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Public-images-osm logo.svg access = official
Osm element tag.svg
A way dedicated for a particular use by law. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Restrictions
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: proposedPage 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, travelers 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 stronger than "designated". "Offical" is only for ways marked with a legal traffic sign. Note that *=designated is typically used in this situation.

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 the Proposal page.