Insta-Chain products are D.O.T. accepted in every state with a chain law.

Insta-Chain Safety & D.O.T. Information


Insta-Chains are very safe for ice and packed snow of 4-8 inches depth depending on snow density. The chief safety advantage is the ability to actuate in 1.5 to 2.3 seconds when adverse conditions are encountered unexpectedly. This means you can have increased traction for breaking or accelerating at any time it’s needed. Compared to conventional tire chains, the risk of injury due to back strain, or exposure to other vehicles during the chain up process is virtually eliminated since Insta-Chain only requires the “Flip of a Switch” to activate. The risk of being involved in a traffic incident may be substantially reduced since traction is instantly available at your command.

Department Of Transportation (D.O.T.) Regulations & Insta-Chains

Are Insta-Chains Legal?

Yes! They are legal in all states that have chain control areas as specified by each state’s D.O.T.

How Insta-Chains are classified by D.O.T’s?

They are alternative traction devices (ATD’s). Alternative because they are an alternative to conventional tire chains, but unlike conventional chains they do not require the driver to exit the vehicle to use them. Insta-Chain automatic chains operate by simply “Flipping the Switch” mounted on the vehicle dashboard providing “Instant Traction At Your Command”.
Automatic chains are air operated by a dash-mounted switch that controls an electrically actuated air valve. When actuated, air flows to air cylinders mounted to the vehicle axle. An arm pushes out from the air cylinder pressing a wheel with strands of hardened chain against the inside of the drive axle(s) tires causing the chain wheel to rotate sending the chains under the tires. When deactivated the chain wheels return to the storage position.

Do I need additional conventional tire chains to augment my Insta-Chain’s?

Not usually, however some states will require they be available on the vehicle in the event Maximum Chain Law is invoked due to serious conditions. It is possible that additional chain may be required depending on conditions. If you have a tandem axle vehicle, you may wish to install Insta-chain on both axles. If you own your own trailer, Insta-Chains make a great drag chain.

Become Familiar with the D.O.T’s You’ll Be Most Affected By

Below are links to the D.O.T’s customers request the most.

California Department of Transportation (link)
Colorado State Department of Transportation (link)
Oregon Department of Transportation (link)
Washington State Department of Transportation (link)

!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->