Road Signs in Germany

This page contains topics:

  1. Categories of German Road Signs
    Explains four categories in German road signs.
  2. Some Confusing Signs with Similar Appearances
    Description of some signs that have similar looks and hidden meanings.
  3. Common Road Signs in Germany
    Explanation of all the important road signs in Germany.

An example sign pole. School zone speed limit. Sign poles may have multiple signs on a pole.

1. Categories of German Road Signs

There are about 1000 road signs in Germany and it’s hard to remember them all. But luckily there are some easy ways to keep them in mind.

An easy rule of thumb is to divide these signs into groups. So “unofficially”, road signs in Germany can be divided into four main groups.

Those are two red groups and two blue groups.

Group 1 road signs

Red triangle road sign

Group 2 road signs

Red circle road sign

Group 3 road signs

Blue circle road sign

Group 4 road signs

Blue square road sign

1.1 Red Triangle Road Sign

All signs in the red triangle group are warning or hazard signs. They warn of approaching threats, for example, a slippery surface.

The yield sign is the only upside down red triangle road sign. It looks similar to the red triangle group but it can’t be placed in the red triangle group.

1.2 Red circle road sign

Red circle road signs prohibit some kind of action or state of action, for example, no entry sign.

A Red Ring is also a traffic sign itself. In addition to any sign/placard, the Red Ring forbids (in general) the item noted and anything of greater size or value.

1.3 Blue circle road sign

Circular signs with a blue background normally show something mandatory. For example, a blue circle with a bicycle on it means, bicycles must use this path, and at the same time it also means, the bicycle path/lane is not allowed to all other kinds of transport.

These signs enforce the traffic flow. In the unofficial German language, they are called Gebotschilder. Which means command signs.

1.4 Blue square road sign

It’s the rarest group. These are normally directing signs, showing some regulation/recommendation.

2. Some Confusing Signs with Similar Appearances

  1. Pedestrian Crossing Sign
  2. Warning Signs with Supplementary Signs
  3. German Speed Limit Sign
  4. Speed Zone
  5. Same Symbol in Different Groups
  6. Road Signs with Arrows
  7. Descent and Ascent Signs
  8. No Motorcycles Allowed Sign
  9. No Restrictions Sign
  10. City Name Signs
  11. Road Number Signs
  12. Sings with Extra Hidden Meanings
    1. Uncontrolled Intersection
    2. No Motor Vehicles Allowed
  13. Customs Office Sign
  14. Driveway Sign

2.1 Pedestrian Crossing Sign

There are two pedestrian crossing signs before each pedestrian crosswalk (zebra crossing).

Sign 101-11

Pedestrian Crossing Sign - Red pedestrian crossing sign

Sign 350-10

Pedestrian Crossing Sign - Blue pedestrian crossing sign

Red pedestrian crossing sign (101-11) is a warning sign. It is placed a little before the approaching pedestrian crosswalk as advance notice. It may be placed 150m-250m before the actuall Pedestrian Crosswalk.

Blue pedestrian crossing sign (350-10) is placed directly above the pedestrian crosswalk and it’s made up of the reflecting material. In snow, if pedestrian crosswalk lines are not visible, drivers approaching this sign must give way to pedestrians. In case of an accident, no accuse would be accepted because every pedestrian crosswalk has this sign hanging above it.

Note: Traffic sign numbers are used to indicate the signs, you don’t need to memorize the number of a sign, nor these numbers are asked in theory or practical driving exam.

Sign numbers are mentioned in official letters. For example, the penalty letter from the authority will be indicating the number of sign that has been violated.

2.2 Warning Signs with Supplementary Signs

Road work ahead at 100 meters.

If only the length is indicated (as shown in the above example) on the additional sign, it means the hazard area is so much distance ahead. Here, for example, the roadwork/construction site is 100 meters ahead.

If a supplementary sign has arrows in addition to the numbers, that means the length of the hazard area. Here, the below example is indicating that the construction site/ roadwork area is 800 meters long.

Sign 123 with 1001-30

The length of approaching road work area is 800 meters.

A warning sign can have more than one supplementary signs. For example, in the above example, if both supplementary signs are placed under the road work sign, it means a construction site is 100 meters ahead and is 800 meters long.

2.3 German Speed Limit Sign

Sign 274-50

Sign 275-30

Sign 380-54

Sign 406-50

Sign 274-50 belongs to prohibition signs (the red circle group), which means speed above the stated speed is prohibited (maximum speed limit).

Sign 275-30 belongs to the mandatory group, which means the speed stated in the blue circle is the lowest possible mandatory speed. The minimum speed law says that vehicles slower than the mentioned speed are not allowed on this road (minimum speed limit). Minimum speed on Autobahn is 65 km/h.

Sign 380-54 belongs to the recommendation group. Speed written on the blue rectangle is the recommended speed. Though under perfect conditions, vehicles can drive faster than the recommended speed. These are the rarest signs

Sign 406-50 is not a speed indication at all. It shows an Autobahn exit number. This sign comes on Autobahn with other signs. Every exit on Autobahn has a number. Please see the examples below.

Sign 448

Autobahn exit number 26 is 1000 meters ahead. This exit leads to Düsseldorf-Benrath.

Sign 448.1

Autobahn service area. The exit number is 27.

2.4 Speed Zone

Sign 274.1-20
Sign 274.1

Sign 274.1 and sign 274.1-20 also belong to the prohibition group as the actual sign is the red circle, which is inside the rectangle. Normally in such lower speed zones, the right-before-left rule is applicable. So, look for vehicles approaching from your right side.

2.5 Same Symbol in Different Groups

A symbol may appear in different signs. Following are the examples of the cycle road sign.

Sign 254

No cycling road sign

Sign 237

Cycle lane sign

Sign 138-10

Caution! cyclists ahead

All these signs have bicycles in them, but the meaning of each sign is different.

Sign 254 belongs to the prohibition signs group (red circle group), so it prohibits cyclists to enter.

Sign 237 belongs to the command signs group (blue circle group), which means cyclists must use this path, and all other traffic is not allowed to use this path.

Triangle cycle sign 138-10 belongs to the warning road signs. It warns that there might be cyclists ahead.

2.6 Road Signs with Arrows

Sign 209-30
Sign 353

The above two signs may seem similar to each other but have very different meanings.

Sign 209-30 belongs to the mandatory sings group. This sign indicates the mandatory direction. In this example, it is straight ahead. Sign 209 has other variations also, with left or right mandatory direction. These are discussed below. Please go to the page List of all Road Signs to see complete variations.

Sign 353 belongs to the directional group. It indicates a one-way street /road. These signs are now rare and will be soon replaced with the new version. The one-way street is now marked with sign 220 , with the word Einbahnstraße written on it. Sign 353 will remain valid till 2022 and then it will be abolished along with some other signs.

Sign 211
Sign 209
Sign 214
Sign 222

Sign 211 and 209 both indicate mandatory turn direction (here to the right side). The main difference between the two is that sign 211 indicates to turn right before the signboard and 209 indicates to turn right after the signboard. (There are similar signs for turning left). In both cases, 209 and 211 blinking is mandatory, despite there is no other direction to turn.

Sign 214 gives two possibilities turn right or drive straight ahead. Turning left here is not allowed.

Sign 222 also belongs to the mandatory group. It directs to a mandatory passage, for example before a traffic island or before barriers, etc. Drivers must pass the obstacle on the side indicated by the arrow.

Important! it’s not a mandatory left turn sign. Please see the image below.

Foto by Manfredrichter

Sign 222 installed on a traffic island. It directs to pass the traffic island from the right side.

Sign 208

Yield to oncoming traffic sign

Sign 308

Priority over oncoming vehicles sign.

Sign 125

Oncoming traffic sign

Sign 208 belongs to the prohibition signs group. It indicates a narrow passage ahead and oncoming traffic has the right to cross the narrow place first.

Sign 308 indicates priority over oncoming traffic through a narrow passage but doesn’t enforce it strictly.

Sign 125 doesn't assign priority to any vehicle. This sign just warns about oncoming traffic. For example, near the roadwork or construction site, where some part of the road may be occupied and passage can be narrow.

The following two signs don't have arrows in them but they are related to the narrow passage information.

Sign 121-10

Narrow road sign

Sign 121-20

Narrow road sign

These two signs warn of a narrow road ahead. Sign 121-10 indicates that oncoming traffic has the right-of-way., and 121-20 shows priority over oncoming traffic. In the case of one-way-street, the zipper rule applies.

2.7 Descent and Ascent Signs

Sign 108-10

Steep descent sign

Sign 110-12

Steep ascent sign

Descent and ascent signs might be confusing for some drivers. The easy way is to read them from left to right, same as roman alphabets. The percentage written on the sign shows the part of 100% (degree of descent or ascent).

2.7 No Motorcycles Allowed Sign

Sign 255

No motorbike sign

Sign 257-50

Moped not allowed sign

The difference between the above two signs is that 255 completely bans the entry of two-wheeled motor vehicles including motorcycles with or without sidecar, mopeds, or motor-assisted cycles. Sign 257-50 indicates no entry just for mopeds.

2.8 No Restrictions Sign

Sign 274-60 with 276

Start of a no passing zone and speed limit is restricted to 60 km/h.

Sign 278-60 with 280

End of a no passing zone and speed limit is no more restricted to 60 km/h.

Sign 282

This sign is combination of previous two signs, 278-60 and 280 .

It indicates the end of all previously set speed restrictions and passing bans.

Sign 274-60 is placed to limit the speed on secondary highways (Landstraße). It’s then canceled through sign 278-60 . Sometimes it is placed along with sign 276 , which sets the maximum speed limit and the passing of two-line vehicles is not allowed. One-line transport (motorcycles) can still be passed.

One-line transport is that leaves one line in the snow behind, for example, motorcycles and mopeds.

Two-line transport is that leaves two lines in the snow, for example, cars and trailers.

Sign 274-60 together with sign 276 is called Streckenverbot (en-route or road restriction) in German. Sign 278-60 and sign 280 are used to show the end of the maximum speed limit and passing restriction. Either together or both can be merged into a single sign 282 .

Important! Sign 282 nullifies the previously set speed limit and passing prohibition. Sign 282 can also be seen on Autobahns. On the federal highway (Bundesstraße) and secondary highway (Landstraße), it means that now vehicles can drive up to 100 km/h, contrary to the Autobahn where it means no speed limit at all.

2.9 City Name Signs

Sign 385

City name sign

Sign 310

City limit sign

Weiler and Wilster are names of places in Germany. Kreis Steinburg means district Steinburg.

Sign 385 shows the name of an approaching place (town, city, or part of a city). No need to reduce the speed to 50 km/h, as the city limit has not started yet. This sign just gives a piece of advanced information.

Sign 310 is posted at the beginning of a town or city limits. At this point, speed must be reduced to 50 km/h (31 mph), as the normal speed limit inside buildup areas is 50 km/h, unless a speed limit sign indicates another speed limit.

2.10 Road Number Signs

Sign 401

Federal highway number sign

Sign 405

Autobahn number

Sign 410

European highway

The above are identification signs of different roads and their routes. The yellow color sign (sign 401 ) indicates that it’s a federal highway route number 35. Green color signs (sign 410 ) is used for European highways, the blue color sign (sign 405 ) indicates the Autobahn route number.

All the regulatory signs on the Autobahn are in blue. Regulatory signs on all other roads are in yellow.

2.11 Sings with Extra Hidden Meanings

2.11.1 Uncontrolled Intersection

Sign 102

Uncontrolled intersection sign

Sign 102 indicates an uncontrolled intersection or junction ahead. The strict message in this sign is to yield to the traffic approaching from the right.

Sometimes, some areas look like a parking place or pedestrian path, with the sign 102 it is indicated that here traffic approaching from the right has the right of way.

To read more about uncontrolled intersection rules, please visit the page Right of Way.

2.11.2 No Motor Vehicles Allowed

Sign 251

No motor vehicles allowed sign

Sign 251 doesn’t just indicate no-entry for cars, rather it means no entry for all two-line motorized transport. In other words, it prohibits entry for all motor vehicles other than motorcycles.

Two-line transport means vehicles that leave behind two lines in the snow.

2.12 Light Post Sign

Sign 394-50

Light post sign

This sign is often found on street lights. It’s not a traffic sign. It indicates that the street lamp doesn’t glow the whole night.

2.13 Customs Office Sign

Sign 392

Customs office sign

This is the sign for the customs department. It indicates customs-control offices at border crossings. Customs must be paid on the border otherwise it’s costly if checked by the Zoll (customs department).

2.14 Driveway Sign

Blocking a driveway (exit or entrance) can be very costly in Germany. Whenever you park your vehicle look for the sign "Ausfahrt freihalten" or "Einfahrt freihalten". This sign is a private sign and no specific color, but mostly it is in white or yellow color.
"Ausfahrt" means exit and "Einfahrt" means entrance.

Since driveway signs are private, many people add extra symbols or writing to the sign. Please see the following keep driveway clear signs.

Keep driveway clear sign

Keep driveway clear sign

3. Common German Road Signs

The following section contains some common road signs in Germany. These are the signs you often see on German roads. If you are not preparing for the driver's license theory exam, studying this section would give enough information about German road signs for driving on German roads.
If you want to study the complete list of German road signs, it is on this page.

  1. Warning Signs
  2. Railroad crossing signs
  3. Priority Signs
  4. Compulsory Direction Control Signs
  5. Mandatory Signs
  6. No Entry Signage
  7. Speed Limit Signage
  8. No Passing Signs
  9. No Standing Signs
  10. No Parking Signs
  11. Parking Signs
  12. Types of Highways
  13. Direction Signs
  14. Detour Signs
  15. Service Signs
  16. Tourist Information Signs

3.1 Warning Signs or Hazard Signs

Warning signs are placed 150m-250m before the approaching hazard. Some common German warning signs are explained below.

The warning sign is normally supported by one or two supplementary signs which further explain the nature of approaching danger. A few common supplementary signs that often come with the warning sign are discussed here.

Road damage sign (Straßenschäden): a supplementary sign explains the danger ahead in written form.

The danger of an accident. (The area ahead has a strong history of accidents.) A supplementary sign explains the danger ahead in written form.

Skid risk for trailers on slopes with strong crosswinds on the highway.

Warning of Loose surface material ahead.

Right of way has changed.

Traffic routing changed

Construction site exit

Old people's home

Hospital warning sign

Do not drive on shoulder

Accident ahead sign. Temporary sign placed at the site of an accident. Click here to see an example.

Below are some other important warning signs that may be seen standalone or with supplementary signs.

Curve warning sign

Here in the left direction. There's a similar sign that shows a single curve in the right direction.

Double curve ahead sign

First to the left then right. This sign also has an conterpart that show first to the right.

Steep descent sign

Indicates a steep descent ahead. The number indicates the degree of a downgrade. An ascent is shown as:

Uneven road surface sign

A rough road is approaching.

Slippery when wet sign

Indicates stretches of road that may be slippery when wet or dirty.

Crosswind sign

Indicates danger of strong crosswind ahead. (Here, from the right.)

Traffic jam sign

Warns of congestion ahead.

Oncoming traffic sign

There may be oncoming traffic. Please check the explained article 2.6 Road Signs with Arrows for more details.

Children crossing sign

Pay attention to children! This sign is often installed with other supplementary signs, for example, "Schule" (School) or "Kindergarten".

or

Falling rocks sign

Stopping or parking should be avoided here.

Icy road sign

The road can be slippery.

Loose chippings sign

Indicates a stretch of road that has loose surface material.

Quayside sign

Unguarded water body along the road is approaching.

Swing bridge sign

Moveable or swing bridge is ahead.

Pedestrian crossing ahead sign

This sign is placed 150m - 250m before the actual pedestrian crosswalk. Please see the above-explained article for more details.

3.2 Railroad crossing signs

Unguarded level crossing sign

Indicates unguarded railroad crossing ahead. Please see this article for details.

Railroad advance warning sign

This sign gives advanced information about railroad crossing. A Three-lane beacon is the distance indication of 150 meters.

Railroad advance warning sign

When installed without written distance indications, a three-lane beacon shows a distance of 240 meters, a two-lane beacon indicates a distance of 160 meters and a one-lane beacon indicates a distance of 80 meters to the railroad crossing.

Crossbuck sign

A crossbuck sign prioritizes rail transport. The second crossbuck sign indicates an electrified railroad crossing.

Crossbuck sign

Horizontal variations of crossbuck signs. Crossbuck signs are fitted with yellow and red lights. A yellow light indicates the train is approaching and the red light means "stop".

3.3 Priority Signs

Uncontrolled intersection sign

Indicates an uncontrolled intersection or junction. Yield to traffic approaching from the right.

Stop and yield sign

Indicates the driver must come to a complete stop and yield to the cross-traffic.
This sign may have a supplementary sign that shows the course of a priority road.

Stop and yield sign

Stop and yield sign with a priority road sign. The supplementary sign shows the flow of the priority road through a thick curved marking.

Following are the variations a priority road can have at an intersection or a junction. The thick black line indicates priority road. The vehicle entitled to the right-of-way must not be disturbed.

Yield sign

The yield sign may have a supplementary sign that shows the priority road.

Yield sign

Yield sign with a supplementary sign that shows the flow of a priority road.

Priority road sign

Priority road starts. This sign indicates a priority at all upcoming intersections and crossings till it is canceled.
This sign may have a supplementary sign that shows the priority road.

End of priority road sign

End of priority on the road. This road is no more a priority road.

Priority road sign

Indicating the flow of a priority road.

Priority road sign

Indicates priority, only at the upcoming intersection or crossing. Please also see this article.
This sign may have a supplementary sign that shows the priority road.

Priority road sign

Indicating the flow of a priority road.

Give priority to oncoming traffic sign

Please see the above article for more details.

Priority over oncoming vehicles sign

Indicates priority over oncoming traffic through a narrow passage but doesn’t enforce it strictly.

Priority rules are explained in more detail on the page Right-of-Way.

3.4 Compulsory Direction Control Signs

These two signs show that traffic must turn in the indicated direction. (After the signboard). Please see the above article for more details.

These two signs show that traffic must turn in the indicated direction. Before the sign board.

Straight ahead sign

The mandatory direction is straight ahead.

No left turn sign

The mandatory direction is straight ahead or right. No left turn is allowed.

No right turn sign

The mandatory direction is straight ahead or left. No right turn is allowed.

No straight ahead sign

No straight ahead sign. The mandatory direction is right or left.

Traffic circle sign

Indicates the entrance to a traffic circle. Traffic in the circle has the right-of-way. Directional signals are not required when entering a traffic circle but must be used at the exit. To learn more about traffic circles please visit Roundabout Rules.

One way street sign

Backing up and making u-turns in one-way streets is prohibited.

Down arrow sign

Keep right of traffic barrier/divider.

3.5 Mandatory Signs

Blue mandatory signs indicate a specified path or lane for a specific user group.

The bike lane

Indicates paths restricted to and mandatory for bicycles. Please also see above-explained article.

Bridleway sign

This sign indicates the path restricted to and mandatory for horse riders.

Pedestrian walkway sign

Indicates an area restricted to and mandatory for pedestrians.

Shared pedestrian cycle path

Shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Shared pedestrian cycle path

Shared but separated paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists must stay on the left and pedestrians on the right.

Shared pedestrian cycle path

Shared but separated paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists must stay on the right and pedestrians on the left.

Pedestrian zone sign

Start of a pedestrian zone. Indicates an area where only pedestrians are permitted. Cyclists also must walk and push their cycles.

Pedestrian zone ends

End of restrictions associated with a pedestrian zone. Residents of the pedestrian zone must park their vehicles outside the zone, also at the night.

Bike street sign

A street intended for cycling. Only a supplementary sign allows the entrance of vehicles or pedestrians.

Bike street ends

End of restrictions associated with a bike street.

Bus lane sign

Bus lane or Bus-only lane. Other vehicles are not allowed in this lane. Parking is also not allowed in this lane.

3.6 No Entry Signage

Round signs with red and white prohibit entry of a vehicle, person, or domestic animal shown inside the red circle.
These signs may have a supplementary sign "Anlieger frei" meaning "open for residents", or there can be a supplementary sign with a symbol along with the German word "frei", that allows the object indicated in the symbol to enter the street. For example, .

Do not enter road sign

This sign strictly prohibits entry to all types of vehicles including pedal cycles. This sign is normally installed at the end of a one-way street.

No vehicles sign

No entry for any kind of vehicle. Motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles can be pushed by hands.

Residents only sign

Open only for residents and people who have a business in this street.

No vehicles but cyclists

No entry for any kind of vehicle. Cyclists are allowed.

To see all the supplementary signs with word "frei" please visit this page with full list of German exemption plates.

No motorized transport except solo motorcycles

This sign prohibits entry for all motor vehicles other than solo motorcycles. Please also see this above article.

No vehicles over 3.5 t

No goods vehicles over maximum gross weight of more than 3.5 tons.

No cyclists sign

No entry for bicycles, not even pushed by hands.

No motorbikes sign

No entry for all kinds of motorized two-wheelers. (All types of motorcycles and mopeds)

No mopeds sign

No entry for mopeds. (Motorized or electrified two-wheelers with a maximum speed of 25 km/h.)

No bus sign

Indicates no entry for buses and coaches.

No cars allowed sign

No entry for passenger car. Please also see the sign 251.

No trailer sign

No entry for towed trailers.

No truck,s trailers

Motor vehicles with a weight of more than 3,5 t with trailers are not permitted. (They are permitted without trailers.)

Slow moving vehicles not allowed

No entry for vehicles that can't reach or not allowed to attain speed of 25 km/h.

No pedestrian traffic sign

This sign is normally installed at the start of a highway.

No motor vehicles allowed sign

All types of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and mopeds, are not permitted.

No Entry For Vehicles Carrying Dangerous Goods.

Vehicle weight limit

Indicates total vehicle weight limit. A vehicle more than indicated weight is not permitted.

Axle weight limit sign

The axle weight is the total weight applied on the road by all wheels connected to the given axle.

Legal width of vehicle

No vehicles over maximum width shown in meters.

Vehicle height restrictions

No vehicles over maximum height shown in meters.

Maximum combination vehicle length

No vehicles or combinations of vehicles over maximum length shown in meters.

Low emission zone

Only vehicles with the appropriate emissions sticker may be driven beyond this point. Please visit the page Environmental Sticker in Germany for details.

End of Low emission zone

End of restrictions associated with low emission zones.

3.7 Speed Limit Signage

Maximum speed sign

The maximum speed, in kilometers per hour, at which traffic may travel, if it is safe to do so.

End of previous speed limit sign

End of previously set maximum speed limit. Now, adjust the speed to the area. (i.e. inside city limits is 50 km/h, outside city limits is 100 km/h, on the Autobahn advisory speed limit is 130 km/h).

Minimum speed sign

This sign indicates the minimum required speed. Vehicles slower than mentioned speed are not allowed on this road.

End of minimum speed sign

End of the minimum required speed. Now, adjust the speed to the area, if there is no speed limit sign.

30 speed limit sign

In a 30 ZONE, the maximum allowed speed on all streets is 30 kilometers per hour. Also, pay attention to uncontrolled intersections in the 30 zone.

End of 30 ZONE sign

End of the zone with 30 km/h speed limit. The normal speed limit inside city limits is now applicable i.e. 50 km/h.

20 speed limit sign

Indicates the start of a zone where all streets have a maximum allowed speed of 20 km/h. Here also pay attention to uncontrolled intersections.

End of 20 ZONE sign

End of the zone with 20 km/h speed limit. If there's no speed limit sign, the normal speed limit inside city limits is now applicable.

No restrictions of speed & passing

On the Autobahn this sign means no speed limit at all. You are allowed to drive as fast as you can. However, on secondary highways, this sign cancels previously set speed limits and passing restrictions. The new speed limit is now according to the road i.e. on the Landstraße it is 100 km/h.

Snow chains obligatory sign

Snow chains are mandatory. The maximum allowed speed limit with snow chains is 50 km/h.
To read more about winter tire regulations and general tire laws, please visit the page Tire laws in Germany.

Play street sign

Indicates the start of a Traffic-Controlled Residential Area, commonly known as "play street". The speed must be reduced to walking pace. Posted on or before streets on which pedestrians and playing children have priority.

End of play street sign

Indicates the end of the traffic-controlled residential area, in German verkehrsberuhigten Bereichs. Vehicles leaving these areas must yield to all traffic. To read more about play street, please visit the page Driving in German Cities, Towns and Villages.

Speed limit signs may also have supplementary signs, for example:

Maximum allowed speed in wet conditions

Maximum allowed speed for vehicles over 3.5 tonne

Sometimes a road may have different speed limits in different lanes. An arrow represents a single lane on the given roadway.

The right lane has a speed limit (as indicated by the speed limit sign).

Two right lanes have a speed limit (as indicated by the speed limit sign).

All the traffic in the left two lanes must maintain the mentioned minimum speed. Slow-moving vehicles are not allowed in these lanes.

All the traffic in the mentioned lane/lanes must maintain the mentioned minimum speed. Slow-moving vehicles are not allowed in these lanes.

3.8 No Passing Signs

No passing zone sign

No Passing for any vehicle type except one line transport (solo motorcycles and mopeds).

No passing trucks

This sign indicates no passing zone for vehicles with a total weight of over 3.5 t.

End of no passing zone sign

End of the no passing zone for vehicles under 3.5 t.

End of no passing zone sign

End of all no passing restrictions.

No passing signs may have supplementary signs. For example,

Indicates the length of current no passing zone in kilometers.

No Passing zone begins after the mentioned distance.

No Passing zone begins after the mentioned distance.

No passing zone.
Passing the slow-moving agricultural machinery is allowed.

3.9 No Standing Signs

Bus stop sign

Bus and streetcar stop. An additional sign indicates whether the stop is for buses or streetcars. Parking or stopping within 15 meters of this sign is prohibited.

Taxi stand sign

Indicates area reserved for taxis. Other vehicles are not allowed to park here unless showed by a supplementary sign. This sign also can have an arrow above or below the cross to mention the start or end of a no standing zone.

No standing sign

No stopping or parking on the side of the road where this sign is installed.

Supplementary no standing sign

No stopping also on the hard shoulder.

No standing sign has following variations. If the arrow is pointing towards the road it indicates the start of no standing zone. No standing sign has the following variations. If the arrow is pointing towards the road it indicates the start of no standing zone. If the arrow is pointing away from the road it indicates the end of no standing zone. An arrow and blow the red cross symbol indicates the middle of no standing area. For more explainations please visit the page Parking in Germany.

3.10 No Parking Signs

No parking sign

No parking. Only a short waiting stop of up to 3 minutes is allowed. The no parking restriction is only applicable on the same side of the road where the sign is posted.

Following are the different variations of the No Parking Sign. These variations indicate a start, end, or middle of a no parking area. All these variations are only applicable on the installation side of the sign.

No parking zone sign

Posted at entrances to an area where parking is prohibited on all streets until the sign indicating "End of parking restriction zone" is reached. This sign may have supplementary signs.

End of no parking zone sign

Indicates the end of the parking restriction zone.

3.11 Parking Signs

Parking lot sign

This sign may contain further variations with arrows. An arrow pointing towards the street indicates the start of a parking lot. An arrow pointing away from the street marks the end of parking and double arrows in opposite directions indicate the middle of a parking lot.

Parking garage sign

Indicates a public parking garage.

Parking zone sign

Indicates the start of a controlled parking zone. Parking in these areas is permitted on all streets with a parking disc or voucher as indicated by the supplementary sign.

End of controlled parking zone sign

Indicates the end of a controlled parking zone.

Park and ride sign

This sign indicates an area where vehicles can be parked and public transport is available.

Park and ride sign

Indicates parking and group riding. People traveling in the same direction make a group and travel in the same vehicle to save money.
In German, Parken + Mitfahren.

Parking area for hikers

Vehicles with a maximum weight of less than 3.5 tonnes can be parked on sidewalks if there is a sign indicating (Parking on sidewalks). A vehicle can be parked on sidewalks in a variety of ways. The sign also shows in which position car should be parked on sidewalks. This sign can have the following variations.

"Parking on sidewalks" signs may also have arrows that indicate a start, middle, or end of the parking zone. The arrow pointing towards the street marks the start of a parking zone. Two arrows in the opposite direction indicate the middle of the parking area and an arrow pointing away from the road indicates the end of the parking zone.

Parking on sidewalks sign

This sign indicates the start of a parking area if installed on the left side of the road.

Parking on sidewalks sign

Indicates the middle point of a parking area.

Parking on sidewalks sign

This sign marks the end of a parking area if installed on the left side of the road.

Parking signs may have supplementary signs. For example:

Parking is allowed only with a parking disk and maximum parking duration is mentioned.

Parking is allowed only to mentioned vehicle class.

Parking only for resident / residents with mentioned permit number / numbers.

Parking is allowed only with a parking voucher.

Parking on the shoulder of the road.

To read more details about parking in Germany please visit the page Parking systems.

3.12 Types of Highways

Autobahn sign

Indicates the start of an Autobahn. From this point onwards, all rules and regulations governing the Autobahn must be obeyed.

End of Autobahn sign

This sign is installed just before the end of an Autobahn. This sign can also contain a supplementary sign indicating the distance in meters to the end of the Autobahn.

Expressway sign

This sign is posted at the beginning of the Two-lane Expressway (Kraftfahrstraße). All entries to this road are restricted only to motor vehicles. Please also see this article.

Expressway ends sign

Indicates the end of a two-lane Expressway.

3.13 Direction Signs

Following signs indicate junctions and directions to other road routes and places. Direction signs on the Autobahn are in blue while on secondary roads they are in yellow. White color signs are for any local place (a nearby small town or village).

City or town name sign

Indicates the name of the current place. After this sign, the city limit starts and speed must be reduced to 50 km/h.

End of city limit sign

Indicates the end of the current city and speed limit restrictions associated with city limits. The Speed can be increased up to 100 km/h. Limits of the next city start at the mentioned distance.

City or town name sign

This sign gives only information about the name of the next city or town. It does not imply a speed limit.

Junction sign on Autobahn

This sign is placed just before the exit on the Autobahn. It indicates exit to the mentioned city/cities. (Here, Mainz and Wiesbaden are names of cities).

Junction sign on secondary roads

This sign is placed just before the exit on secondary roads (all roads other than Autobahn). It indicates an exit to the mentioned city/cities.

Junction sign to a local place

This sign indicates the exit to a mentioned local destination / destinations.

Authorized exit from the Autobahn. It is posted exactly at the Autobahn exit.
"Ausfahrt" means "Exit".

Authorised exit from secondary roads.

Authorised exit to a local place.

Indicates the route number of the German Federal highway (Bundesstraße).

Indicates the route number of the German Autobahn.

European highway route number sign.

Direction signs

Different variations of direction markers on federal roads. They are posted at junctions and intersections.

A sign inside the city explaining directions to various places. The location with a blue background is the Autobahn route. Locations with yellow backgrounds are federal road (Bundesstraßen) routes and the location with a white background is a local place in the same city or nearby village.

Direction sign inside a city, pointing the direction to Autobahn, Messe (fair), and two nearest cities with their respective road numbers (if applicable).

Direction sign on roads other than Autobahn with lane configurations.

Direction to Autobahn routes with city names and highway or Autobahn numbers. The yellow-colored name indicates the federal highway route to the mentioned city. The main color of the sign is blue, so this sign is placed on Autoban.

A sign indicating the Autobahn exit is 1000 meters ahead. The number in the circle indicates the Autobahn exit number. Each Autobahn exit has a unique number.

"Autohof" means Autobahn service area. Autohof is 24 hr operated service area off the Autobahn. The number in the circle is the exit number of Autobahn.

countdown markers on Autobahn

Countdown markers indicate the distance to the start of the deceleration lane. Each bar represents 100 meters.

Exit countdown markers on federal highways (roads other than Autobahn).


Direction sign

Direction to the nearest Autobahn entrance and nearest city through this Autobahn.


Direction sign

A white sign indicates the direction to places in a town or city. Bahnhof means train station.

Street name sign

This type of signboard is used inside the city for a place name. Here the name of a street is shown.

Dead-end road sign

Indicates a dead-end street. Posted at the beginning of the dead-end street.

Dead-end road sign

Dead-end street; cyclists and pedestrians can pass through.

Pedestrians must use the sidewalk on the indicated side of the road. (Here, pedestrians must use the left side of the road.)

Use of the hard shoulder as a driving lane permitted. The number of arrows indicates the number of lanes on the roadway.

No more use of the hard shoulder as a driving lane permitted.

Leave the hard shoulder and merge to the left lane.

All lanes shift in the mentioned direction (here to the left). The number of arrows shows the number of lanes on the roadway.

One lane shifts to the right hard shoulder. The number of arrows shows the number of lanes on the roadway.

Detouring onto opposite lane. All lanes shift to the left of the median. Arrows indicate the number of lanes on the roadway.

Indicates return of the earlier split lane. The number of arrows indicate the number of lanes on the roadway.

Lanes shift of the median. Vehicles over mentioned width are not allowed in the left lane.

This sign shows the number of lanes. There is no oncoming traffic. All the lanes are in straight-ahead direction.

This sign shows the number of lanes in each direction.

Mentioned lanes have speed limits, as indicated by speed limit signs.

Vehicles having a total weight over 3.5 t are not allowed in mentioned lanes.

This sign shows certain lanes with minimum speed limits. All the traffic in these lanes/lane must maintain the mentioned minimum speed. Slow-moving vehicles are not allowed in these lanes.

This sign indicates the end of a lane/lanes. All the traffic in this lane/these lanes must merge into the adjacent lane.

Indicates exit of lane/lanes from the roadway.

This sign indicates minimum speed limit ends in certain lane/lanes.

Indicates the addition of a lane to the roadway.

3.14 Detour Signs

The following signs indicate detours and specified routes for designated vehicle classes.

Route direction for mentioned vehicles class (here over 3.5t).

Route directions for mentioned vehicle classes.
1. Turn left
2. Continue stright ahead
3. Turn right

Mentioned vehicle classes must arrange in their appropriate lanes. 1. Arrange in the left lane. 2. Arrange in the right lane.

Route directions for mentioned vehicle classes (turn after the sign).

Detour information signs (start and end of a detour). These signs are normally placed with a supplementary signs to indicate the distance to the detour. "Umleitung" means detour.

Indicates the start and end of a detour on the roads other than Autobahn. Letter "U" represents the word "Umleitung" (detour).

Detour information signs on the roads other than Autobahn.
1. Turn left after the signboard.
2. Turn right after the signboard.

Detour information signs on the roads other than Autobahn.
1. Turn left before the signboard.
2. Turn right before the signboard.

Arrange in the appropriate lane for the detour ahead.
1. Arrange in the left lane.
2. Arrange in the right lane.

Autobahn detour sign

This sign is normally posted with a white color supplementary sign that indicates the distance to detour.
22 is the number of the detour route. Follow the same number route to enter the next entrance on the same Autobahn.

Autobahn detour directions signs.

Detour route map

Indicates the next detour route (in solid black lines) to get back on the Autobahn after having been current detour route no more available.

Alternate route sign

Indicates recommended alternate Autobahn route during heavy traffic or traffic jams. There can be a supplementary sign below indicating specific vehicle classes to take the recommended route.

Indicates recommended alternate route for mentioned vehicle class. (Here, trucks should continue straight ahead to avoid traffic jams.)

End of the alternate route.

Detour routes through a roundabout have a supplementary sign, that indicates the direction of the detour. For example:

Autobahn detour sign with a supplementary sign, which indicates the route to take through the roundabout.

Detour information sign on the roads other than Autobahn. Indicates the route to take through the roundabout.

Detour information sign on the roads other than Autobahn. Mentioned vehicle class should take the specified route through the roundabout.

3.15 Service Signs

Hospital or first aid center sign
Police station sign
Autobahn telephone booth sign

This sign indicates that public telephone is available in the upcoming service area.

Emergency telephone sign
Gas station sign
Liquefied petroleum gas station sign
Compressed natural gas sign
Autobahn hotel sign
Autobahn restaurant sign
Autobahn snack machine sign
Autobahn lavatory/restrooms sign
Autobahn chapel sign
Information point sign
Car repair shop sign
EV charging site sign
Hydrogen filling station sign
Motorhome parking sign sign
Motorhome and camping trailer parking sign
Toll road for vehicles over 3.5 t
Toll road for vehicles over 3.5 t
End of toll road sign
Toll road for all Vehicles
Customs control office

3.16 Tourist Information Signs

Road signs that provide tourist information are normally in dark brown. However, there are some common information signs in other colors also that indicate points of interest for tourists.

Tourist information sign

Indicates tourist attraction point. All tourist attraction signs are posted solo.

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Tourist direction signs
Tourist attraction signs

Tourist attraction point name with the town or city name.

Tourist attraction symbol

The wave symbol indicates a tourist attraction water body. Necker is the name of a river in Germany.

Tourist attraction signs

Indicates a nearby attraction point for tourists.

Tourist attraction symbol

Castle

Tourist attraction symbol

Museum

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