Tire Chain Laws

Updated May 2020

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 itís 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 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 stateís transportation department for specifics.

Special Guidelines

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

CA

California

No specific dates for chains, but signs will be posted when chains are required.

CO

Colorado

Commercial vehicles traveling on certain roads must carry chains from Sept 1 to May 31.

CT

Connecticut

Studded tires & non-skid devices may be used from Nov 15-April 30.

ID

Idaho

No specific restrictions, it is advised to avoid it unless necessary.

KY

Kentucky

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

Massachusetts

Permitted from Nov 1-May 1.

MD

Maryland

Required when snow emergency has been declared, not allowed on vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs.

MN

Minnesota

Permitted when road conditions call for it. Studded pneumatic tires not allowed on state registered vehicles.

MT

Montana

Permitted Oct 1-May 1, not mandatory unless notices are posted. Specific regulations for studded tires.

NE

Nebraska

Metal studs only permitted November 1-April 1. School buses, mail carrier vehicles, and emergency vehicles are permitted year round.

NV

Nevada

Required on all vehicles over 10,000 lbs when requirements in effect. Studded tires permitted between Oct 1-April 30.

NY

New York

Required when a snow emergency has been declared.

OH

Ohio

Only permitted between Nov 1-April 1, except for public safety or school bus.

OR

Oregon

Required on vehicles over 10,000 lbs when SNOW ZONE signs are posted.

PA

Pennsylvania

Permitted between Nov 1-April 15, restrictions on size of tires or studs.

TN

Tennessee

Permitted Oct 1-April 1, specific regulations on percentage of wire or other material that comes in contact with the road.

UT

California

Between Nov 1-March 31, if signs are posted,vehicles must have chains or snow tires.

WA

Washington

Signs marked "chains required" will be posted. On certain routes, chains must be carried from Nov 1-Mar 31.

WY

Wyoming

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:

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.