Designated Winter Tire & Chain-up Routes
Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date is extended until April 30 to account for early-spring snowfall.
These routes are marked with regulatory signs posted on numbered and un-numbered highways throughout the province. We reserve the right to restrict travel at any time of the year depending on road conditions.
These signs are enforced by the police, ministry or other enforcement officials. Motorists who are not compliant may be turned away, and be subject to a fine.
Click on the maps below to find out the designated winter tire and chain up routes and where winter tires may not be required from October 1 to March 31.
B.C. cities, municipalities and private roads (such as ski hills) may have their own bylaws or rules around the use of winter tires, chains or or traction devices that may differ from provincial highway regulations.
Driving in the Lower Mainland and Southeastern Vancouver Island
Due to a more temperate winter climate in the Lower Mainland and southeastern Vancouver Island, drivers are not required to use winter tires. However, you are responsible for having your vehicle properly equipped for the conditions you are operating in. Many drivers choose to use M+S tires year-round.
Remember: If you plan to travel outside the Lower Mainland and southeastern Vancouver Island, winter tires are required on most highways.
Renting a Vehicle in Winter?
If you are renting a vehicle and travelling outside the Greater Vancouver or Greater Victoria areas, it's a good idea to request a vehicle with winter tires.
Keep in mind, cities, municipalities and private roads (such as ski hills) may have their own bylaws or rules around the use of winter tires, chains or traction devices that may differ from provincial highway regulations.
High Mountain Passes Winter Tire Requirements
While M+S tires with 3.5 mm tread is the minimum requirement for winter driving in B.C. it is highly recommended that you use mountain snowflake tires and carry chains while driving high mountain passes like the Coquihalla and the Malahat or anywhere that severe winter conditions are likely to occur.
It is the responsibility of the operator of any vehicle to understand the conditions on the roads they regularly drive and equip their vehicle for those conditions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others on the road.