Everything You Need to Know About Chain Laws

Updated: 5 days ago

The weather is beginning to get a little cooler across the United States and some of the higher elevations are beginning to see snow. That means it’s time to freshen up on the chain laws in the states that you regularly run.


Alabama

Trucking Chain Laws

The use of tire chains shall be permitted upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, rain, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid.


Alaska

You are not permitted to use chains from May 1 through September 15 when north of 60 North Latitude.


You are not permitted to use chains from April 15 through September 30 when south of 60 North Latitude.


If you are operating a vehicle on Sterling Highway, you are not permitted to use chains from May 1 through September 15.


You will need to obtain a special permit from the Department of Administration if you would like to use chains in one of these prohibited zones.


Arizona

The use of tire chains are allowed when required for safety during a time of snow, ice, or another condition that might cause slippery highways.


Arkansas

The use of tire chains are allowed when required for safety during a time of snow, ice, or another condition that might cause slippery highways.


California

California does not require trucks to carry chains during any specified time period. When the weather hits, though, it takes at least eight chains for a standard tractor-trailer configuration to comply with the regulations.


During the winter months, there might be traction chain controls in the mountain areas. When these are established you will see signs posted along the highway. These signs will also include the type of requirement, which will include one of the following:

  • R1 - Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.

  • 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.

  • R3 - Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

Colorado

From September 1 through May 31, all trucks must carry sufficient chains on I-70 when traveling between mile marker 259 outside Golden, CO and mile marker 133 in Dotsero, CO. If you get stopped and do not have chains on your truck, the fine is $50 plus a surcharge of $16.


If you do not put chains on your truck when the law is in effect, the fine is $500 plus a $78 surcharge. If you do not put chains on and you end up blocking the highway, then the fine will increase to $1,000 plus a $156 surcharge.


Colorado has two different types of chain laws:

  • Level 1 - Single-axle combination commercial vehicles must chain up. Trucks must have all four drive tires in chains. When level 1 is in effect, all other commercial vehicles must have snow tires or chains.

  • Level 2 - When level 2 is in effect, all commercial vehicles are required to chain up the four drive tires.

Connecticut

Chains are permitted during hazardous weather from November 15 through April 30. The chains can not be damaging to the highway’s surface.


Delaware

You are permitted to use chains on highways from October 15 through April 15.


Georgia

At any time the Georgia Department of Transportation may close or limit access to certain highways during inclement weather. If this occurs, signage will be placed to inform drivers that chains are required in order to proceed.