Tire Chains Laws By State

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Most every state in the U.S. has laws pertaining to the use of tire chains or snow tires. These laws dictate when you can, should, and absolutely must use tire chains, as well as when it’s not permitted. Some states will post signage or declare a snow emergency to indicate that tire chains are needed. Other states leave it up to the driver, but indicate that chains may be used if conditions warrant.

The Basics
The following is a list of states that have a similar tire chain law, stating:

Tire chains or snow tires may be used by any vehicle when required for
safety due to snow, rain, or other slippery conditions.*
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
*Some states have date restrictions for when you can/cannot use tire chains, as well as restrictions on the size of the chains and the type of vehicle that may use them. Check with your state’s transportation department for specifics.

Special Guidelines

Other states have more specific laws regarding tire chain and snow tire use. The table below outlines each state’s specific guidelines.

CA No specific dates for chains, but signs will be posted when chains are required
CO Commercial vehicles traveling on certain roads must carry chains from Sept 1 to May 31
CT Studded tires & non-skid devices may be used from Nov 15-April 30
ID No specific restrictions, it is advised to avoid it unless necessary
KY May not be used unless road is ice-covered or vehicle has an ice shoe at least 6 in wide. Limit on diameter & spacing
MA Permitted from Nov 1-May 1.
MD Required when snow emergency has been declared, not allowed on vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs
MN Permitted when road conditions call for it. Studded pneumatic tires no allowed on state registered vehicles
MT Permitted Oct 1-May 1, not mandatory unless notices are posted. Specific regulations for studded tires.
NE Metal studs only permitted November 1-April 1. School buses, mail carrier vehicles, and emergency vehicles are permitted year round.
NV Required on all vehicles over 10,000 lbs when requirements in effect. Studded tires permitted between Oct 1-April 30
NY Required when snow emergency has been declared.
OH Only permitted between Nov 1-April 1, except for public safety or school bus
OR Required on vehicles over 10,000 lbs when SNOW ZONE signs are posted.
PA Permitted between Nov 1-April 15, restrictions on size of tires or studs
TN Permitted Oct 1-April 1, specific regulations on percentage of wire or other material that comes in contact with the road
UT Between Nov 1-March 31, if signs are posted, vehicles must have chains or snow tires.
WA Signs marked "chains required" will be posted. On certain routes chains must be carried from Nov 1-Mar 31
WY Signs will be posted indicating when chain laws are in effect, must use adequate snow tires or chains

No Tire Chain Laws

Some states have no tire chain laws at all. These include:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Before you venture out in snow, ice, or other dangerous conditions, make sure to educate yourself about the tire chain laws in your state. If you do need tire chains for your vehicle, visit our store to find the best chains for you. If you’re not sure which chains you need, call our knowledgeable staff at 1-866-437-5883 and we’d be happy to share our expert advice.
Source: Trucking.org

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