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Many objects in OpenStreetMap, such as highways and barriers, are subject to various restrictions. Examples may be a highway not permitting access for bicycles or having a speed limit of 60 km/h. This document describes general aspects on how restrictions are tagged.

Simple restrictions

In its basic form a restriction tag comprises a key defining the restriction type and a restriction value. Eksemples are access=no and maxspeed=60.

See below for a list of commonly used restriction types in OSM.

Transportation mode based restrictions

Some restrictions apply to specific vehicle types or transportation modes. The restriction key can be extended to include the transportation mode by appending it as a subkey. Examples are maxspeed:hgv=80 or oneway:bicycle=no.

A special case is formed by access tags. Here the transportation mode is used as the key on its own leaving out the access: part. An example is bicycle=no meaning that bicycles have no access.

See below for a hierarchical list of transportation modes .

Direction-dependent restrictions

In some cases restrictions are dependent on the direction of travel. One common example is a road having different speed limitations in the forward and backward directions. The direction can be specified by appending :forward or :backward to the key. Example: maxspeed=80 + maxspeed:backward=60 meaning that the speed limit is 80 in the forward direction but 60 in the backward direction.

Lane-dependent restrictions

It is possible to specify restrictions per lane of a highway using lane tagging. Example: hgv:lanes=*no|yes|yes meaning that heavy goods vehicles may not use the left-most lane.


Some restrictions apply only if a certain condition is fulfilled. This can be a time interval or maybe the weight of the vehicle. Such conditional restrictions can be tagged as shown in this example: maxspeed:conditional=30 @ (Mo-Fr 07:00-18:00). This tag describes a speed limitation of 30 kph that applies only between 07:00 and 18:00 on week days.

For a full description see Conditional Restrictions

Legal versus physical restrictions

The restrictions discussed in this article are considered to be legal restrictions normally indicated by official signs. Sometimes they reflect physical limitations of a road such as a bridge with limited clearance but often the legal restrictions are more restrictive than needed regarding the physical limitations of the highway. Please note that physical dimensions of an element should be tagged with an appropriate dimensional tag such as width=*, not with a legal restriction tag like maxwidth=*. For the clearance under a bridge the tag maxheight:physical=* can be used.

Transportation modes

The mode specific tags are used for restrictions that apply to a specific transportation mode. These modal tags each have a place in a hierarchy in which keys become narrower in scope as they branch out from the root.

For example:

  • motor_vehicle=no, psv=yes means that access for motor vehicles as such is prohibited but public service vehicles are allowed.
  • oneway=yes, oneway:bicycle=no implies that this is a oneway street but bicycles may travel in both directions.

Land-based transportation

This hierarchy is different in each country. So it's possible that your country has vehicle classes which aren't in this list, doesn't have some which are, and some vehicle classes may even have a different definition from the one listed below. The list is shown in the context of access tags but applies to other restrictions tags as mentioned in the introduction.

  • access=* (category: any land-based transportation mode)
    • Moving without a vehicle
    • Sinnbild Reiter, StVO 1992.svg horse=* (horse riders)
    • vehicle=* (category: any vehicle)
      • Non-motorized vehicle
        • Single-tracked
        • Double-tracked
      • motor_vehicle=* (category: any motorized vehicle)
        • Single-tracked
          • Sinnbild Kraftrad.svg motorcycle=* (a two-wheeled motor vehicle, allowed to drive on motorways)
          • moped=* (motorized bicycles with a speed restriction; e.g., at most a 50 cc engine or max. speed of about 45 km/h)
          • Sinnbild Mofa.svg mofa=* ("low performance moped", usually with a maximum design speed of 25 km/h)
        • Sinnbild Kfz.svg Double-tracked (category: motor vehicles with more than 2 wheels/more than 1 track)
          • Sinnbild PKW.svg motorcar=* automobiles/cars
          • psv=* (public service vehicle)
            • Sinnbild Kraftomnibus.svg bus=* (a bus acting as a public service vehicle)
            • taxi=* (taxi)
          • tourist_bus=* describes a bus that is not acting as a public transport bus service
          • goods=* (light commercial vehicles; e.g., goods vehicles with a maximum allowed mass of up to 3.5 tonnes)
          • Sinnbild LKW.svg hgv=* (heavy goods vehicle; e.g., goods vehicles with a maximum allowed mass over 3.5 tonnes)
          • Sinnbild Traktor.svg agricultural=* (agricultural motor vehicles (e.g., tractors) that have additional restrictions (e.g., a 25 km/h speed limit))
          • ATV=* a.k.a. Quad (bike) (Restricted to or permissive for vehicles 50 in (1.27 m) or less in width) still in proposal stage. You may want to use maxwidth=1.27 instead.
          • snowmobile=*
        • By use (please see Conditional_restrictions for an alternative way of tagging these modes]])
          • hov=* (high-occupancy vehicle/carpool, at least one passenger (varies by location))
          • emergency=* (category: emergency motor vehicles; e.g., ambulance, fire truck, police car)
          • hazmat=* (motor vehicles carrying hazardous materials)
          • disabled=*(holders of disabled persons' permit. Used on traffic signs to exempt said group from access restrictions; not just regarding parking)

For sea- and rail-based transportation modes see access=*.

Restriction types

This is a list of commonly used restriction types in OpenStreetMap.

Sign Tag Description
120px-Zeichen 250.svg.png access=* Access restriction applying to all transportation modes.
120px-Zeichen 259.svg.png foot=* Access restriction applying to pedestrians (transportation mode foot).
120px-Zeichen 254.svg.png bicycle=* Access restriction applying to cyclists (transportation mode bicycle).
120px-Zeichen 260.svg.png motor_vehicle=* Access restriction applying to all types of motorized traffic (transportation mode motor_vehicle).
120px-Zeichen 251.svg.png motorcar=* Access restriction applying to cars (transportation mode motorcar).
120px-Zeichen 253.svg.png hgv=* Access restriction applying to heavy goods vehicles (transportation mode hgv).
Nederlands verkeersbord C21.svg maxweight=* Maximum permitted weight of vehicle.
Nederlands verkeersbord C18.svg maxwidth=* Maximum permitted width of vehicle.
Nederlands verkeersbord C19.svg maxheight=* Maximum permitted height of vehicle.
Nederlands verkeersbord C17.svg maxlength=* Maximum permitted length of vehicle.
Nederlands verkeersbord C20.svg maxaxleload=* Maximum permitted axleload of vehicle.
120px-Zeichen 274.svg.png maxspeed=* Maximum permitted speed.
120px-Zeichen 275.svg.png minspeed=* Minimum required speed to use this road.
Belgium-trafficsign-c35.svg overtaking=* Overtaking not permitted.
120px-Zeichen 353.svg.png oneway=* The road may only be traveled in the indicated direction.
Zusatzzeichen 1040-32 - Parkscheibe 2 Stunden, StVO 1992.svg maxstay=* Maximum time allowed to stay at the element such as a carpark.

Special restriction types

These restrictions are using their own tagging schemes that are not comparable to the general scheme presented in this article. See the wiki pages for the respective tags for a full description.

Sign Tag Description
Belgium-trafficsign-e1.svg parking:lane=* Parking lane features including parking restrictions are tagged using its own tagging scheme.
Belgium-trafficsign-c31 right.svg type=restriction Turn restrictions are tagged using relations which use their own tagging scheme.

Related tags

Sign Tag Description
Zeichen 391 - Mautpflichtige Strecke, StVO 2003.svg toll=* Toll road. Vehicles must pay a fee to use this road. See also barrier=toll_booth
Belgium-trafficsign-f1a.jpg traffic_sign=city_limit Start/end sign of city limits. In most areas such signs imply the start or end of urban zone speed limits