OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Museum and Historic Site Sign Rates and FAQ

f you would like to bypass the FAQs section and proceed to the application process, please scroll down the page to the “Technical Resources” section.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are they?

Museum signs consist of a brown sign panel stating in white the name of a qualified museum or historic site that is a building, place, or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition or educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical or artistic value.

There are two types of Museum signs: Advance and Intersection. The Advance signs are located about ¼ to ½ mile from the intersection or driveway where the motorist turns off the highway. The Intersection signs are located at the intersection or driveway and have arrows pointing toward the business and mileage indicators to the business.

Museum signs are seen as alternatives 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 Oregon State sign standards. If the Travel Information Council (TIC) doesn’t follow the Federal and State sign regulations, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) could lose a percentage of its Federal funding.

How long does it take to get Museum/Historic Site signs?

It all depends on the variables involved. In addition to our criteria and roadway review process, new sign installations require an ODOT engineering review. Our goal is to turnaround sign applications within 5 days. ODOT is allowed another 30 days on reviews which are forwarded to them. Once approved, the timetable adjusts based on the time required to fabricate the signs and have them installed by a specified sign crew. The total estimated time for the entire process is 60-90 days.

 What does it cost to have Museum/Historic Site signs?

Annual permit fees are based on the average daily traffic count at the location of the advance sign. See the For-Profit Museum sign rates page for more information. Non-Profit and Governmental Entities are assessed annual permit fees at a reduced percentage of the For-Profit rate. See the Non-Profit Museum rates page for more information.

How does a facility qualify for Museum/Historic Site Signs?

A qualified Museum is a facility approved by TIC that is a building, place, or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition or educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical or artistic value.

A qualified Historic Site must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Businesses offering Gas, Food, Lodging, and Camping services must apply for Logo signs and Attractions must apply for Tourist Oriented Directional (TOD) signs or Attraction Logo signs. If your business is within the categories of a typical logo business, review either the Interstate Logo, Off-Interstate Logo or TOD application packets. Please note that eligibility, qualifications and criteria for Logo and TOD signs differ significantly from Museum/Historic Site signs.

What is the minimum level of services required for Museum/Historic Site signs?

Except for undeveloped Historic Sites, qualified Museums must include restrooms and drinking water, be open to the public at least 1,040 hours per year which is four hours per day, five days a week, include licensing where required, and have adequate parking. Historic District means a cluster of like Businesses in a concentrated area of no less than six city blocks in size and with no less than four like Businesses.

An undeveloped Historic Site must have an informational device to provide public information about the feature.

What areas or locations are considered eligible for Museum/Historic Site signs?

Museum signs may be installed at any intersection as long as it meets highway sign spacing requirements. Some cities have been determined as too congested for additional signing due to the on-premise and highway signs already installed.

Cities with “no Museum zone” areas include:  Bandon, Coos Bay, Florence, Newport, Lincoln City, Seaside, Astoria, McMinnville, Dundee, Newberg and Sherwood.

Are Museum/Historic Site signs allowed on interstate highways, freeways or expressways?

No. Museum/Historic Site signs are restricted to conventional or secondary highways that are not classified as interstate highways, freeways or expressways.

How far away from the highway can a facility be located and still qualify?

A business must be located within 3 miles of the intersection of the sign request but they may apply for a distance waiver up to 15 miles.

 How can motorists find the facility if it is not visible at the highway intersection?

Intersection signs with arrows pointing the direction to the facility and mileage indicators are placed near the intersection. Intersection signs are required when the facility is not visible.

What if a motorist can see the Museum, but I simply want a sign to let them know the Museum is up ahead?

To qualify for Museum signs, a facility must not be visible or recognizable to the motorist within 300 feet of the approaching intersection or access to the facility. If there are road conditions (brush, trees, etc) that hinder the visibility within that 300-foot area, the business may qualify for signs.

How much advertising can be put on a sign?

None. Only the facility’s Registered Business Name or a portion of that name is allowed by Federal standards

What if the Museum/Historic Site name changes?

If a replacement is requested by the customer due to a name change, a fee of $255 per advance sign and $195 per intersection sign is charged to cover the costs of manufacture and installation of the new signs.

Can private clubs have Museum/Historic Site signs?

No. Only facilities open to the general public are allowed signing.

Technical resources

The following application and cover letter are available for you to download on your computer. To read PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is free downloadable software on the Adobe solutions website and will help you to print out your application and fill in by hand. Unless you have Adobe Pro (a paid software component) you will not be able to fill in the above permit applications on your computer. The files have not been formatted to allow for this. If you would prefer documents in Word, which may be filled out on your computer, please use this link. Please contact our office if you experience any difficulties printing your brochure and we will mail you one.

For other sign types

Visit our Highway Business Signs main information page for links to other highway sign permits administered by Travel Information Council.