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Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) arrows logo

Interim Approvals Issued by FHWA

Current Interim Approvals
Terminated Interim Approvals

Section 1A.10 of the MUTCD contains a provision authorizing the Federal Highway Administration to issue Interim Approvals. Such approvals allow the interim use, pending official rulemaking, of a new traffic control device, a revision to the application or manner of use of an existing traffic control device, or a provision not specifically described in the MUTCD. Interim Approvals are considered by the Office of Transportation Operations based on the results of successful experimentation, studies, or research, and an intention to place the new or revised device into a future rulemaking process for MUTCD revisions.

Any jurisdiction that wishes to use a device or application that has received Interim Approval must submit a written request to the FHWA, Director of the Office of Transportation Operations. The request must indicate whether blanket jurisdiction-wide approval is being requested or must state the location(s) where the device will be used, and must include the jurisdiction's agreement to comply with items B, C, and D in paragraph 18 of Section 1A.10 of the 2009 MUTCD. A State may request Interim Approval for all jurisdictions in that State.

The letter of request (on agency letterhead) should be addressed to the Director of the Office of Transportation Operations, Federal Highway Administration, and should be sent electronically as an attachment (PDF or Word Document) to an e-mail to: MUTCDofficialrequest@dot.gov. [Note: If e-mail is not possible, the letter may be sent via postal mail or delivery service to FHWA at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., HOTO-1, Washington, DC 20590.]

Interim Approvals that have been issued by FHWA are listed below, with links to the actual approval document and background information for each. A list of authorized requests for each Interim Approval is also provided.

Interim Approvals Valid Under the 2009 MUTCD

The following Interim Approvals were issued subsequent to the effective date of the 2009 MUTCD:

**Inquiries regarding Interim Approval 13 and 5 (Reinstated) should be sent to Marty Calawa at Martin.Calawa@dot.gov.**

**Inquiries regarding Interim Approvals 11, 12, 16, 17, 19, and 21 should be sent to Duane Thomas at Duane.Thomas@dot.gov.**

**Inquiries regarding Interim Approvals 15, 18, and 20 should be sent to Dean Mentjes at Dean.Mentjes@dot.gov.**

**Inquiries regarding Interim Approvals 14 and 22 should be sent to Adison Zoretic at Adison.Zoretic@dot.gov.**

December 4, 2019 – Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Red-Colored Pavement for Transit Lanes (IA-22)

  • Interim Approval (IA-22) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 228KB]

March 28, 2018 — Reinstatement of Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs (IA-5)

  • Report on Highway Guide Sign Fonts, submitted to Congress October 11, 2018 [HTML, PDF 3.3MB]
  • Interim Approval (IA-5) Reinstatement Memorandum [HTML, PDF 57KB]
  • Interim Approval (IA-5) September 2, 2004 Memorandum [HTML, PDF 111KB]
  • IA-5 Additional Information:
  • IA-5 Archived Information:
    • January 25, 2016 Federal Register Notice Terminating IA-5 [Federal Register Docket Number 2016-01383] [HTML, PDF 224KB]
    • March 14, 2016 Memorandum responding to comments received from Federal Register IA-5 termination notice. [HTML, PDF 950KB]

March 20, 2018 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Pedestrian-Actuated Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons at Uncontrolled Marked Crosswalks (IA-21)

July 13, 2017 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Boxes (IA-20)

February 24, 2017 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of an Alternative Signal Warrant 7 - Crash Experience (IA-19)

  • Interim Approval (IA-19) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 2.6MB]

October 12, 2016 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Intersection Bicycle Boxes (IA-18)

August 12, 2014 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Three-Section Flashing Yellow Arrow Signal Faces (IA-17)

  • Interim Approval (IA-17) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 1.3MB]

December 24, 2013 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of Bicycle Signal Faces (IA-16)

June 1, 2012 — Interim Approval for the Optional Use of an Alternative Design for the U.S. Bicycle Route (M1-9) Sign (IA-15)

  • Interim Approval (IA-15) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 333KB]

April 15, 2011 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of Green Colored Pavement for Bike Lanes (IA-14)

  • Interim Approval (IA-14) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 237KB]
  • June 17, 2016, Official Interpretation #9(09)-86 (I) on Chromaticity Requirements for Green-Colored Pavement [HTML, PDF 776KB]

April 1, 2011 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of an Alternative Electric Vehicle Charging General Service Symbol Sign (IA-13)

November 12, 2010 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of Traffic Signal Photo Enforced Signs (IA-12)

  • Interim Approval (IA-12) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 350KB]

Terminated Interim Approvals Issued Under 2003 MUTCD

July 16, 2008 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (IA-11)

Interim Approval 11 was issued during the time that the 2003 MUTCD was in effect. Interim Approval 11 was not incorporated into the 2009 MUTCD and the FHWA does not intend to incorporate it into any future edition of the MUTCD. Interim Approval 11 was terminated by the FHWA in a memorandum dated December 21, 2017 and is no longer in effect. It is listed here only for historical information. The installation of any new or replacement rectangular rapid flashing beacons by any highway agency, including those agencies who received the FHWA's approval to use rectangular rapid flashing beacons under Interim Approval 11, shall be prohibited. However, any existing rectangular rapid flashing beacon that was installed prior to December 21, 2017, that complies with the terms of Interim Approval 11 may remain in place until it reaches the end of its useful service life.

  • Interim Approval IA-11 Termination Memorandum [HTML, PDF 37KB]
  • Frequently Asked Questions related to the termination of IA-11
  • Informational Brief: Treatments for Uncontrolled Marked Crosswalks [HTML, PDF 963MB]
  • ARCHIVED INFORMATION: Interim Approval (IA-11) Memorandum [HTML, PDF 84KB]

The following Interim Approvals were issued during the time that the 2003 MUTCD was in effect, for devices that have been incorporated into the 2009 MUTCD. Therefore these Interim Approvals have been terminated by FHWA and are no longer in effect. They are listed here only for historical information. Any highway agency that installed these devices under these Interim Approvals should consult the 2009 MUTCD sections applicable to these devices and revise their installations as may be needed to comply with the adopted provisions of the 2009 MUTCD.

September 21, 2006 — Interim Approval to Display More than Six Specific Service Logo Panels for a Type of Service (IA-9)

  • Interim Approval (IA-9) memorandum [HTML] [PDF, 650KB]
  • Virginia's Evaluation Plan [HTML] [PDF, 21KB]
  • Virginia's Logo Program Criteria [HTML] [PDF, 25KB]
  • Virginia's Logo Sign Photos [HTML] [PDF, 330KB]
  • Virginia's Logo Final Report [HTML] [PDF, 1.1MB]

March 20, 2006 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of Flashing Yellow Arrow for Permissive Left Turns (IA-10)

  • Interim Approval (IA-10) memorandum [HTML] [PDF, 2.7MB]
  • NCHRP Report 493 [PDF, 2.1MB]

September 6, 2005 — Interim Approval for Optional Use of RV Friendly Symbol Sign (IA-8)

  • Interim Approval (IA-8) memorandum [HTML]
  • Pictures of the RV Friendly Symbol [HTML]
  • Oregon's Request to Experiment [HTML]
  • Oregon's Initial Work Plan [HTML]
  • FHWA's Approval to Experiment [HTML]
  • Oregon's Final Report Findings [HTML]
  • Oregon's Request for Extension [HTML]
  • FHWA approval for extension [HTML]

January 28, 2005 — REVISED Interim Approval for Use of Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) in Temporary Traffic Control Zones (IA-4R)

August 2, 2004 — Optional Use of Wayside Horn System (WHS) at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (IA-2)

  • Interim Approval memorandum IA-2 [HTML] [PDF, 46KB]
  • 49 CFR Part 222 [HTML]

February 6, 2004 — Optional Use of Retroreflective Borders on Traffic Signal Backplates (IA-1)

  • Interim Approval memorandum IA-1 [HTML] [PDF, 101KB]
  • Backplate Border Canadian Report 216 [HTML] [PDF, 321KB]
  • Follow-up study report, ITE annual meeting, August 2002 [HTML] [PDF, 614KB]
  • NCUTCD Recommendation for Signal Backplate Border Option [HTML] [PDF, 33KB]

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