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Public-images-osm logo.svg access = official
A way dedicated for a particular use by law. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: restrictions
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: deprecatedPage for proposal

The value official for the access tags foot, bicycle and horse indicates a way legally dedicated to specific modes of travel by a law or by the rules of traffic. The tag is to signify the official, binding, legal nature of the dedication. A way may have several official dedications.

In most cases, the official dedication also means that other modes of travel are prohibited. In some countries like Germany such a usage right is also compulsory, travellers must not use a parallel way if an official way is marked. But exclusive or compulsory use is only a deduction based on local laws and traffic rules, it is not the meaning of the tag "official". For compulsory ways use bicycle=designated on the cycleway affected and tag bicycle=use_sidepath on the highway which the cyclist should not use. For pedestrians traffic on footways use sidewalk:foot=designated and foot=use_sidepath on the road.

Do not use official to tag roads reserved for official traffic (police, fire brigade, customs et al.). Use access=no because these roads are not allowed for the general public.

For marked hiking routes and trails use the values permissive or yes.

The tag should only be used where there is a an official traffic sign or an unambiguous law.

Difference to *=designated: "Official" is sometimes treated as stronger than "designated". "Official" is only for ways marked with a legal traffic sign. Note that *=designated is typically used in this situation. And typical tagging for cases described in the proposal is bicycle=designated not bicycle=official,

Usage compared to *=designated: *=designated tag has also significant support and is widely recognised unlike *=official access value that is less popular in usage and support.

See a graph with common *=offical tags:

Note on status

This value was proposed in January 2009 but never entered voting, and proposal is considered abandoned. There is some worldwide usage of the value however.