OLYMPIA – Spring is here, and with it – the deadline to remove studded tires before end of day Friday, March 31. The Washington State Department of Transportation encourages all drivers to plan head now to avoid a potential fine of $137, which could be issued by the Washington State Patrol starting as soon as Saturday, April 1.
Studded tires are legal in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31. There is no individual exception or “out of state waiver” to the studded tire dates.
“Studded tires cause between $20 million to $29 million in damage to state-owned roads in Washington each winter and also damage city and county roads,” said WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin. “We urge motorists to explore all their traction options, including non-stud, winter-tread tires which are different from all–season tires. These tires are legal year-round and don’t damage our highways.”
State law gives WSDOT the authority to extend the deadline when circumstances call for it, most commonly when a forecast indicates widespread snow and ice. While late season storms are possible in the mountain passes, there are no forecasted statewide conditions that would call for an extension to the deadline. For mountain travel, WSDOT recommends drivers use approved traction tires and carry chains, if necessary.
Real-time road conditions are available before heading out. Travelers are encouraged to stay up to date on changes by using WSDOT’s social media and email alert tools.
Washington and Oregon share the same studded tire removal deadline. Other states may have different studded tire removal dates, but the Washington law applies to all drivers in the state, even visitors.
More information about studded tire regulations in Washington is available online.