The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contains national design, application, and placement standards for all traffic control devices such as signs, signals, and pavement markings. The objective of this Federal standard is to promote highway safety, efficiency, and uniformity on the Nation's streets and highways. 
An electronic version of the current MUTCD is available on-line on FHWA’s MUTCD web site. Hard copies of the MUTCD can be purchased through the ITE Bookstore.

On January 11, 2013 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a request for comments as follows: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) Notification and Request for Comment. FHWA is considering restructuring the MUTCD into two documents. One document would be subject to rulemaking; the other document would contain supplemental information that is not subject to rulemaking. This request addresses a series of questions regarding potential format, types of material to be included in each document, implications on agency acceptance of the MUTCD, ease of use, and effects on future MUTCD updates. Comments must be received by FHWA before March 12, 2013

On August 31, 2011, a Notice of Proposed Amendments was published in the Federal Register, proposing to revise Table I-2 in the Introduction of the 2009 MUTCD to eliminate, extend, or otherwise revise most of the target compliance dates for upgrading existing traffic control devices in the field that do not meet the current MUTCD standards. The deadline for comments to the docket is October 31, 2011. The Federal Register notice, which provides detailed discussion of the FHWA's proposal, can be viewed at PDF 168KB and HTML. To view the proposed revisions to the text of Table I-2 for this revision of the 2009 MUTCD and other related information, go to

On August 2, 2011 a Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) was published in the Federal Register, proposing to revise Section 1A.09 and 1A.13 of the 2009 MUTCD to clarify the definition of Standard statements in the MUTCD and clarify the use of engineering judgment and studies in the application of traffic control devices. The deadline for comments to the docket is October 3, 2011. The Federal Register notice, which provides detailed discussion of the FHWA's proposal, can be viewed at To view the proposed text for this revision of the 2009 MUTCD, go to Comments on the NPA can be submitted electronically at http://

On November 30th, 2010 the FHWA published a notice in the Federal Register, requesting comments on compliance dates for highway agencies to upgrade their existing non-compliant traffic control devices to comply with requirements established in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). To review the Federal Register notice and to post comments, please go to and enter FHWA-2010-0159 as the docket number (in the keyword or ID field). Comments must be posted to the Federal Register on or before January 14, 2011.

On November 22, 2010 the following list of known errors in the 2009 MUTCD were posted by FHWA. FHWA intends to correct these errors via a future rulemaking action. This list of known errors is provided solely for the information of MUTCD users and does not constitute changes to the MUTCD at this time. To view this list, click here.

On October 1st, 2010 the USDOT FHWA Office of Operations released an Official Interpretation clarifying addition of a sentence to the definition of Standard in Section 1A.13 and the removal of certain guidance information in Section 1A.09 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

On April 22, 2010, a Notice of Proposed Amendments was published in the Federal Register, proposing to revise the 2009 MUTCD by adding Standards, Guidance, Options, and Support information regarding maintaining minimum retroreflectivity of longitudinal pavement markings. To view the proposed revision click here.

On December 16, 2009 a final rule adopting the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD was published in the Federal Register. This edition of the MUTCD is available at The effective date for this final rule is January 15, 2010.

ITE has developed a one-hour training module to provide an overview of key revisions to the MUTCD that appeared in the 2000 and 2003 editions. This CD-ROM is available through the ITE Bookstore. ITE is also in the process of developing training modules with key revisions appearing in the 2009 edition.

FHWA Sign Retroreflectivity Requirements
On January 22, 2008, new language was officially adopted into the Federal Highway’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that requires all agencies to establish an assessment or management method to maintain the retoreflectivity of traffic signs at or above established thresholds. In an effort to assist agencies meet this new requirement ITE has compiled the following Web resources:

City of Phoenix (submitted by Jenny Grote)

Kansas Association of Counties (submitted by Norm Bowers)

FHWA Materials

Grade Crossings

Other Resources

  • FHWA has developed a detailed PowerPoint presentation which includes discussion on the majority of changes included in the 2009 edition of the MUTCD. This PowerPoint presentation is now available at
  • Federal Highway has announced the release of an Official Rulings Database, which contains information about FHWA interpretations, experimentations, and changes related to the MUTCD. The database offers an excellent way for users to view related background information such as FHWA letters of response and incoming correspondence related to the MUTCD. 
  • Federal Highway Administration offers a free email newsletter that delivers a once-per-day summary of all new information, questions, and answers posted to the site. Click this link to subscribe.
  • The FINAL versions of the Metric and English Standard Highway Signs Book 2004 Edition are now available online. The Standard Highway Signs Book 2004 Edition is a companion document to the 2003 Edition of the MUTCD, including Revision 1. This report is also available on CD-ROM for purchase through the ITE Bookstore.
The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) is an organization whose purpose is to assist in the development of standards, guides and warrants for traffic control devices and practices used to regulate, warn and guide traffic on streets and highways. The NCUTCD recommends to the FHWA and to other appropriate agencies proposed revisions and interpretations to the MUTCD and other accepted national standards. ITE is one of the 21 sponsoring organizations of the National Committee. ITE currently has eight Members and eight Associate Members serving as delegates to the NCUTCD. Additional information on the NCUTCD can be obtained through the NCUTCD website.

With inquiries regarding ITE’s input or involvement with the MUTCD, please contact Lisa Fontana Tierney, ITE Traffic Engineering Senior Director, at

Click here to view the current list of ITE’s Delegation to the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

For specific interpretations of the information contained in the MUTCD it is recommended that the appropriate FHWA staff person be contacted:

Additional contact information for the FHWA staff members responsible for working with the MUTCD can be found on the FHWA Web site at

Institute of Transportation Engineers
1627 Eye Street, NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20006 USA
Telephone: +1 202-785-0060 | Fax: +1 202-785-0609

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