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Motorist Information Sign - Business Eligibility Requirements

The MIS program is a great way to advertise for small or large businesses. Businesses must be open to the general public including minors. All businesses must conform to all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination on grounds of race, religion, color, age, sex, or national origin when providing public accommodations.

Your business must receive its principle source of revenue from the sale of goods, products, or services, which fall within the service categories of gas, food, lodging, camping, recreation, tourist activities or 24-hour pharmacy and meet the requirements below.

Gas activity

  1. Provide fuel, oil, water, and tire repair. (tire repair may be off-premise)
  2. Provide modern sanitary restroom facilities and drinking water.
  3. Provide telephone access.
  4. Be in continuous operation for at least 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

Food activity 

  1. Be licensed or approved by the county health office.
  2. Provide modern sanitary restroom facilities.
  3. Provide a public telephone.
  4. Food activities in fee zones 1 and 2 shall be in continuous operation to serve at least two daily meals for a minimum of ten hours a day six days a week, and food activities in fee zone 3 shall be in continuous operation to serve at least two daily meals for a minimum of eight hours a day six days a week, available without reservations. 
  5. Provide indoor seating with tables for a minimum of 20 people and provide parking facilities for a minimum of 10 vehicles. If curb service is provided, have a minimum of ten drive-in service stalls.

Lodging activity

  1. Be licensed or approved by the Washington Department of Health.
  2. Provide adequate sleeping and bathroom accommodations available without reservations for rental on a daily basis.
  3. Provide public telephone facilities.

Camping activity (applicable only for activities available from interstate highways)

  1. Have a valid business license.
  2. Have at least twenty camping spaces.
  3. Provide adequate parking, modern sanitary facilities and drinking water for camping spaces.
  4. Have an attendant on duty to manage and maintain the facility 24 hours a day while in operation.
  5. Available without reservations for rented on a daily basis.

Recreational activity (applicable only for activities available from non-interstate highways)

  1. Consist of activities and sports of interest to family groups and the public, generally in which people participate for purposes of physical exercise, collective amusement or enjoyment of nature.
  2. Where applicable, be licensed or approved by the state or local agency regulating the particular type of business.
  3. When the recreational activity is a campground, it must meet the specific criteria listed above for camping.
  4. Activities must be open to the motoring public without appointment, at least six hours a day, five days a week including Saturday and/or Sunday.

Tourist oriented business

  1. Consist of a natural, recreational, historical, cultural, education, or entertainment activity, or a unique or unusual commercial or nonprofit activity, the major portion of whose income or visitors are derived during its normal business seasons from motorists not residing in the immediate area of the activity, and/or
  2. Be listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, on the Washington Heritage Register, or as a National Historic Landmark with the state's office of archeology and historic preservation.  Signs on private property that mark the entrance to the historic district and a letter of support by the jurisdictional local agency are required, or
  3. Be a commercial district as adopted by a city ordinance or resolution with a minimum of one million square feet of leasable commercial space located within one square mile. The commercial district must provide a unique commercial activity where the majority of the district's customers do not reside in the city where the commercial district is located. The commercial district shall be located within one mile of the nearest state highway. Only the name of the commercial district will be displayed on the business sign, corporate logos may not be displayed. 
  4. Activities must be open to the motoring public without appointment, at least six hours a day, five days a week including Saturday and/or Sunday. 

24-hour pharmacy

  1. Be open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Have a state-licensed pharmacist present and on duty at all times.
  3. Be located within three miles of the nearest state highway interchange or intersection.

How far from the interchange can a business be located and still qualify?

  • Contingent upon sign space being available, from an interstate highway gas, food, lodging activities and 24 hour pharmacy shall be located within three miles either direction.
  • Camping or tourist oriented activities shall be located within five miles in either direction.
  • From a non-interstate highway gas, food, lodging, recreation, or tourist-oriented activities shall be located within five miles in either direction.
  • If no services are available within a three/five mile limit (or choose not to participate in the program), WSDOT can extend the limit in three-mile increments up to a maximum of 15 miles, or up to a maximum of 20 miles if the service is located within a distressed area.