Studded tires are only legal Nov. 1 - Mar. 31. Motorists using studded tires after the deadline could incur a fine from law enforcement.
Those traveling into higher elevations should carry chains and have approved traction tires year-round. When chains are required, studded tires alone will not meet the chain requirement unless your vehicle is a four- or all-wheel drive vehicle.
There is no individual exception to the studded tire season. When traveling in Washington, you are required to follow the State of Washington's motor vehicle laws.
WSDOT crews continue their efforts to provide the best snow and ice control services.
Ultimately, WSDOT would like to see the use of tire studs phased out to improve safety and reduce pavement maintenance and preservation costs. WSDOT hopes the trend will at least move to the introduction of new, even lighter weighted studs.
The abrasion on pavement surfaces caused by studded tires wears down pavement at a much greater rate. Rutting damage caused by studded tires is limited to state routes, primarily the interstates, due to the higher speeds and volumes. Rutting leads to safety issues such as ponding/water on roadway, hydroplaning, excessive roads spray, and “auto-pilot/steering” problems.
See more about studded tires and other pavement research from the WSDOT Materials Laboratory.