Sign to direct traffic at an entrance to the AL-12 road in Almería

Road signs in Spain are regulated in the Instrucción de Carreteras Norma 8.1-IC[1] as well as the Catálogo de señales verticales de circulación.[note 1] They conform to the general pattern of those used in most other European countries. Spain is an original signatory to the 1968 Vienna Convention of Road Signs and Signals,[4] having signed it on November 8, 1968, but has yet to fully ratify it.


Use of the Autopista typeface on the left, and Carretera Convencional typeface on the right
1969 standard direction signs

Carretera Convencional [es], also known as CCRIGE, is the typeface used on Spanish road signs.[1]: 86 

From 1962 until approximately 1991, a French typeface predating Caractères was used on road signs.[note 2] Additionally, an italic serif typeface was used to indicate certain destinations, such as railway stations and airports. Autopista, derived from Highway Gothic, was introduced later for use on motorway signs following the opening of Spain's first motorway. From 1991 to 2000, after the publication of a new standard which introduced the Carretera Convencional typeface, work was carried out replacing signs from the previous standard. However, there still remain a number of signs from the 1962 order, perhaps made in the late 1980s, likely not replaced due to their condition.

On April 5, 2014, an updated version of the standard was published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado, which established Carretera Convencional as the only typeface to be used, regardless of the classification of the road, replacing the Autopista alphabet on new signs installed since then.

On certain stretches of roads within Catalonia, such as the AP-7 toll motorway, the Helvetica typeface has been used.


Bilingual signs appear in autonomous communities where languages in addition to Spanish are spoken, including the Basque Country, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Galicia and the Balearic Islands.

According to the standard, only the official names of towns and communities may appear on signs.[1]: 21  In the event that there is no official place name, the place name is first written in the regional language followed by a slash and the place name in Spanish. Where there is a lack of space, the place names are placed on two lines, with the name in the local language shown first followed by that in Spanish, with a horizontal line between them. No distinction is made in typography between both languages.

In the event that the official place name differs greatly from its Spanish version and the latter appears on the Official Road Map, both are written.

Warning signs

Below is a detailed and specific list of the signs adopted by regulations on public roads in Spain. The danger warning traffic signs approved and in common use in Spain since 1991 are the following:

Regulatory signs

Priority signs

Priority signs force other vehicles to give way in various situations. Due to their importance, these signs have different shapes than all the others. The Stop sign (R-2) is octagonal in shape and is red. The Yield sign (R-1) is shaped like an equilateral triangle with one vertex facing downwards and is white with a red border.

Entry prohibition signs

Prohibition signs prohibit behavior that may cause danger. These signs have a circular shape and their pictogram is black on a white background, edges and band (descending transversal from left to right crossing the pictogram at 45° with respect to the horizontal) red (the red must cover, at least, 35 percent of the sign surface).

No entry signs are those that restrict access to a road. These signs are circular and white with a red border. Due to its importance, the "no entry" sign (R-101) has a red background with a white stripe.

Restriction signs

Other prohibition or restriction signs

Mandatory signs

De-restriction signs

De-restriction signs inform that the prohibition or limitation section has ended. These signs are round and white with one or more diagonal black lines (one in France, three in the Netherlands, five in Spain and Germany).

Indication signs

Indication signs inform the driver about something of interest. These signs are square or rectangular, blue with white elements and border. The signs are listed below along with their reference and corresponding legend as described in the General Traffic Regulations (Reglamento General de la Circulación).[7]

General indication signs

Lane signs

Lane signs indicate the purpose of the lanes or the passage from one to several, etc.

Service signs

Service signs indicate the location of a roadside service.

Orientation signs

Pre-signaling signs

The signs indicate the location of an intersection at an adequate distance for it to be effective, being a minimum of 500 m on highways and highways, and can be reduced to 50 m in towns and repeated several times at another distance. Sometimes they can be seen in different colors to differentiate them.

Direction signs

Route number signs

Route number signs are intended to identify the roads by their number, made up of figures, letters or a combination of both, or by their name. They are made up of this number or this name framed in a rectangle or a shield.

Location signs

Location signs are used to indicate:

Confirmation signs

Signs for specific use in the town

Additional panels

Other signs

Construction signs

The construction traffic signs in Spain are signs, generally similar to the rest, with a yellow background used to signal detours or temporary changes due to works on the road.[8]

The different works signs are listed below, accompanied by their reference and a legend. Temporary signs shown below differ from permanent ones in that they have a yellow background instead of white.

Warning signs

Regulation and priority signs

Speed limit signs

De-restriction signs

Indication signs

Reflective marking signs


  1. ^ Volume 1 for definitions[2] and Volume 2 for dimensions[3]
  2. ^ Compare caracteres normales, carecteres anchos and caracteres estrechos in the 1962 Spanish standard[5] to caractères normaux, caractères larges and caractères réduits in the 1946 French standard.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Señalización vertical. Instrucción de Carreteras Norma 8.1-IC" (PDF). Ministerio de Transportes y Movilidad Sostenible (in Spanish). Ministerio de Fomento. 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Catálogo de señales verticales de circulación Tomo I – Definición de las señales" (PDF). Ministerio del Interior (in Spanish). Ministerio del Interior and Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana. March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  3. ^ "Catálogo de señales verticales de circulación Tomo II – Dimensiones de las señales" (PDF). Ministerio del Interior (in Spanish). Ministerio del Interior and Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana. March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  4. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection". Retrieved 2023-11-08.
  5. ^ "Orden Circular 8.1. – IC (2ª edición)" (PDF). (in Spanish). Dirección General de Carreteras y Camnios Vecinales. 25 July 1962. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Circulaire de 1er août 1946 - Instruction générale sur la signalisation routière" (PDF) (in French). 1 August 1946. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  7. ^ Ministerio de la Presidencia (2003-12-23), Real Decreto 1428/2003, de 21 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento General de Circulación para la aplicación y desarrollo del texto articulado de la Ley sobre tráfico, circulación de vehículos a motor y seguridad vial, aprobado por el Real Decreto Legislativo 339/1990, de 2 de marzo (in Spanish), pp. 45684–45772, retrieved 2023-11-17
  8. ^ "Instrucción 8.3-IC. Señalización, balizamiento, defensa, limpieza y terminación de obras fijas fuera de poblado (Orden de 31 de agosto de 1987)" (PDF) (in Spanish). ORDEN MINISTERIAL. 1987-08-31.