Tourist Oriented Directional Signs
IDOT administers a Tourist Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) along various highways. This program involves installing blue-background signs at intersections in rural areas to advise tourists of businesses or attractions not visible from a state maintained highway and is governed by:
- Section 4-201.1 of the Illinois Highway Code [605 ILCS 5/4-201.1] and
- Section 14.01 of the Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971 [225 ILCS 440/14.01]
The program includes all sections of rural non-freeways except those passing through urban areas with populations of 5,000 or more where the number of businesses would make such signing impractical. It does not apply to Interstate routes or other full freeways or highways under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.
Where space is available at a rural state maintained highway intersection with a crossroad, IDOT will make, install and maintain one TODS sign in each direction. Each sign may identify up to four businesses/attractions.
Business Eligibility Requirements
Businesses and/or attractions must be oriented toward tourism with the major portion of their income or visitors derived during their normal operating season from motorists not residing within 25 air miles.
Eligible businesses/attractions include, but are not necessarily limited to those offering gas, food, and lodging:
- Orchards/tree farms
- Produce stands
- Fishing/bait facilities
- Stage theaters
- Amusement parks
- Riding stables
- Antique and craft stores
- Golf Courses
- Facilities offering aircraft, boat, or train rides
- Historic villages
Ineligible businesses/attractions include, but are not limited to:
- Shopping malls
- Furniture stores
- Drug stores
- Movie theaters
- Community business districts
- Appliance stores
- Automobile/truck dealerships or garages
- Houses of worship
- Real-estate offices
- Livestock sales facilities
- Sand and gravel facilities
- Grocery stores
Application & Fees
If you wish to apply for the TODS program, please utilize the map to contact the IDOT district TODS coordinator for your county before submitting the Tourist Oriented Directional Sign Program form and processing fee if you have any questions concerning eligibility.
There is a $100 nonrefundable processing fee. In addition, there is a $70 annual fee for each sign. The total fee for an individual business/attraction depends upon how many TODS signs are installed. Please do not send an application fee without the official application form.
Signing Eligibility Requirements
A business/attraction cannot have an entrance along a state highway where they could have their own signing. Where they are not located on the crossroad, additional signs known as "trailblazers" may be necessary to direct tourists to their location.
If additional information is needed or you would like to apply for the IDOT TODS program, please utilize the map to contact the district office in your county.