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Washington drivers need to remove studded tires as March 31 deadline arrives

Mar 31, 2024, 10:36 AM | Updated: 10:37 am

studded tires...

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

(Photo: Martin Silva Cosentino, Getty Images)

It’s time to remove studded tires on all Washington vehicles now that the March 31 deadline has arrived.

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

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Studded tires cause $20-29 million of damage to state-owned roads in Washington each winter while also damaging city and county roads. Motorists are urged to explore all traction options, including legal year-round non-stud, winter-tread tires that are different from all-season tires and do not cause any damage to roadways.

Tire shops often get busy with long lines and wait times in the days leading up to the deadline. Many tire shop managers highly recommend getting an appointment in advance to reduce the wait time.

Starting at midnight on Monday, motorists still with studded tires can face a law enforcement-issued $137 fine. The Washington studded tire law applies to all motorists including visitors – there’s no out-of-state waiver to the legal studded tire dates of Nov. 1 through March 31.

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No studded tire extension is planned for this year. Crews will continue to monitor mountain passes, roads and weather forecasts, and quickly clear any late-season snow or ice.

Editors’ note: This story originally was published on Wednesday, March 27. It has been updated and republished multiple times since then.

Ted Buehner is the KIRO Newsradio meteorologist. You can read more of Ted’s stories here and follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Washington drivers need to remove studded tires as March 31 deadline arrives