Snow Tire Requirements for Anchorage, Alaska

by Jae Allen
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snow image by Brett Bouwer from

Anchorage, Alaska, has severe winter weather and receives between 70 and 90 inches of annual snowfall. Many Alaskan drivers choose to put snow tires on their vehicles during the winter months, and these tires may be studded or non-studded. Snow tires improve a vehicle's handling, traction and stopping distance on snowy roads, and snow tire use is credited with preventing many road accidents each winter. Alaskan regulations regarding snow tire use are in a state of potential change.

Requirement to Fit Snow Tires

As of 2010, it is not mandatory for Alaska drivers to put snow tires on their vehicles during winter. However, the Alaska Legislature in 2010 was considering a bill to make snow tires mandatory. The winter tires could be studded or non-studded, and would have to be a type approved by the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

Permissible Types of Snow Tire

Snow tires may be non-studded or studded. A studded tire has metal studs or spikes embedded in the tire surface, and under Alaska statute section 28.35.155, these studs or spikes may not protrude more than 0.25 inches.

Alaska State Law on Snow Tires

Alaska statute section 28.35.155 forbids the use of studded tires on any paved road between May 1 and September 15 in all communities above the 60 North latitude. Below the 60 North latitude, studded tire use is forbidden from April 15 to September 30. As Anchorage is above the 60 North latitude, snow tires may be used there between September 16 and April 30.

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