Laws Regarding Window Tinting for Autos

According to some people, vehicle window tinting can help lower the temperature inside the vehicle. There are also people who believe that window tinting can help improve their vehicle’s aesthetic appeal. Nonetheless, window tinting can be very dangerous as it can block the driver’s vision when driving. Therefore, it is important that this practice needs to be regulated. As a driver and vehicle owner, it is your responsibility to know more about the laws regard window tinting for autos in your state.


The Basics of Windows Tinting

What is window tinting in the first place? Window tinting is a term that refers to the methods that prevent certain levels of light from passing through a vehicle’s safety glass, may it be from the side windows, rear window or the windshield. Most vehicles sold in the market nowadays are already treated and manufactured with some degree of window tinting in place. This is to help block the harmful ultraviolet or UV rays to get inside the vehicle. Since the tinting is done during the manufacturing process, it is almost always in compliance with the state and deferral window tinting laws and regulations.

Window Tinting Laws

The laws in window tinting vary from state to state, and the available statutes can usually be found in the state’s traffic code and vehicle. Your state’s vehicle code may consider “window tinting” to include but not limited to the following:

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• Applying after-market tinting methods to the vehicle is strictly prohibited. This process is done by heat-shrinking a tinted sheet of film to a vehicle’s window or windshield, usually applied on the inside surface of the glass
• Making use of a thin, horizontal strip of tint or shade band at the top of the vehicle’s windshield is considered violations of the state traffic and vehicle code
• Using other sunscreen or sun-blocking devices that are temporarily attached to the inside surface of a vehicle’s windows and windshield is not allowed. One good example of these sunscreen devices is a plastic shade device that is usually affixed to a passenger window and held in place with suction cups

Most state laws on window tinting are primarily concerned with the levels of light transmittance that the vehicle’s safety glass allows. It means that the major factors that need to be considered are the amount of light that can get through and how much visibility the glass allows. For example, the state law requires that windows of vehicles in the state are tinted to such a degree to allow 75% of light transmittance. If the vehicle’s light transmittance level is below what the state requires, it means that the vehicle does not comply with the state’s vehicle code and the owner or driver may be issued a citation. Most state vehicle codes require different levels of light transmittance for the windshield when compared with the window tinting standards for the rear and side windows.

Know the State’s Laws and Regulations

It is difficult to measure the level of light transmittance. Therefore, you may need to have your vehicle inspected to determine whether it passed or failed the state’s window tint laws. A private licensed professional or a government inspector can check your vehicle’s light transmittance level by making use of a device called photometer. In order to know more about the laws of window tinting for autos, you may need to get in touch with your local traffic and vehicle regulation authority to know more about your state’s window tinting laws.

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