Winter driving - Common questions
Winter travel information and roadway restrictions
- How do I get ready for winter travel?
- Where can I find out what the roads and traffic are like today?
- Does WSDOT put information out via social media?
- Why and where do you do avalanche control?
- Can you explain "Chains Required"?
- What are the requirements for four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles?
- What is a traction tire?
- When is it legal to use studded tires in Washington?
- I live in a state that allows studded tire use beyond Washington's dates. Since I'm not a resident, can I legally drive in Washington with studded tires, as long as I am complying with my state's studded tire regulations and laws?
- Are there any alternatives to studded tires?
- Do I need to carry chains when traveling through the pass?
- What type of chains and other traction devices are legal in Washington?
- I have four-wheel/all wheel drive. Do I need chains?
- I have studded tires. Do I also need chains?
- What are the chain requirements on non-commercial vehicles towing a trailer such as an RV, horse trailer, etc.?
- My vehicle cannot accommodate tire chains. Can I drive when chains are required?
The Washington State Patrol has a list of approved alternate traction devices that can be found at www.wsp.wa.gov/driver/vehicle-equipment-requirements.
- Where are the chain up and off areas on Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass (PDF 307KB)?
- Can I use chains when driving onto a state ferry?
Tire chains are not allowed on state ferries. Drivers must remove all tire chains in the holding area prior to boarding a ferry.
- Are there still people who install chains on the mountain passes?
Commercial / Oversized Vehicles
- What is considered an oversized vehicle?
A single vehicle is considered oversized if it exceeds 8 feet, 6 inches in width, 14 feet in height and/or exceeds 40 feet in length. Not all semi trailers are oversized; but those in excess of 53 feet, and double trailers in excess of 61 feet, are considered oversized and need a permit to travel in Washington state. Some permitted vehicles may travel when traction tires or tire chains are required.
- I drive a commercial vehicle. How do I know which tires to chain when chains are required?
How do I get more information?
For more information, contact us