Ask a trooper: January 14, 2015


Question: In last week’s article, I addressed if a vehicle is allowed to have “rubber tracks” and can be used on the highway. This week I will talk about metal studded tires.
Answer:  According to Minnesota State Statute 169.72, “Every solid rubber tire on a vehicle must have rubber on its entire traction surface at least one -inch thick above the edge of the flange of the entire periphery. No person shall operate or move on any highway any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, having any metal tire in contact with the roadway, except in case of emergency.”
An exemption would be the occasional use of studded tires by nonresidents under the following conditions: 
• A person, operating a motor vehicle licensed and registered in another state or province of a foreign country which authorizes the use of metal studs or wire embedded tires on its highways, may use such on our state highways while occasionally within the state. 
• The metal studs shall not exceed 5/16 of an inch in diameter inclusive of the stud casing with an average protrusion beyond the tread surface of not more than 7/64 of an inch. The number of studs in a tire shall not exceed two percent of the total net contact area.
• Use of a vehicle in this state on more than 30 days in any consecutive six-month period is not occasionally. 
• A person whose regular place of employment is within the state or who is a student at an educational institution located within the state, shall not operate a vehicle, regardless of its place of registration, upon any highway within the state if such vehicle is equipped with tires which would be unauthorized were the vehicle registered in this state.
There is also an exemption for rural postal carriers that have applied for a permit from the Commissioner of Public Safety based on a percentage of their route is gravel and the time of the year. For more information go to file:///C:/Statutes2013/
A portion of state statutes was used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,