Washington drivers have an extra 30 days to remove their studded tires.
The Washington State Department of Transportation announced Friday that it has extended the deadline to April 30 to support Gov. Jay Inslee’s call for limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Studded tires are legal in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31. State law gives WSDOT authority to extend the deadline as circumstances dictate, most commonly when there is a late spring and widespread snow and ice.
Many businesses are sending employees home to deter the spread of the virus, so meeting the March 31 deadline could be difficult.
“Washington is experiencing some extraordinary challenges with COVID-19 right now, and we recognize this is not a time for ‘business as usual,’ ” James Morin, WSDOT maintenance operations branch manager, said in a statement. “People are dealing with a lot of concerns. Trying to get tires changed by the end of the month doesn’t need to be one of them.”
WSDOT will re-evaluate the situation near the end of April. Unless an additional extension is granted, drivers will need to remove their studded tires by May 1 or face a $136 fine.
WSDOT encourages drivers to remove studded tires prior to the deadline, if possible. Studded tires damage pavement, so removing them promptly after winter helps preserve roadways. Tire businesses can get crowded near the removal deadline, so plan accordingly.
Other states may have different studded tire removal dates, but Washington law applies to all drivers in the state, regardless of whether they are residents or visitors.