Updated Chain Laws
|State||Chain Law Requirements updated|
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.
Requirement Three (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions. More Information
Oregon’s chain law applies to all highways throughout the state. When you drive in winter conditions, you may see signs telling you to carry chains or traction tires and when you are required to use them. In some areas, lighted message signs also will advise you about chaining up.
Under some conditions traction tires may be used in place of chains on vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less and that are not towing or being towed. In very bad winter road conditions all vehicles may be required to use chains regardless of the type of vehicle or type of tire being used. This is known as a conditional road closure. (ORS815.045) Minimum Chain Requirements
All vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) shall carry a minimum of two (2) extra chains for use in the event that road conditions require the use of more chains or in the event that chains in use are broken or otherwise made useless,
WAC 204-24-050 (2) (f).
Approved chains for vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall have at least two side chains to which are attached sufficient cross chains of hardened metal so that at least one cross chain is in contact with the road surface at all times. Plastic chains shall not be allowed. The Washington State Patrol may approve other devices as chains if the devices are equivalent to regular chains in performance (cable chains allowable). Minimum Chain Requirement Diagram
Carrying Chains on I-70 (effective March 1, 2009) – Commercial vehicles operating on I-70 in either direction between mileposts 133 (Dotsero) and 259 (Morrison) from Sept. 1 to May 31 must carry sufficient chains at all times to be in compliance with the Colorado chain law.
Chain Law Level 1 - All single drive axle combination commercial vehicles must chain all four drive wheels; cables are not permitted as ATDs. All other commercial vehicles must have snow tires or chains. Level 1 may be implemented any time there is snow covering any part of the traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade.
Chain Law Level 2 - All commercial vehicles must chain up. Single drive axle and tandem drive axle combination commercial vehicles must chain four drive wheels. Auto transports must comply to the extent possible without causing damage to hydraulic lines. Buses must chain two drive wheels to comply. Level 2 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the entire traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade, or when driving conditions dictate that this level is necessary to protect safety and to minimize road closures.
Violations - The fine for not carrying chains on I-70 between mileposts 133 and 259 from Sept. 1 to May 31 is $50 plus a $17 surcharge. Statewide, the fine for not chaining up when the chain law is in effect is $500 plus a $157 surcharge. The fine for not chaining up and subsequently blocking the highway is $1,000 plus a $313 surcharge. More information
|Nevada||Nevada chain requirements vary from chain requirements in other states. Vehicles 10,000 GVW must use chains on driving wheels and braking wheels of trailer. Four-wheel-drive OK with four mud-snow (M-S) tires. NAC 484.240 (1) More Information|
There are two levels of travel restrictions that can be invoked on specific highway sections when travel is sufficiently hazardous due to snow, ice or other conditions.
When conditions are extremely hazardous, travel can be restricted to:
Commercial vehicles must have chains on at least two drive wheels at opposite ends of the same drive axle.
When conditions are hazardous, travel can be restricted to:
|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. More Information|
Guide to the Use of Tire Chains
- Carry the required number and type of chains for each state you travel in.
- Confirm that your tire chains are the proper size for the tires on your vehicle.
- Find the safest place possible to chain up or remove chains.
- Install chains on properly inflated tires. Don’t reduce tire pressure.
- Install chains as snugly as possible, then drive a short distance and recheck tightness.
- Correct use of all fasteners, and rubber straps, will keep chains tight, and extra links from flailing.
- Even with chains properly installed, do not exceed a prudent and safe speed on the roadway.
- Never use tire chains for anything but their intended purpose, increasing traction.
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