Pavement Marking Materials (PMM)

Pavement marking materials provide positive guidance to the traveling public, in the form of lateral positioning, messages, and nighttime visibility of the road geometry. They are a form of “traffic control device” as defined by the MUTCD. It is understood that their level of service, as a function of quality and durability, should be maintained at consistent levels for adequate operational performance of the road facility.

There are many different types and classes of pavement marking products available today. Each is manufactured with differing formulas specific to the class of product, pavement surface application, and a host of other significant factors, An individual brand of pavement marking material can have several different formulations with alterations made for a specific use or user specification.

This inherent variability within a dynamic industry and the need to compare product performance on an even playing field led to the adoption of ASTM Specification D 713, the Accelerated Wear Test, by AASHTO’s NTPEP Oversight Committee. This procedure allows over 200 similar products to be tested at once, side by side, and in the same conditions by applying the pavement marking materials transverse to the direction of traffic across the roadway in what is called a “testing deck”. The testing deck ensures that products are exposed to equal amounts of wear generated by the continuous flow of traffic across the deck, as well as the same environmental stresses for the entire evaluation. A series of instrumented and observational field measurements are made at specific intervals for each product being evaluated and performance results are determined for reporting.

Each year, NTPEP conducts Accelerated Wear Test evaluations of pavement markings in different zones defined by AASHTO to represent various geographical and climatic regions. Starting each spring, manufacturers are asked to submit each individual product they would like to have NTPEP tested and certified. Depending on the type of pavement marking, the product is subjected to a 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year field test, and depending on the class of the pavement marking, a series of applicable laboratory tests. Results are reported through the NTPEP Datamine website. NTPEP reports are available to other AASHTO committees including: Traffic Engineers, Maintenance Engineers, Materials Engineers, and Chief Engineers.

The NTPEP Technical Committee is responsible for developing a “Project Work Plan” each year that defines the evaluation protocol for each pavement marking material type. During the annual working meeting, the previous year’s project work plan is discussed, changes are made, and the work plan is balloted for approval from two thirds of the 52 AASHTO voting members of each state department of transportation (DOT). Improvements and changes are implemented immediately for the next testing cycle. This allows the NTPEP program to remain effective and efficient by having the ability to quickly adapt to the needs of both the manufacturers and users through the dynamic nature of the NTPEP process.

2017 Test Deck Status:​

Wisconsin DOT has agreed to host evaluations. The state selected a university to facilitate project management. Details on both decks are found in the Meeting Minutes Section of this Technical Committee. Evaluation reports will be issued through NTPEP DataMine ( Evaluation results will be reported exclusively through NTPEP DataMine. A summary report will be distributed on products that were tested.
Deadline for completed application package is 4/28/2017 – for guaranteed consideration. All forms and accompanying documents should be transmitted in duplicate (one for NTPEP files and one for the lead state).

2016 Test Deck Status:​

There will be no new test deck applications in 2016. As announced during the NTPEP Annual Meeting earlier this month, a 2016 PMM test deck will not occur due to a shortage of resources amongst the participating state DOTs. There is an intention to provide new test deck sites for 2017. Multiple states have already solicited for hosting the 2017 test deck. Preliminary coordination has begun with these states, well in advance. Formal announcement for 2017 will be given by January 2017.

2015/2016 Florida PMM evaluation REAPPLICATION:

Florida DOT is committed to reinstallation of the 2015 PMM asphalt surface in the fall of 2016. Participating manufacturers from the 2015 installations have already been contacted for associated expenses as well as their level of participation in the reinstallation scheduled for fall 2016. This reinstallation option is ONLY available to manufacturers who installed product on asphalt during the 2015 PMM installation hosted by Florida DOT. ​

NTPEP Designated Labs:

  • Deck Host State: Florida Department of Transportation, 2019 (rotates every year)
  • Waterborne/Solventborne Lab: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Thermoplastic Lab: Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
  • Multiple Component Lab: Future Labs, LLC
  • Tapes: ​Minnesota Department of Transportation

NTPEP - Pavement Marking Materials

Committee Name:
NTPEP-Technical Committee on Pavement Marking Materials
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Individual Name
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Work Plan
NTPEP tests products according to a Project Work Plan, which describes the laboratory and/or field test protocols used to conduct the evaluation. The Project Work Plan is a consensus-based document and includes peer review and input from industry experts. Each Project Work Plan is adopted after receiving at least two-thirds affirmative support from 52 AASHTO member states. The Project Work Plan is the basis for host states to conduct their testing and evaluation. When implemented by state DOTs, their own state standard specifications may supersede the NTPEP Project Work Plan. Industry is advised to be aware of state-level requirements, which may supersede basic NTPEP testing.

User Guide
PMM User Guide​

Quality Assurance
QC Control Points

Administrative Guide
PMM Administrative Guide​

Please go to NTPEP DataMine.

Please go to NTPEP DataMine.

Pavement Marking Materials (PMM)


Product types evaluated by this program include Waterborne Paint, Solvent Borne Paint, Thermoplastics, Permanent Polymeric Tape, Temporary Tape, and Multi-Component Durable markings (Epoxy, Polyester, Polyurea, Methyl Methacrylate). Experimental products may be included in field trials but will not be lab tested.



The evaluation consists of lab testing and a field trial.


Lab testing

    • Waterborne and solvent-borne paint testing includes density, degree of settling, no-pick- up time, pigment content, titanium dioxide content, solids content, viscosity, and x-ray diffraction spectrum.
    • Testing of thermoplastics includes specific gravity, softening point, low temperature stress resistance, daylight reflectance (color), hardness, titanium dioxide content, and an IR scan of the
    • Testing of pavement marking tapes includes tensile strength, ultimate elongation, retroreflectivity, daylight reflectance, skid resistance, surface IR of adhesive layer, binder content, and titanium dioxide
    • Testing of multi-component products includes a surface IR scan of reacted film, IR scan of each component, percent pigment for each component, percent total solids for each component, drying time, epoxide number, hardness, yellowness index, and daylight reflectance.

Field Trial

    • The intent is to alternate test deck locations so as to represent all climatic regions.
    • Test decks will be located on both concrete and asphalt surfaces.
    • Test decks will be on roadways with a minimum ADT of 5,000.
    • Test deck pavements will have been open to traffic for at least 2 years prior to product installation.
    • Paints may be evaluated for either 2 or 3 years. Thermoplastics, permanent tapes, and multi-component durable markings are evaluated for 3 years.
    • Temporary tapes are evaluated for 6 months.
    • Temporary tapes are also evaluated for removability.
    • After an initial performance evaluation, field evaluations are conducted on a monthly basis for the first year and on a quarterly basis for the remaining time.
    • Field evaluations include retroreflectivity, durability, daytime color, nighttime color, wet/dry retroreflectivity, and photographic documentation
    • Winter weather data (date, type, amount) is recorded along with the number of snow plow passes, the amount of deicing chemicals, and anti-skid materials.


Additional information about this evaluation can be found at:

AASHTO National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP)


Success Stories

Andre’ Jenkins
Alabama DOT

Alabama uses NTPEP for thermoplastic pavement markings. Prior to that they did in-house testing and field evaluation.   NTPEP has allowed them to save the time and expense of in-house testing.  They are also realized improved personnel safety by avoiding the need to work in traffic to review product performance.


Jason K. Davis, P.E.
Field Quality Assurance Administrator
Louisiana DOTD Materials Laboratory

Louisiana use of the NTPEP Pavement Marking Materials evaluations
The PMM program has been a tremendous help in evaluating products submitted to our Approved Materials List.  We don’t have the experience or personnel to manage a test deck for evaluations, and having access to up to three years of field data plus laboratory data allows us to quickly assess product performance.  Also, the PMM data is helpful in determining performance comparisons between classes of products, and this type of data can help us update specifications.


Johnnie S. Miller, P.E.
Coatings & Traffic Materials Branch Manager
Construction Division/M&P

Texas DOT use of NTPEP for traffic safety products
TxDOT utilizes NTPEP for pre-qualification testing of various traffic safety products including flexible delineator posts, raised pavement markers, prefabricated pavement markings, and retroreflective sheeting. The NTPEP testing program frees up state resources and provides manufacturers a uniform testing protocol by which products can be tested without the necessity of having to perform qualification testing in each individual state.

Sample Specifications

  • Alabama procedure for permanent pavement markings
  • Alabama procedure for temporary tape
  • ALDOT spec for traffic marking materials
  • Iowa DOT requirements for durable paint pavement markings
  • Montana DOT pavement marking spec
  • Virginia DOT spec for pavement markings