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Public-images-osm logo.svg service = driveway
Specifies that a road is a driveway, typically leading to a residence or business. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Rendering-highway service minor.png
Group: highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

A driveway is a minor service road leading to a specific property. It typically branches from a bigger road and leads toward an entrance to a specific destination (building, etc.).[1] It may end at or pass the entrance, but either way, it gets close to its destination. It is rare for a driveway to be the way to access another roadway (but see Pipestems below).

Note that driveways are defined by their function, not their quality. Driveways may have various qualities – e.g. from surface=asphalt through surface=compacted to surface=sand.

A driveway typically leads to a residential home or commercial building, but may lead also to a research institute, court, military installation, construction site or an abandoned property.

NB See also Pipestem section below.


Use this tag on ways in conjunction with highway=service on a driveway, especially in any of the following scenarios:

  • Primarily provides direct access to a house, garage, or carport; a small number of parking spots may be available for occupants.
  • Primarily provides space for picking up and dropping off passengers – also use covered=yes if it passes under a porte-cochère.
  • Leads to a loading dock (amenity=loading_dock) or dumpster (amenity=waste_disposal), potentially from a parking lot – however, service=alley may be more appropriate in some cases.

There is no defined default access tag for driveways, so data consumers have to guess if you do not add an access tag. Add access=private, access=permissive, access=customers etc. as appropriate.

When not to use the service=driveway tag:


A pipestem or shared driveway leads away from a main road toward several houses, each with their own shorter driveways. Pipestems are common in rural areas and planned suburban residential developments in the United States. Maintenance of the pipestem is typically the joint responsibility of all the homeowners of that particular pipestem. Pipestems may be named, but historically they have typically been unnamed. As of 2019, most pipestems are simply tagged highway=service with no service=* tag. However, some mappers tag pipestems explicitly, either using service=driveway + driveway=pipestem or service=pipestem.

Software support

Many renderers depict highway=service service=driveway with a thinner line than a bare highway=service. Some routers apply an extra penalty to service=driveway so that a route is unlikely to use a driveway to access a non-driveway road, such as a service=parking_aisle. This is because, in many regions, driveways are more or less considered to be intended for destination traffic only, even if there is no legal restriction to that effect.

Possible tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

External links


  1. In this case, do not use the 'barrier=gate' tag to indicate a structure, or the 'indoor=door + door=yes' tag to indicate an indoor door.