Tinting your vehicle’s windows is a great way to protect your privacy and keep the interior cool. But every state has its own specific laws and regulations regarding automotive window tint, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules where you live in advance.
Tint helps to reduce the light coming in through your car windows by between 5 and 90 percent. Typically, state laws will regulate tinting by setting a minimum legal limit regarding this percentage.
So, is 5 percent tint legal in South Carolina? That depends on the type of vehicle and which windows you’re tinting. Passenger vehicles aren’t allowed this level of tinting except at the top of the windshield, but multi-purpose vehicles may have 5 percent or below on their back and side windows.
Keep reading to learn everything you need about SC legal tint.
Auto Tinting Laws South Carolina
The Palmetto State has strict tinting regulations that depend on the type and windows of the vehicle. South Carolina Highway Patrol or the State Transport Police may measure the amount of light entering through your windows to determine if you are following regulations.
The amount of tint on a window is measured by the Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). This percentage represents the amount of visible light that can pass through the window’s factory tint and added film.
The South Carolina tint laws for 2023 are as follows for cars and multipurpose vehicles:
- Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.
- Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 27% of light in.
- Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 27% of light in.
- Back Side Windows (Multipurpose Vehicles): Any VLT% is allowed.
- Rear Window: Must allow more than 27% of light in.
- Rear Window (Multipurpose Vehicles): Any VLT% is allowed.
Below are in-depth summaries of each type of vehicle South Carolina tint laws drivers should be familiar with.
South Carolina SUV tint laws state that at least 27% of light must penetrate the glass for the front side windows. This means that these windows’ darkest legal tint in SC is 27% VLT.
Any percentage is acceptable for rear and back windows, so long as the back side windows leave a few inches at the top untinted. Windshields can be tinted above your vehicle’s AS-1 line, so long as it does not reflect light.
The front window tint law in South Carolina for sedans is the same as for SUVs, with 27% VLT or higher being permissible. This same limit applies to rear and back windows, unlike SUV rules.
Is 15 percent tint legal in SC? Not for a sedan. Only multi-purpose vehicles are allowed this, and only on the back passenger windows and rear window.
Is 20 percent tint legal in SC? No. Nothing less than 27% VLT is legal for sedans.
Sedans must also refrain from tinting below your AS-1 line on windshields, and any modifications to the windshield must be non-reflective.
South Carolina tint laws for trucks follow the same general guidelines as for SUVs and sedans. The most important thing is to ensure that no tinting added to the vehicle prevents more than 27% VLT of light from entering.
Pick-up trucks are not considered multipurpose vehicles (MPV).
Headlights and Taillights
The South Carolina headlight tint law prohibits tinting or color to the headlights of any vehicle. Failure to comply may lead to severe penalties and fines.
South Carolina tail light tint laws follow the same rule. Drivers in SC should refrain from adding any sort of colored modifications to these parts of their vehicles to remain compliant with the law.
Drivers who use internal sun-blocking devices to protect themselves and their passengers from excessive sunlight are also subject to certain regulations. Sunscreening devices must always remain over the AS-1 line on the windshield.
Without a marked AS-1 line, drivers may not use a sunscreening device.
Back window devices must allow at least 20% of light to penetrate and cannot be reflective.
Law enforcement officers may use a tint check card to determine if a non-compliant vehicle’s tint level violates the legal limit.
A first offense for breaking the window tinting laws for drivers could result in a $200 fine. For multiple violations, the penalty may increase to $500 or even 30 days of imprisonment for a misdemeanor.
The maximum fine for professional window tinters applying tint to vehicle windows increases to $ 1,000. The state does not take these offenses lightly.
In addition to following the above rules, drivers who use sunscreening devices must display a certificate of compliance in each window stating the tint percentage, the installation date, and the installer.
Using these devices without this certificate displayed in the bottom right corner of the window can result in legal penalties.
Choosing The Best Tints In South Carolina
Rayno Window Film has a range of quality window films that offer fully compliant VLT % that adhere to South Carolina laws. Check out our selection below.
Rayno Phantom Series
Phantom is the world’s first nano carbon ceramic film developed with a patented formula that keeps its color the same over time while maintaining its clarity. This is our superior, high-quality film that offers the best in performance.
MonoCarbon is our economically priced carbon tint, devoid of metals or dyes that cause other brands to lose their color within a few months of it being installed. Opt for MonoCarbon instead of the $99 tints that will eventually require replacement.
Rayno Platinum Air 7090
Platinum Air 7090 is versatile and can be utilized as a tint for windshields, but it’s also suitable for all types of windows, even those in buildings. Like our other offerings, this tint also carries similar advantages but boasts a superior ability to conform to curved windows. Plus, its lighter shade ensures clear outdoor visibility while on the road.
Find A South Carolina Tint Shop Near You
Use our dealer locator to find the nearest Rayno tint shop in SC to have your film installed today!