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To improve road traffic in mountainous areas and the safety of users, it is mandatory to equip your vehicle with winter tyres or to hold snow chains or socks of the 1to November 2022 to March 31, 2023 in certain mountainous areas. Entry into force 1to November 2021, this winter obligation is fixed by a decree issued in Official Journal October 18, 2020. Which vehicles, equipment and departments are involved?
Which vehicles are involved?
All vehicles with four or more wheels are covered by this obligation: light-duty vehicles, commercial vehicles, motor homes, coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles.
What areas are affected?
The prefects of the 48 departments located in the mountains (Alps, Corsica, Massif central, Massif Jurassien, Pyrenees, Massif Vosges) must draw up a list of municipalities in which vehicle equipment becomes mandatory during the winter period, that is to say, of the 1to November to March 31. This list shall be drawn up with and after consultation with the local elected representatives concerned.
You can view prefectural orders in the departments concerned.
See list of municipalities concerned by the obligation to provide equipment during the winter period.
A new signage will indicate to road users the entrances and exits of mountainous areas where the winter equipment requirement applies. A sign will specify the winter period, to remind users that these obligations only apply to the 1to November to March 31. Signage is necessary for the measure to be enforceable.
What equipment is required?
In the zones established by the prefects, vehicles shall:
- hold metal snow chains or snow socks in their trunk to equip at least two driving wheels; or
- be equipped with four winter tyres. For the next winters, from 2022 to 2024, the name « winter tyre » will cover all tyres identified by one of the markings « M+S », « M.S » or « M&S » or by the joint presence of the « Alpine symbol » (recognised as « 3PMSF » (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) and one of the marks « M+S », « M.S » or « M&S ». From 1to November 2024, it will only cover tyres identified by the joint presence of the marking « Alpine symbol » (recognised as the « 3PMSF » (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) and one of the marks « M+S », « M.S » or « M&S ».
This obligation does not apply to vehicles equipped with nail tyres.
Coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles without trailers or semi-trailers are also subject to these obligations with the choice between chains or winter tyres. Heavy goods vehicles with trailers or semi-trailers must have snow chains that allow at least two driving wheels, even if they are equipped with winter tyres.
Please note : Up to 1to November 2024, snow tyres marked "M+S" only will be tolerated.
4 season tyres (4S, All Weather, All Season) do not have a regulatory definition: to be considered as winter tyres, they must be stamped "3PMSF", or at least "M+S" up to 1to November 2024.
FYI : From 1to November 2024, only 3PMSF tyres will be accepted as chain equivalents. The purchase and use of other "snow tyres" will remain possible, but in this case users will also have to carry chains to drive the 1to November to 31 March in the areas covered by the obligation.