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Ask a Trooper: Can I drive in Minnesota with studs?

Question: I will be travelling to Minnesota in a few weeks, can I use studded tires in your state?

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 includes 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 that 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. Use of a vehicle in MN for less than 30 days in any consecutive six-month period would be considered occasional.

• The metal studs shall not exceed 5/16 of an inch in diameter including 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 2 percent of the total net contact area.

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.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

A portion of state statutes were 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,