Canadian Laws for Studded Tires

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Winter driving conditions are a concern in Canada between the months of October and May; northern areas can have year-round issues. Studded tires can make a big difference while driving on frozen roads covered in ice and snow. Laws concerning the use of studded tires are provincially regulated in Canada; residents and visitors alike must conform to these regulations.

Time Frames

  • Most provinces restrict studded tire usage to the winter months because they can make ruts and even dislodge chunks of pavement from the road surface. During the winter the asphalt is frozen, making it hard to damage--unlike the summer months, when it is soft and easy to damage.

    Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and the Yukon have no timeframe restrictions on studded tires. The time frame for New Brunswick is from Oct. 15 to May 1, Newfoundland from Nov. 1 to May 31 and Prince Edward Island from Oct. 1 to May 31; this is their only restriction, however other provinces have additional restrictions.

British Columbia

  • Studded tires can be used only between Oct. 1 and April 30. The studs can have only up to a 1/8-inch protrusion past the surface of the tire and only 130 studs per tire for vehicles less than 5 tons and 175 studs per tire over 5 tons. When in the mountain regions, vehicles must use snow tires, studded tires or chains from Nov. 1 to April 30.

Manitoba

  • Studded tires can be used only between Oct. 1 and April 30. The studs must be composed of metal and have a tungsten carbide or a ceramic exposed central core.

Nova Scotia

  • Studded tires can be used between Oct. 15 and April 30. The studs can only have up to a 1/8-inch protrusion from a pneumatic tire surface and have up to a 1/2-inch diameter, including casing. Only 130 studs per tire for vehicles less than 5 tons and 175 studs per tire over 5 tons and the number of studs must be equal on both sides of the vehicle.

Ontario

  • Studded tires are permitted between Oct. 1 and April 30 and only north of the Parry Sound and Nipissing districts. Northern Ontario residents can use studded tires anywhere in Ontario during this time frame. It is illegal for southern Ontario residents to use studded tires in southern Ontario; they can be fined up to CA$1,000. The studs must be lightweight Scandinavian studs that can only have a 5/64-inch protrusion past the surface of the tire. To view additional regulations, please visit the Government of Ontario website listed in References.

    Visitors can use studded tires anywhere in the province as long as they do not stay longer than 30 days.

Quebec

  • Studded tires can be used only between Oct. 15 and May 1. There must be a studded tire on both ends of an axle, and if they are on the front axle they must also be on the rear axle.

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