Originally Posted by CliffJumper
Chains are required by law in the Lake Tahoe and Mammoth ski areas in California. If it's snowing, they won't let you up the mountain w/o them. Even if you have an AWD with snow tires, you're required to have chains in your car. If you tell the police officer at the check point that you have cables in your car, but aren't able to produce them when they ask for 'em it's a $200+ ticket.
Didn't know that, thanks for clarifying. They have chain laws here going in to the mountains but generally for trucks only. If it gets bad, they will just close the road period. No explicit chain requirements for cars and they prefer not to - chews up the roads and offers limited additional benefit in most cases. If everyone needs chains, close the road.