Buehner: Don’t forget to remove studded tires before the weekend

Mar 31, 2023, 10:40 AM | Updated: 11:53 am

studded tires...

Closeup of a studded tire. (Photo: Martin Silva Cosentino, Getty Images)

(Photo: Martin Silva Cosentino, Getty Images)

Friday marks the deadline to remove your studded tires in Washington state.

Tire shops often get busy with long lines and wait times in the days leading up to the 31st. Many tire shop managers note they have staff shortages and highly recommend getting an appointment in advance to reduce the wait time.

Winter weather increases need for traction tires in WA

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said studded tires damage pavement, costing taxpayers additional road repair and maintenance expenditures. Removing studded tires now helps preserve roadways.

“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 differ from all-season tires. These tires are legal year-round and don’t damage our highways.”

Starting at midnight on Saturday, motorists with studded tires can face a $137 fine issued by law enforcement. Washington and Oregon share the same studded tire removal deadline. Other states, like Montana, may have later removal dates, but Washington state law applies to all motorists, including visitors. There is no individual exception or “out of state waiver” to the legal studded tire dates of November 1 through March 31.

WSDOT does not plan to extend the studded tire deadline this year. Crews will continue to monitor mountain passes, roads, and weather forecasts to quickly clear any late-season snow or ice. Be sure to check road conditions prior to hitting the road so you ‘know before you go’ by using the WSDOT app or by calling the 511 road conditions hotline.

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For more information about Washington state studded tire and tire chain regulations, visit WSP’s website. To learn more about the WSDOT studded tire removal deadline this year, visit the WSDOT Studded Tire Removal webpage.

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Buehner: Don’t forget to remove studded tires before the weekend