Safety & Compliance

Washington State Chain Law Now in Effect

October 31, 2012

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Beginning Nov. 1, Washington state law requires commercial vehicles and combinations of vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds GVWR to carry sufficient tire chains.


State Patrol troopers will strictly enforce the Nov. 1 deadline. The WSP will have a special chain-emphasis patrol in early November to ensure drivers are carrying the appropriate number of chains, including spares.

Failing to carry chains will cost drivers $124. When highway advisories call for chains, drivers who don't chain up will face a $500 penalty.

On the following routes, all vehicles and combinations of vehicles over 10,000 pounds must carry sufficient tire chains to meet the requirements from November 1 to April 1 of each year or at other times when chains are required for such vehicles:

I-90 between North Bend (MP 32) and Ellensburg (MP 101)
I-82 between Ellensburg Exit 3 (MP 3.00) and Selah Exit 26 (MP 26.00)
SR-97 between (MP 145) and Junction
SR-2 SR-2 between Dryden (MP 108) and Index (MP 36)
SR-12 between Packwood (MP 135) and Naches (MP 187)
SR-97 between junction SR-14 (MP 4) Columbia River and Toppenish (MP 59)
SR-410 from Enumclaw to Naches
SR-20 between Tonasket (MP 262) and Kettle Falls (MP 342)
SR-155 between Omak (MP 79) and Nespelem (MP 45)
SR-970 between (MP 0) and (MP 10)
SR-14 (MP 18) to Junction 97 (MP 102)
SR-542 Mt Baker Highway between (MP 22.91) and (MP 57.26)

Approved chains need at least two side chains, to which are attached sufficient cross chains of hardened metal so that at least one cross chain is in contact with the road surface at all times. Plastic chains are not allowed.

The Washington State Patrol may approve other devices as chains if the devices are equivalent to regular chains in performance (cable chains allowable).

The law requires carrying at least two extra chains in case road conditions require the use of more chains or chains are broken or otherwise made useless.

Click here for a diagram of proper chain placement for various configurations.


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