When weather conditions necessitate such, vehicles in Germany must be equipped with winter tires. The law states so expressly in case of black ice and slippery roads as a result of snow, ice, or frost. Winter tires must be marked with the mountain icon with snowflake.
M+S Tires with M+S (Mud and Snow) marking can be used as winter tires in Germany until October 1, 2024, provided that these have been produced before December 31, 2017. When purchasing new tires it is essential to check the manufacturing date: a four-digit code on the side of the tire. If the digits indicate that the tire was manufactured after December 31, 2017, the M+S tire should also have a snowflake icon, in order to allow use as winter tire.
Research For vehicles up till 3,5 tons winter tires are mandatory for all axles. New legislation states that as of July 1, 2020 winter tires have to be installed on the most frontal steering axles of a motor vehicle. However this requirement may change before that date. Research is being carried out into the necessity of winter tires on steering axles. For trailers the mandatory use of winter tires is not foreseen in the next few years.
Owner being fined Driving in wintery conditions with tires that do not meet the requirements will be punished more severely from now on. Apart from the driver, the owner of the vehicle can also expect to be fined. The owner will be charged € 75, for the driver the fine amounts to € 60. In case of danger for other road users, the € 60 fine may be increased to € 80 and include a penalty point in the German traffic register.