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Window Tint Percentage Laws In The US By State

Window tinting on our vehicles is something we’ve grown accustomed to. It is one of the more popular car upgrades today. In some states, it’s near necessary.  Modern car windows are treated using a special polyester material called window tint. It’s meant to protect passengers from UV (UltraViolet) rays of the sun.

Many car owners have window tint for protection from the sun, privacy, and other benefits. Even as a customization feature for improved looks and style. Today, “black is the new black” and dark tint is one of people’s all time favorite colors. If  you want that extra dark limo tint, though, be careful and check your state laws below first. Many states have laws prohibiting the level of tint that allowed.

Window film can add aesthetic value to your car and reduce the glare from the sun. Tinting windows can also protect your car’s interior. It can also protect the people inside from the damage of UV rays.

While window tint offers other benefits, one potential drawback is poor visibility for drivers if the tint is too dark. On the other hand, law enforcement and police can’t see inside your car. Every state has window tint laws to dictate how much tinting is allowed on each window of your vehicle. These state laws allow drivers to use window tint and keep everyone around them safe.

Here is a breakdown of the different car window tinting laws and regulations by state. This information can help you make the right choices for your car. As you read these laws, remember that window tint percentages refer to the amount of light allowed in.  This is also known as the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percent. The windshield tinting laws refer to the amount of the windshield that can be legally tinted or the amount of tint allowed on the entire windshield, depending on the state’s regulations.

Here are the window tint laws, including the darkest legal tint percentages in your state. Click your state below to jump the chart: California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, Virginia.

State Front Side Windows Back Side Windows Rear Windows Windshield Reflectivity Other Restrictions
Alabama 32% 32% 32% 6 inches no more than 20% reflective none
Alaska 70% 40% 40% 5 inches no metallic or mirrored tinting no red, yellow or amber tinting allowed
Arizona 33% any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 35% reflective red and amber not permitted, back window tinting requires the use of dual side mirrors
Arkansas
25%
25% 10% 5 inches no metallic or mirrored tinting none
California 70% any any 4 inches no more reflective than a standard window red, amber, and blue not allowed. dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Colorado 27% 27% 27% 4 inches no metallic or mirrored tinting red and amber not permitted, back window tinting requires the use of dual side mirrors
Connecticut 35% 35% any non-reflective tint above the as-1 line no more than 21% reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Delaware 70% any any non-reflective tint above the as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Florida 28% 15% 15% non-reflective tint allowed above the as-1 line no more than 25% reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Georgia 32% 32% 32% 6 inches no more than 20% reflective red and amber not allowed
Hawaii 35% 35% 35% no inch requirent, must allow 70% of light no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Idaho 35% 20% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 35% reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Illinois 35% 35% 35% 6 inches must be non-reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Indiana 30% 30% 30% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 25% reflective none
Iowa 70% any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no excessive reflections allowed, but not specified none
Kansas 35% 35% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Kentucky 35% 18% 18% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 25% reflective none
Louisiana 40% 25% 12% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 20% reflective none
Maine 35% any any 4 inches must be non-reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Maryland 35% 35% 35% 5 inches no law red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Massachusetts 35% 35% 35% 6 inches no more than 35% reflective must have dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Michigan any percent, but only 4 inches from the top of window any any 4 inches no more than 35% reflective none
Minnesota 50% 50% 50% none allowed no more than 20% reflective none
Mississippi 28% 28% 28% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 20% reflective none
Missouri 35% any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 35% reflective must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Montana 24% 14% 14% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 35% reflective none
Nebraska 35% 20% 20% 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no more than 35% reflective unclear on side mirrors, but red, amber and yellow are not permitted
Nevada 35% any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no law dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
New Hampshire no tinting allowed 35% 35% 6 inches no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
New Jersey no tinting allowed any any no tint allowed no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
New Mexico 20% 20% 20% 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no law dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
New York 70% 70% any 6 inches no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
North Carolina 35% 35% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 20% reflective red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
North Dakota 50% any any no more than 70% no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Ohio 50% any any no more than 70% no more reflective than a standard window none
Oklahoma
25% 25% 25% 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no more than 20% reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Oregon 35% 35% 35% 6 inches no more than 13% reflective red, green, yellow, black and amber tints are not allowed, and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Pennsylvania 70% 70% 70% none allowed no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Rhode Island 70% 70% 70% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no law none
South Carolina 27% 27% 27% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line must be non-reflective red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
South Dakota 35% 20% 20% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting none
Tennessee 35% 35% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting none
Texas 25% 25% any 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no more than 25% reflective red, amber, and blue not allowed. dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Utah 43% any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Vermont no tinting allowed any any tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no metallic or mirrored tinting dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Virginia 50% 35% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no more than 20% reflective red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Washington 24% 24% 24% 6 inches no more than 35% reflective red, green, yellow, black and amber tints are not allowed, and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Washington D.C. 70% 50 percent for cars, 35 percent for multi-purpose vehicles 50 percent for cars, 35 percent for multi-purpose vehicles 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no law none
West Virginia 35% 35% 35% 5 inches 20% reflective red, amber and yellow are prohibited and must have dual side mirrors for back tinted windows
Wisconsin 50% 35% 35% tinting allowed to the top of the manufacturer’s as-1 line no law dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows
Wyoming 28% 28% 28% 5 inches or as-1 line, whichever comes first no more than 20% reflective dual side mirrors required for back tinted windows

For more detailed information and up to date state laws, visit this page. New York just recently updated its state tint law for 2018. To learn more about these specific changes, visit our 2018 New York tint laws page.

At-A-Glance: Legal Window Tint Percentage Levels in the US by State

legal window tint infographic

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Why is window tint illegal in some states?

Most states prohibit window tinting for safety and security purposes. Tinting limits the amount of light that enters the car but can make it hard to view the street. Limited vision leads to an increased number of accidents on the road. The other reason why tinting may be illegal is for public safety when it comes to the police and other federal agencies. Extremely dark tint can be obstructive to investigations, and dangerous during traffic stops and other incidents.

Can one get pulled over for having tinted windows?

The answer is, sometimes. It is entirely dependent on the state one is in and the laws that govern that state. Many states have legalized some degree of tinting. Tinting done in the lines of these laws is permitted so you would not get pulled over. If the tint laws that are in place are not followed, you may be subject to being pulled over. In other states, tinting is entirely illegal. Any form of illegal tinting would attract negative attention from law enforcement. You need to understand and follow the laws of your state, as they do vary.

Is limo tint (blacked out tint) legal?

In the US, the tinting laws vary from state to state defined by the Department of Motor Vehicles in each location. Taking the state of California for example, the rules permit the tinting of the front passenger window only up to 70%. This means that these windows should allow a minimum of 70% visible light through them. This means that ‘limo tint’ is not permitted on these windows.

California window tint law

It is generally sunny all year round, so it is common for cars in California to have tint. California window tint must meet specific requirements under the state’s law.

Here are the laws you must abide by in the state of California:

  • Use a tint that is green, gray, or neutral smoke in color.
  • Have a luminous transmittance of at least 70%. The legal VLT % in California is 70% VLT.
  • Must not increase reflectivity for front and back windows.

Front window tint strip law

The ‘eyebrow’ (the little strip on the car’s windshield) is also permitted as long as it meets your state’s laws. These small front window tint strips ensure that the driver has enough visibility of their surroundings. While on the road, you can get some protection from the sun. Some state laws also prohibit the installation of windows that are not tinted which result in some specified degree of light reflection. Front window tint strip laws vary by state so please refer to the chart above to see if it is allowed in your state.

35% vs 20% vs 5%. What are the differences?

The restrictions on the amount of visible light being transmitted into a car are defined and measured in percentages. These different percentages are the minimum amount of light that should be getting through the glass.  The higher percentage means the tint is lighter. Lower tint percentage means the tint is darker. The legal percentage varies from state to state and also for the different windows of the car.

Medical Exemptions and Waivers for Window Tint

These laws are ‘bent’ for people with medical conditions that make them more sensitive to light than the average person. A perfect example would be people with albinism who need always to be protected from the sun. Other diseases such as Psoriasis might affect people. While sunlight can benefit some people with psoriasis, there are people who will have a negative reaction towards UV radiation. People with Rosacea, as well, might be able to get a medical exemption. Rosacea might cause increased sensitivity (especially to sun) and inflammation of your face.  If you have any of these conditions, obtain a medical letter from your doctor. Keep it in the car for law enforcement and police.

Like all laws, the regulations regarding window tint on your vehicle are there for your safety and the safety of those around you. Always be sure to check your state’s laws before applying window tint.

If you are shopping for window film tint for your car, make sure you work with a company that understands these window tinting rules or tint percentages and how they affect your car’s window tint. Rayno Window Film is here to help you, and our crew is fully compliant with all state regulations. By staying within the car window tint laws, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of window tinting without running the risk of an unwanted or unexpected citation. Contact us today to get started.

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