Chain Laws

Each State you’re traveling through will have their own laws and what laws are in effect. Chain laws are in effect between the dates of September 1st through May 31st.

Look Out for Fines!

Following is a video put out by the Colorado State Patrol.

  1. During this time of year you must carry chains with you. The fine for not having them can be about $50.
  2. When the chain laws are in effect, you must have them on your tires. The fine for not having them on when required can be about $500.
  3. There are additional fines if an unchained vehicle blocks a roadway.

When are they in effect?

tire chain installation
These laws effect all commercial vehicles. Generally, they are implemented when:

  • snow is covering the entire traveled portion of the road on an ascending grade
  • when driving conditions require to protect safety and road closures.

How do we know?

Drivers are notified by electronic message signs, 511 traveler information, websites, and media outlets.


States with Chain Laws


Chain Laws You May See

States have different laws, but here are some overviews of some of the laws that you might come across.

  • 1. Metal chains must consist of a circular loop made of metal that sits on the outside of each tire and that are connected by no fewer than nine chain loops evenly spaced across the tire tread. On a commercial vehicle with four or more drive wheels, you must chain four wheels, although duel tire chains are acceptable as well.
  • Minimum tread depths.
  • Automatic Traction Devices (ATDs).
  • All vehicles towing trailers much have chains on the drive tires.
  • Trailers with brakes must chain one axle.
  • Cables may have minimum diameter requirements.
  • Studded tires may also be used in some locations.
  • Extra chains may be required in case of broken or otherwise made useless.

Here is a demonstration on how to install tire chains.