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Public-images-osm logo.svg maxspeed:type
UK National Speed Limit Sign.jpg
One of two ways to specify the type of speed limit Edit or translate this description.
Group: Annotations
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use


maxspeed:type=* describes how a speed limit has been set into force. It should be accompanied by a maxspeed=* tag.

maxspeed:type=* is only in used in certain regions of the world namely the United Kingdom.

In other regions for consistency and simplicity of practice the tag source:maxspeed=* should be used instead, which serves the same function in those regions.


This tag can be used to information about the type of speed limit specified in maxspeed=*. More specific, the tag informs about the method how given speed limit had been set into force. This can be, as example

  • maxspeed:type=sign - by a speed limit sign for specific road at traffic sign location
  • maxspeed:type=FR:urban - by law for roads in residential area
  • maxspeed:type=AT:rural - by law for country-side roads
  • maxspeed:type=GB:nsl_single - by law for non-motorway single carriageways
  • maxspeed:type=NL:motorway - by law for roads with controlled access

In cases where traffic signs had been mapped separate from ways as individual nodes or are missing at all, this tag maxspeed:type=sign informs that current speed limit on a way had been set into force by a traffic sign.

The tag maxspeed:type=* is useful in cases where actual speed limit had been tagged as a hard value like maxspeed=120 which is or was valid by law at time of editing. But law might be changed at some time and maximum allowed speed given by law as well. As long as value of a maxspeed tag had not been changed or should not be changed from a numeric value to preferred context related value like maxspeed=NL:motorway, tag maxspeed:type=* may help to identify such cases by automated procedures.

While usage of maxspeed:type=* is growing, in history tag source:maxspeed=* had been used for similar purpose by same semantics. See Speed limits for more information.


The tag maxspeed:type=sign may indicate that applicable speed limit may be shown as traffic sign.

The tag maxspeed:type=* with value <country_code>:<context> may indicate that applicable speed limit may be shown as related symbol or icon, especially for rural or urban areas.

How to use

If a set of attributes of a way containing the tag maxspeed=* should be extended by tag maxspeed:type=*:

  • In cases of an applicable traffic sign using a numeric value for a speed limit: Add tag maxspeed:type=sign
  • In cases of an applicable law limits maximum allowed speed limit: Add a tag maxspeed:type=* with value <country_code>:<context>

See also

Main: Speed limits and discussion at Talk:Speed limits
  • source:maxspeed=* - Records the source for a speed limit, either a sign, a context (default limit) or a speedlimit zone
  • zone:maxspeed=* - Used to mark streets which are part of a maxspeed zone
  • zone:traffic=* - Describes if a public road is in a specific trafficzone