2016 Canada Chain Laws

OOIDA members and Land Line readers have grown accustomed to the annual updates on chain laws in the lower 48 states in the U.S. Land Line has also received a number of requests for a Canadian chain advisory.

So we put together a comprehensive roundup of chain- and studded tire-related laws in all

10 provinces and three territories a while back and continue to update them as we do the U.S. laws. All attempts are made to ensure the information is spot on, but if the weather has taken a turn for the worse and you are in doubt at all, call ahead to provinces you will be running through.

Alberta

No regulations requiring or prohibiting the use of tire chains or studded tires. But if you choose to use them and damage the roadway, Alberta makes a point to let you know you could be cited for the damage.

British Columbia

Chains and studded tires are fine when needed. In fact, you can be fined for not having proper tires. The Ministry of Transportation will have signs posted: "Use Winter Tires or Carry Chains Beyond this Point, Oct.1-March 31." Any vehicle found crossing that point without proper tires is subject to a fine. Truckers only need to carry, not install, chains at this point. However, when encountering a sign or flashing amber lights with a message that indicates vehicles over a certain posted GVW must use chains, then the chains MUST be installed. Chains on a typical tractor-trailer combination must be on all four tires of the main drive axle. There is no chain requirement on the trailer.

Studded tires with studs up to 3.5 mm high are allowed from Oct. 1 to April 30. A limit of 175 studs per tire for vehicles that weigh more than 4,600 kg, 130 studs for those that weigh less.

Manitoba

No regulations requiring or prohibiting the use of tire chains. However, much like the boilerplate language in many states in the U.S., you can use chains when needed "for safety."

New Brunswick

No regulations requiring or prohibiting the use of tire chains.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The minister may, by order, prohibit vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway where those vehicles are not equipped with chains or winter tires or both, and a person who does not comply with the order is guilty of an offense and can be fined up to $400 Canadian.

Northwest Territories

No regulations requiring or prohibiting the use of tire chains or studded tires.

Nova Scotia

Studded tires may be used between Oct. 15 and May 31. Studs must not protrude more than one-eighth of an inch from the tread or surface; the diameter of each stud should not exceed one-half of an inch; no more than 175 studs on each tire for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds; and number of studs on left tires must be equal to the number of studs on right tires.

Nunavut

Drivers can use tire chains in Nunavut as needed.

Ontario

Ontario is a bit trickier when it comes to studded tires. To start, they are only permitted from Sept. 1 through May 31. In order to use studded tires, the driver must be a resident of Northern Ontario (north of Parry Sound and Nipissing districts), own a business in Northern Ontario, or have road authority having jurisdiction and control of a highway in Northern Ontario. Non-Ontario residents may use studded tires if the vehicle is in Ontario for no more than 30 days.

From there, Ontario has a list of regulations regarding size and placement of the studs. Essentially, studded tires are ok in Northern Ontario. A $1,000 fine can be handed out for using studded tires in Southern Ontario.

Prince Edward Island

Tire chains are permissible. That’s all the law says about them. Studded tires are allowed from Oct. 1 to

May 31. Studs should not protrude more than 3.2 mm beyond tire surface. The regulation also notes that studs should not be installed on used or worn tires.

Quebec

Chains can be used only by emergency vehicles, farm tractors or any road vehicle used for snow removal or winter maintenance from Oct. 15 to May 1. Studded tires are acceptable only on passenger vehicles from

Oct. 15 to May 1. There are no regulations that specifically mention heavy trucks and winter tires. Per a conversation with a representative from the Ministry of Transportation, chains and studs are prohibited on heavy trucks.

Saskatchewan

No regulations for winter tires. Studded tires and chains are permitted.

Yukon

No regulations for winter tires. Studded tires and chains are permitted.