Motor Vehicles

Chapter 296-865, WAC

Effective Date: 10/01/05

Helpful Tools

Chapter 296-865 WAC

Helpful Tool: Determining Tire Safety

For printing

Motor Vehicle Equipment, WAC 296-865-20015, requires you to make sure tires worn beyond the point of safety are not used.

The tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent your vehicle from slipping or sliding, especially when the road is wet or icy.

In general, tires with tread that is worn down to 1/16 of an inch aren't safe and should be replaced.

The following provides 2 methods you can use to tell if your tires are worn beyond the point of safety.

Treadwear Indicators

Tires have built-in treadwear indicators that let you know when it's time to replace your tires. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves.

When they appear "even" with the outside of the tread, it's time to replace your tires.

Unsafe Tire Safe Tire

Penny Method

Another method for checking tread depth is to place a penny in the tread with Lincoln 's head upside down and facing you.

If you can see the top of Lincoln 's head, the tires have been worn beyond the point of safety and need to be replaced.

Unsafe Tire Safe Tire




  • Treadwear is not the only indication of tire safety. You may also see signs of tire deterioration from sunlight and weather exposure. These signs may include cracking and discoloration.



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