How to determine the age of your tires

Not sure how old your tires are, and don’t have the receipt from your last purchase? No worries -- this is a common issue and we can show you exactly how to find out.

How to find the DOT number on your tires

If you look closely at the side of each of your tires, you’ll see a bunch of letters and numbers. While this may just look like a confusing jumble, it’s actually useful info. Look for a number that starts with the letters “DOT,” followed by a series of 10-12 characters. This code, which is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), will tell you several things:

  • Week, year, and place of manufacture
  • Tire size
  • Manufacturer’s unique code
where to find your tire date

For tires manufactured in the year 2000 – present

The date of manufacture is the last four digits of the DOT code. The first two digits are the week of manufacture, and the last two digits are the year. For example, if the last four digits of the DOT code are 0203, that means that the tire was manufactured during the second week of the year 2003. Pretty simple, right? However…if your tires were made before 2000, it gets a bit more complicated.

For tires manufactured before the year 2000

The date of manufacture is the last three digits of the code. The first two digits refer to the week within that year. For example, if the last 3 digits are 022, it means that the tire was manufactured in the second week of the year, and the year is the second year of the decade. This is where it gets confusing -- there’s no universal identifier that signifies which decade, so in this example the tire could have been manufactured in 1982 or 1992. Some tires do have a small triangle following the DOT code to indicate the 1990s.

Seeing an incomplete DOT number?

If you look at the tires sidewall and see a DOT number that appears to be incomplete, that’s because the DOT’s current regulations require the entire number to be branded on only one sidewall, while the opposite sidewall is branded with just the first few digits. To see the entire DOT number, just look on the other sidewall.

Hang on to your proof of purchase!

The next time you buy tires from TireBuyer, make sure you keep your confirmation email . Then you’ll always know how old your tires are without having to check out your sidewalls -- and you’ll be ready in case you ever need to make a warranty claim. Most tire manufacturers’ warranties cover the tires for four years from the date of purchase, or five years from the week that the tires were manufactured. If you lose your sales receipt, you could actually limit your warranty coverage. Here’s an example: If you purchased new tires today, but they were manufactured two years ago, your warranty would cover four years from todays date, since that is your date of purchase. But if you lost your proof of purchase, the tires would be covered for five years from the date of manufacture, which was two years ago. So your warranty would end three years from today, not four, meaning you could lose a year of coverage. So file away that confirmation email!

Are your tires getting up there in age?

Now that you know the age of your tires, if it seems like it’s time for a new set, we can help. Why not get started now?

Shop for tires


Get the right tires for your car or truck!

Tell us what you drive and we’ll show you all the best options.

Studded winter tires
Thinking of studding up for more traction in winter weather? Read this article first.
How and why to buy tires online
Find out why you should buy tires online, how works, and if you even need new tires.
Understanding tire types/sizes
"P225/45ZR18 92Y" may not mean much to the average person, but to tire geeks, it speaks volumes.
Your vehicle's trim/style
This is a pretty important bit of info when you're buying tires. We'll tell you how to find your trim level.
Top ten tire storage tips
If you think storing tires is as simple as stacking 'em up in the garage -- check out these helpful tips.
Tire inflation pressure and time
Pssst your tires are leaking! Just another reason why it's so important to check your tire pressure
DOT Tire Identification Number
It isn't fun, cool, or even remotely exciting. But it can be pretty useful, once you know what it is.

Get the right tires for your car or truck.

Tell us what you drive and we’ll show you all the best options.