical Site sign? Use the links below to navigate to individual web pages and applications (Applications are also available in the “Technical Resources” section of this web page) for the following:

Technical resources, sign applications, and additional info

Gas, Food, Lodging, Camping Interstate Logo Sign Application: You may download the OTE Interstate Logo Application (PDF format) for the legend category gas, food, lodging, and camping and return it to our offices via email or by US mail.

OTE Cover Letter for Gas, Food, Lodging and Camping legends: Download this informative and brief description of this sign category.  Read the letter in PDF format.

Attraction Interstate Logo Sign Application: Download a PDF copy of the application for the legend category “Attraction” and follow the protocol for returning to our offices as stated in the category above.

OTE Cover Letter for Attraction legend: Read the letter explaining this new separate Interstate Logo Attraction category in PDF format.

Tourist Oriented Directional Application (TOD): Download a PDF copy of the popular TOD sign.

OTE Cover Letter for TOD sign: Read the letter explaining the TOD in PDF format.

Museum and Historic Site Application: Download a PDF copy of the Museum and Historic Site sign permit application.

OTE Cover Letter for Museum and Historic Sites: Review the qualifying criteria for Museum and Historic Site signs in PDF format.

Not-for-Profit Status form: If you would like to provide proof of your not-for-profit status, please contact us for the correct form to include with your permit application.

Help with your application

For more help with the application process, please contact us at the phone number below. If you need the free Adobe Reader to download the form, please visit: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

If you have remaining questions about Interstate mainline signs or ramp signs, please contact Oregon Travel Experience Sign Program staff or call 1-800-574-9397.