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What is a Tire Date Code?

tire sidewall codes

A tire date code is listed on the tire sidewall to indicate a tire's production year. The tire manufacture date is listed at the end of the U.S. Department of Transportation's safety code on the tire sidewall. The date code first lists the week the tire was manufactured and is followed by a number representing the year it was made. For instance, if it's labeled "0301" as shown in the graphic above, that means the tire was mass-produced during the third week of 2001. However, a tire made before 2000 usually features just one digit representing the year, meaning, for example, the number nine could represent either the years 1999 or 1989.

Reading tire date codes

  • Located on the tire sidewall near the edge of the rim
  • Part of a long alphanumeric serial number starting with "DOT"
  • Date codes are the last three or four digits at the end of the DOT safety code
  • The first one or two digits indicate the week the tire was manufactured
  • The last one or two digits specify the year the tire was produced