New York State Laws for Studded Tires

Winter studded tire in snow
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New York experiences an abundant snowfall every winter. In some interior regions of the state, the cumulative winter precipitation often exceeds 120 inches, making it necessary for drivers to outfit their vehicles with snow equipment. To preserve the roads, New York has drafted specific regulations limiting the use of studded tires.

New York Tire Regulation Authority

The standards for tires operating on public highways in New York are defined by the commissioner of the Department of Transportation. All aspects of tires sold in the state--including the measurements and treading--are regulated by the commissioner's office.

Studded Tire Use

Technically speaking, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle outfitted with tires that have metal devices extending from the tire tread in New York. It is, however, legal to operate vehicles equipped with studded tires that meet certain tread specifications, but you can only drive them between October 15 and May 1.

Legal Tread Specifications

The law against studded tires does not apply to tires outfitted with metal studs that have a diameter less than three-eighths of an inch and a length less than three thirty-seconds of an inch. Furthermore, your studded tires cannot have a contact area more than three-fourths of one percent of the total surface area of the tire. You can determine the surface area of your tire by taking the circumference of the edge of the tread and multiplying it by the width of the tread.