From December 1 to March 15, your vehicle must be equipped with four winter tires that meet established standards and are in good condition. Depending on the Québec region in which you live, it might be preferable to have your winter tires installed before December 1 and keep them on your vehicle after March 15. While you’re having your tires changed, why not give your vehicle a proper tune-up before the cold season hits?
For better traction, the tread depth of your tires should be at least 4.8 mm (6/32 in) across the entire width of the tire when they are installed.
Such a tread depth generally allows you to use your tires safely if you need to drive on a snowy roadway. However, if you use your tires over long distances during the winter months, pay particular attention to their condition—vehicle traction can decrease quickly once treads get worn down to that point.
Be sure to check the date the tires were made, especially when you are buying them.
The tread on older tires is harder and less effective on snow and ice.
On the tire wall, find the DOT identification number that ends with a 4-digit number. For example, 3613 means that the tire was made in the 36th week of 2013.
Studded tires are authorized for:
Chains are authorized on the tires of:
To drive safely during the winter months, the Ministère des Transports recommends that you do a proper tune-up before the cold hits.
Visit the Regular Maintenance webpage for tips and advice.
From December 1 to March 15 inclusive, all motorized road vehicles registered in Québec (other than heavy vehicles, tool vehicles and farm machinery) must be equipped with winter tires.
This requirement also applies to rental passenger vehicles in Québec, as well as mopeds, motorized scooters and motorcycles.
The fine varies from $200 to $300, plus costs.
Winter tires: be ready before December 1
Even though winter tires are not mandatory before December 1, winter can arrive early. Don't let it catch you unprepared!
The winter tires requirement does not apply:
As soon as the temperature drops below 7°C, or when there is ice or snow on the road, the rubber compound of summer and all-season tires hardens and loses its grip. Moreover, the treads on summer and all-season tires are not designed to hold snow like those on winter tires. The snow held in the treads of winter tires helps improve their traction and grip.
Since we can generally expect such weather conditions before December 1, it is highly recommended that you equip your vehicle with winter tires before this mandatory deadline.
The rubber compound of winter tires is specially designed to meet certain flexibility criteria in temperatures as low as -40 °C, which means better grip on the road surface.
Since December 15, 2014, only tires on which this pictogram is found and studded tires are considered winter tires under the Highway Safety Code.
Last update: July 21, 2021