What You Need to Know About Chain Laws in Each State

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A list of chain laws by each state within the United States. Learn what you need to know about chain laws in all 50 states.

Alabama

The use of tire chains shall be permissible upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, rain or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid.

Alaska

Tire chains are not permitted on paved roads from May 1 through September 15 when north of 60 North Latitude.

Tire chains are not permitted on paved roads from April 15 through September 30 when south of 60 North Latitude.

No tire chains are permitted anywhere on Sterling Highway from May 1 through September 15.

Special permits are needed to run tire chains during the typically prohibited dates. These permits may be obtained from the Department of Administration.

Arizona

Chains are only permissible when necessitated due for safety concerns such as snow, ice or rain that might cause a vehicle to skid or slide.

Arkansas

It shall be permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle when required for safety.

California

During the winter months, motorists may encounter traction chain controls in the mountain areas within California. When chain controls are established, signs will be posted along the road indicating the type of requirement. There are three requirements in California.

Requirement One (R1): Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles.

Requirement Two (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.

(NOTE: Four wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)

Requirement Three (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

Colorado

There are two levels of the chain law affecting commercial motor vehicles.

Level 1 - All single axle combination commercial vehicles chain-up. All four wheels of the power drive axle must be chained. Cables are not allowed on single drive axle combination commercial vehicles as an alternative traction device. When level 1 is in effect, all other commercial vehicles must have snow tires or chains. Level 1 may be implemented at any time there is snow covering any part of the traveled portion of the pavement on an ascending grade.

Level 2 - When this level is enacted, all commercial vehicles are required to chain-up. Cables are not allowed on single drive axle combination units. Level 2 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the entire portion of the pavement on an ascending grade or at the discretion of the highway maintenance supervisor.

Connecticut

Tire chains are permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface. Tire chains are only permitted between November 15 and April 30.

Delaware

Snow tires or chains are allowed when the road has snow on it.

Florida

There are no chain laws.

Georgia

Use chains or snow tires if road conditions require extra traction.

Hawaii

(Maui) Chains are permitted provided it is necessary to prevent skidding or slipping.

Idaho

It is permissible to use tire chains.

The Idaho transportation department may determine at any time that Lookout Pass or Fourth of July Pass on interstate 90 or Lolo Pass on state highway 12 is is an unsafe condition so as to require chains.

Illinois

Use of tire chains of reasonable proportion upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Indiana

Tire chains of reasonable proportions may be used upon a vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Iowa 

Tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Kansas

Tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Kentucky

No person shall use on a highway not covered with ice, a vehicle with a chained wheel unless the wheel rests upon an ice-shoe at least six (6) inches wide. This means chains are permitted when required for safety reasons.

Louisiana

Use tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle, when required for safety because of conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid.

Maine

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Maryland

It is permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions on any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Massachusetts

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Michigan

MCL 257.710 of the Michigan Vehicle Code covers the use of tire chains, and states that a person may "use a tire chain of reasonable proportion upon a vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other condition tending to cause a vehicle to skid." If used, the chain must not come in contact with the surface of the roadway.

Minnesota

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Mississippi

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Missouri

Permitted as weather dictates.

Montana

If the department of transportation determines at any time that dangerous or unsafe conditions on a highway require particular tires, tire chains, or traction equipment for vehicles in addition to or beyond the ordinary pneumatic rubber tires, the department may establish the following recommendations or requirements with respect to the use of the equipment for all vehicles using the highway:

  • (a) chains or other approved traction devices recommended for driver wheels;
  • (b) chains or other approved traction devices required for driver wheels; or
  • (c) chains required for driver wheels.

Nebraska

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Nevada

It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, whether it is an emergency vehicle or otherwise, without traction devices, tire chains or snow tires upon any street or highway, under icy or snowy conditions, when the highway is marked or posted with signs for the requirement of traction devices, chains or snow tires.

If a highway in this State is marked or posted with signs requiring the use of traction devices, tire chains or snow tires, a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles must be equipped with:

  • (a) Traction devices, tire chains or snow tires if it has a gross weight or combined gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
  • (b) Tire chains if it has a gross weight or combined gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds.

New Hampshire

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

New Jersey

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

New Mexico

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

New York

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

North Carolina

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

North Dakota

Every trailer or semitrailer when operated upon a highway at a speed in excess of twenty-five miles [40.23 kilometers] per hour must be equipped with safety chains or brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab, and said brakes must be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle the brakes are automatically applied that it is permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions.

Ohio

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Oklahoma

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Oregon

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Pennsylvania

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Rhode Island

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

South Carolina

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

South Dakota

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Tennessee

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Texas

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Utah

When any designated highway is so restricted no vehicle shall be allowed or permitted the use of the highway, during the period between October 1 and April 30, or when conditions warrant due to adverse, or hazardous weather or roadway conditions, as determined by the Utah Department of Transportation.

Vermont

When tire chains or winter tires are required, advance notice shall be given to the traveling public through signage and, whenever possible, through public service announcements. In areas where tire chains or winter tires are required, there shall be an adequate area for vehicles to pull off the traveled way to affix any chains that might be required.

Virginia

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Washington

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Road-Specific Chain Requirements

On the following routes all vehicles and combinations of vehicles over 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) shall carry sufficient tire chains to meet the requirements of WAC 204-24-050 from November 1 to April 1 of each year or at other times when chains are required for such vehicles:

  • Blewett Pass
    SR-97 between MP 145 and Milepost 185
  • Chinook Pass
    SR-410 Enumclaw (MP 25) to SR-12 (MP 342)
  • Cle Elum to Teanaway
    SR-970 Cle Elum (MP 0) to Teanaway (MP 10)
  • Gibbons Creek to Intersection of Cliffs Rd.
    SR-14 Gibbons Creek (MP 18) to Intersection of Cliffs Rd. (MP 108)
  • Mt. Baker Highway (Ellensburg to Selah)
    SR-542 (MP22) to (MP 57)
    I-82 from Ellensburg (MP 3) to Selah (MP 26)
  • Newhalem to Winthrop
    SR-20 Newhalem (MP 120) to Winthrop (MP 192)
  • Omak to Nespelem
    SR-155 Omak (MP 79) to Nespelem (MP 45)
  • Satus Pass
    SR-97 Columbia River (MP 00) to Toppenish (MP 59)
  • Sherman Pass
    SR-20 Tonasket (MP 262) to Kettle Falls (MP 342)
  • Snoqualmie Pass
    I-90 North Bend (MP 32) and Ellensburg (MP 101)
  • Stevens Pass
    SR-2 Dryden (MP 108) to Index (MP 36)
  • White Pass
    SR-12 Packwood (MP 135) to Naches (MP 187)

West Virginia

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Wisconsin

The use of tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice or other slippery conditions.

Wyoming

When the chain law is in effect due to snow, ice or other conditions, travel on a highway may be restricted to use only by motor vehicles utilizing adequate snow tires or tire chains.

The operator of a commercial vehicle shall affix tire chains to at least two (2) of the drive wheels of the vehicle at opposite ends of the same drive axle when the vehicle is required to utilize tire chains under this subsection.