Snow tires have long been popular with drivers who live or drive in areas that have a lot of winter weather because of their improved traction. In the early 60s studs, or small pins made of metal, were added to these tires for even better performance on snow and ice. Most people have stopped using these studs because of improved tire design and the fact that the studs have been shown to rip up road surfaces. Due to this many states have implemented laws and restrictions on the use of studs.
There are seven states in America that do not have any laws on the books about using studs. These are Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Kentucky and New Mexico. New Mexico and North Carolina only experience snow and ice in their mountains and Kentucky has no heavy snowfall at all. There are two states that allow visitors to use studs. Wisconsin allows people to come to their state and use studs, but not for more than 30 days and Minnesota allows workers and students from other states to use studs.
There are certain states that have special restrictions that basically restrict the use of studs to the point where it only makes sense to use them if you live in certain areas or have a special situation. In Maryland you can only use studs in 5 of their counties located in the mountains and only during the winter months. In Georgia you can use them when it snows, but must remove them afterwards. In South Carolina you can use 1/16″ studs in snowy or icy conditions. In North and South Dakota school buses are allowed to use studs no matter the month and fire vehicles can use them any time in South Dakota.
The rest of the states allow the use of studs based on the seasons. This mostly means you can have them on your tires from about October or November until somewhere near the end of April. Two of the coldest states in the country do allow longer use of studded snow tires in their colder northern areas. In Alabama you are allowed to use rubber studs whenever you want.
If you are going to use studded snow tires, it makes sense to know what the laws and regulations are in the area you are planning on using them, because there can be hefty fines for breaking the rules. Stay safe and learn the laws to avoid penalties.