What is a FM Road?
A Farm to Market Road (FM) is a secondary state highway. The system was conceived in the 1930s as part of a "Good roads" project to ensure farms (or ranches) have all-weather access to markets. The system was originally funded by an earmark from the general fund with state funds (no federal funds). Some FM roads are eligible for federal aid, however.
There is no difference between a FM, Ranch to Market (RM) or Urban Road (UR) for state purposes. RM markers are generally found in Western Texas where ranches are dominant, while FM roads are generally found in eastern Texas where farms dominate. There are some exceptions to this general rule though.
Urban Roads were originally FM roads (most notably around Houston and San Antonio) but were reclassified in 1995 to UR status (since they don’t serve farms anymore). All are still signed as FM roads to avoid driver confusion and save costs involved in re-signing the road.
Texas Highway Designations
TxDOT classifies Interstates. U.S. Highways, State Highways and other routes across the state with two letter abbreviations. The full list can be found at the TxDOT web site. A summary of those commonly used on AARoads include:
- IH – Interstate Highway
- SH – State Highway – includes the lettered routes for Old San Antonio Road (OSR) and NASA Road 1
- SL – State Highway Loop
- SS – State Highway Spur
- UR – Urban Road – a farm or ranch to market road routed within an urban area.
- RM – Ranch to Market Road – generally used in rural areas of the state
- PR – Park Road – a state maintained roadway to a state or national park
Other terms referenced in the TxDOT Designation Files (route log for all state maintained roadways):
- BI – Business Interstate Highway
- BU – Business US Highway
- BS – Business State Highway
- BF – Business Farm to Market Road
- RE – Recreational Road
- UA – U.S. Highway Alternate
- UP – U.S. Highway Spur
Farm and Ranch to Market Roads may have Spur routes posted as well.
Page updated July 31, 2019.