Are winter tires required by law in your province?

Are winter tires required by law in your province?

To stay safe on icy roads, experts recommend installing winter tires before the snowy weather sets in. Find out if they are legally required in your province.

Be prepared when temperatures dip

All Canadian provinces recommend installing your winter tires when the temperature dips below 7 °C.

  • The reason for this is quite simple: summer tires don’t grip the pavement as well in colder temperatures.
  • All-season tires aren’t suitable for harsh winter conditions, such as ice and packed snow.
  • Winter tires should be removed when the temperature goes above 7 °C because heat can cause the rubber to wear out prematurely and decrease their number of useful years.
  • While some Canadian provinces only require all-seasons for winter driving, they do allow studded tires.


  • Quebec instituted Law 42 in 2007, which requires all motorists to install four winter tires on their vehicle from December 15 to March 15.
  • As of December 15, 2014, all winter tires must be marked with the symbol of a snowflake and mountain on the sidewall.
  • This guarantees that the tires have been tested and certified to meet winter performance requirements.

British Columbia

  • In British Colombia, tires with chains or winter tires are required by law only in certain mountainous areas.
  • Studded tires, up to 3.5 mm, are permitted between October 1 and April 30.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut

  • In these provinces and territories, studded tires are not subject to any specific dates or restrictions.

Ontario and Manitoba

  • In these two provinces, studded tires are permitted from October 1 to April 30.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

  • Nova Scotia permits studded tires from mid-October to the end of April.
  • In New Brunswick, they are permitted until May 1.

Prince Edward Island

  • Prince Edward Island allows studded tires from October 1 to May 31.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • The law in Newfoundland and Labrador doesn’t allow studded tires before November 1, but permit them until the end of May.

Certified to be winter ready

  • When choosing winter tires, take into consideration the conditions in your area, as well as the milage and frequency of use.
  • If you live in a remote area, you can add studs to your tires for better traction on ice and snow.
  • Some tires are manufactured with studs built into the treads.
  • The only drawback with studded tires is they lack traction in slush and on bare asphalt.

Some winter tires are excellent on ice and others are better in the snow, while some function well in both conditions. Check with your local tire retailer to ensure you’ve got the best to drive you safely through winter.

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