Window Tinting Guidelines

Aftermarket window tinting that you can install on your car has certain guidelines to be considered legal.

The rules and legal guidelines for window tinting vary from state to state. When considering window tinting treatments, it is important to consider both the local laws regulating window tinting and the quality of the tint itself. Window tinting can be an expensive job, so looking for things like UV protections, lifetime warranties, and the style of the window tint are all important for any window tint job. In general, most aftermarket window tinting jobs must be checked during safety inspections for compliance with state laws. Here is a quick look at common window tinting guidelines and things to consider when getting windows tinted.


Tinting Guidelines


Window tinting guidelines are all about the percentage of visible light transmission into the vehicle or building. In general from state to state, windows cannot be darker than thirty five percent visible light transmission. If the window tinting is no less than thirty two percent of visible light transmission, the regulations are usually considered met. This means that the combination of the factory tint and any aftermarket tint cannot allow for the transmittance of less than thirty two percent of light. Another factor in tinting guidelines is the extension of the tint over the window. Often, the tint cannot extend more than five inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the window. One or the other is typically sufficient. On the front side windows, a tint that allows less than forty percent of the light in is typically prohibited but the rear windows and back windows may be exempt.


There are some exceptions to window tinting guidelines that apply to certain vehicles. As a rule across states, window tinting to the front windshield of any vehicle is restricted. The tinting of all other windows is subject to exceptions. For-hire passenger vehicles, such as taxis, motor homes, and ambulances are all examples of vehicles with tinting exceptions. Limousines and law enforcement vehicles are also exempt. In some states, there are also medical exemptions for tinting for people who are photosensitive to visible light. These exceptions require a special permit that is typically obtained at the state DMV office. Like most medical exemptions, a permit exempting someone from state window tinting guidelines requires a medical evaluation and the completion of a document detailing the reasons for exemption. Not every state has these medical exemptions, so looking into the guidelines on a state by state basis is advised.


Metallic or mirrored tints are sometimes banned in certain states, as are some colored tints. To find out the specific guidelines for tinting, it is best to look up individual state laws since there is so much variation in how each state regards window tinting. Light transmission levels, colors, specific tints of individual windows, and medical exemptions are all important considerations for vehicle window tinting.


Other Tinting Considerations


When deciding to tint your windows, considering things like quality of tint, cost, protection, and warranties are important in relation to state regulations. Tinting can be expensive, so you want to make sure you understand your specific state guidelines before going all out on a tint job. Many tints come with lifetime guarantees, so look for a tint that has high quality standards. Going with a professional service that can recommend the best tinting options and inform you on state guidelines is always a good idea. Window tints are aesthetic, but they are also practical so find a balance of both. Look for a stylish tinting film that offers good heat resistance and UV protection. Protecting upholstery and keeping heat out is one of the main reasons to tint, so always consider this when looking into tinting.


by +Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn writes for a Utah tinting company about the many benefits of tinting your vehicle windows. He has researched the many guidelines regarding window tinting and how you can make sure you won’t have to remove your tint after it has been installed. 


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