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A Look At New York’s Updated Car Window Tinting Laws

Tinted car windows bring several benefits to drivers, from improved safety to improved visibility. Yet, if you are going to tint your car windows, you need to make sure it’s done safely and in line with the law. Each state has its own window tinting laws, which drivers must follow to avoid citation. The state of New York changed its window tinting laws on January 1, 2017, and some drivers with tinted windows have been surprised by these changes when taking their vehicles in for annual inspections. Here’s what you need to know about changes to the New York state tint law.

What the Law Says

New York state window tint law says that all windshield and front side windows must have a tint that allows for at least 70 percent of the outside light to pass through. Also, if a vehicle is labeled as a sedan, hardtop, hatchback, coupe, wagon or convertible, the side and rear windows must also allow 70 percent of outside light in. Other vehicle classifications can have darker tint on their rear and side windows.

This is an important factor for law enforcement officials, as it gives them the ability to see the driver and front seat passenger during a traffic stop. If pulled over at a traffic stop, drivers who have windows that don’t allow 70 percent visibility will receive a citation — and the fine can be as much as $150.

The visibility aspect of the law isn’t new. However, it’s now a requirement that window tint be tested at an annual vehicle inspection. Vehicles that do not pass the window tint test will fail the inspection — and if the inspection sticker is not valid, they will be unable to drive legally until fixing the issue.

What the New Law Means for New York Drivers

For most New York drivers, the new law has little impact on the use of their vehicles. The current New York window tint law matches the federal law. Most drivers will not have difficulty adhering to the law because new vehicles are not made with tint that violates this regulation. The 2017 law simply added a component to the state inspection. The biggest problem comes when after-market tint is added to vehicles by car owners or installers who are not well versed in the state law.

One way to avoid problems is to skip DIY projects — instead, have tint installed by someone who carefully adheres to state laws. All Rayno window tint installers are up-to-date on New York window tint laws, as well as federal laws, and will ensure your car has tinted windows that will not put you at risk for citations.

If you are interested in having your windows tinted and want to be certain they are done in line with current laws, contact us to help you find one of our dealers. You can also search for a New York Rayno dealer near you. With the help of Rayno, you can have tinted windows in New York and pass your vehicle inspections with no trouble.