Typically about this time, the announcement would be that studded tires need to be removed after March 31st. But this year, due to the potential of some late season snow, the removal deadline is now by the end of the day, Sunday, April 15th.
According to a recent Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announcement,
State law allows the Washington State Department of Transportation to extend the deadline into April if current or predicted conditions could make for difficult travel. The decision to extend is made in consultation with meteorologists and maintenance supervisors. The deadline was last extended in 2012.
This year’s decision was based on long-range forecasts that show the potential for significant weather, including snow that could affect cross-state travel into April.
With the extension, all studded tires need to be removed no later than the end of the day (11:59 p.m.) Sunday, April 15. Starting Monday, April 16, drivers with studded tires on their vehicles face a $136 traffic infraction. Removal services can be crowded as the deadline approaches, so please plan accordingly.
Studded tires damage pavement each year – costing an estimated $29 million annually in additional wear and tear on state roads alone. Long-term, WSDOT continues to urge drivers to investigate alternatives such as studless winter tires, which are not subject to removal deadlines.
Washington and Oregon generally share the same studded tire removal deadline and the Oregon Department of Transportation also is extending its removal deadline to April 15. Other states may have later tire removal dates, but the Washington law applies to all vehicles in the state, even those visiting from elsewhere. There are no personal exemptions or waivers beyond the extension date.
WSDOT crews will continue to monitor roads, passes and forecasts and work to clear any late season snow or ice. Travelers are always advised to “know before you go,” whatever the season. Check road conditions before heading out and stay up-to-date on changes by using WSDOT’s mobile app and social media and email alert tools, or by calling the 5-1-1 road conditions report.