Note: For a more comprehensive guide to tire chain laws in British Columbia, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, this downloadable chain law guide has a tremendous amount of great information if you are using tire chains in these states.
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.
(disclaimer: Although we try to keep this page as up to date as we can, we can not guarantee that a state's chain law has not changed since our last page update. Always confirm the regulations on your state's official site)
When to use tire chains:
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.*
*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.
Other states have more specific laws regarding tire chain and snow tire use. The table below outlines each state’s specific guidelines.
No specific dates for chains, but signs will be posted when chains are required
Commercial vehicles traveling on certain roads must carry chains from Sept 1 to May 31
Studded tires & non-skid devices may be used from Nov 15-April 30
No specific restrictions, it is advised to avoid it unless necessary
May not be used unless road is ice-covered or vehicle has an ice shoe at least 6 in wide. Limit on diameter & spacing
Permitted from Nov 1-May 1.
Required when snow emergency has been declared, not allowed on vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs
Permitted when road conditions call for it. Studded pneumatic tires not allowed on state registered vehicles
Permitted Oct 1-May 1, not mandatory unless notices are posted. Specific regulations for studded tires.
Metal studs only permitted November 1-April 1. School buses, mail carrier vehicles, and emergency vehicles are permitted year round.
Required on all vehicles over 10,000 lbs when requirements in effect. Studded tires permitted between Oct 1-April 30
Required when a snow emergency has been declared.
Only permitted between Nov 1-April 1, except for public safety or school bus
Required on vehicles over 10,000 lbs when SNOW ZONE signs are posted.
Permitted between Nov 1-April 15, restrictions on size of tires or studs
Permitted Oct 1-April 1, specific regulations on percentage of wire or other material that comes in contact with the road
Between Nov 1-March 31, if signs are posted, vehicles must have chains or snow tires.
Signs marked "chains required" will be posted. On certain routes, chains must be carried from Nov 1-Mar 31
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:
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.