What are OBDS? Maine DOT Signs Explained

March 3, 2023

Maine DOT Signs - OBDS Signs - Official Business Directional Signs

Official Business Directional Signs (OBDS signs) are a type of business signage used to help drivers locate important destinations such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Government Buildings
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Businesses

Fun Fact: A business is allowed to have a maximum of 6 OBDS signs installed within a 10 mile radius of the business.

OBDS signs are designed to provide clear and concise information to drivers, allowing them to quickly and easily navigate to their desired location. These signs typically feature white text on a blue background, with a logo or symbol indicating the type of destination. For example, a hospital may be indicated by a red cross symbol, while a government building may be indicated by a seal or emblem.

Official Business Directional Signs (OBDS) can be a powerful advertising tool for businesses located near highways or busy roads. By incorporating your business’s logo or symbol onto an OBDS sign, you can increase your visibility and attract more customers. Additionally, OBDS signs can provide valuable information about your business’s location and hours of operation, making it easier for potential customers to find you. By leveraging the power of OBDS signs, you can drive more traffic to your business and increase your brand recognition. 

Does your business qualify for a(n) OBDS Sign?

Does your business meet these requirements?

  • The business must be located within 3 miles of a Maine state highway, an interstate highway, or a designated scenic byway.
  • The business must be open to the public at least five days a week, with regular business hours.
  • The business must have a permanent sign or logo visible from the roadway, indicating the business name or type of business.
  • The business must have adequate parking for customers and comply with applicable zoning and land use regulations.
  • The business must pay an application fee and an annual fee to the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT).

To obtain an official business directional sign in Maine, you can follow these steps:


  1. Visit the Maine Department of Transportation’s website at https://www.maine.gov/mdot/traffic/obds/.
  2. Click on the “Applications and Information” tab in the menu bar.
  3. Under “Applications and Information,” click on the “Business Guide” link to download a copy of the Maine Business Guide.
  4. Review the Maine Business Guide to ensure your business qualifies for an official business directional sign.
  5. Complete and submit the application form found on the Maine Department of Transportation’s website. The form is called the “Maine Official Business Directional Sign (OBDS) Application.” 
  6. You will need to include a detailed site plan and photos of your business location with the application.
  7. Your application will be reviewed by the Maine Department of Transportation’s Sign Shop staff. If approved, you will be sent a letter of authorization and a cost estimate for the sign.
  8. Once you have received your letter of authorization and cost estimate, you will need to pay the fee for your sign to the State Of Maine.
  9. A MDOT compliant sign manufacturer will produce the sign.
  10. Installation will be arranged by the Maine Department of Transportation after delivery to the appropriate MDOT Office.
  11. Your official business directional sign will be installed on the roadway according to state and federal guidelines.
  12. Your sign will remain in place as long as your business remains in operation at the approved location and continues to meet the Maine Department of Transportation’s eligibility requirements.

The installation of OBDS signs is regulated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which has established guidelines for the placement, design, and maintenance of these signs. The Maine DOT works closely with the FHWA to ensure that all OBDS signs meet these standards, providing drivers with accurate and reliable information and are responsible for installing and maintaining OBDS signs on state highways and interstates.

Overall, Official Business Directional Signs play a critical role in helping drivers navigate Maine’s roads and highways. By providing clear and consistent signage, these signs help to promote safety, reduce the risk of accidents, and ensure that drivers can quickly and easily locate important destinations. 

Are you looking for a reliable partner to help you produce high-quality signs and assist with the Maine DOT sign process? Or maybe you have a sign already but are looking to update to the new reflective sign standard? Look no further than Adventure Advertising! Our experienced team can guide you through the entire process, from design to installation!