Car with tinted windows

Tinted Windows: The Laws

It is seen everywhere on vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

Window tint is a cool thing, and it often keeps interiors of cars a bit cooler. Sometimes, a driver might have a medical need for window tint on their vehicle, but usually, window tinting is done in violation of a state vehicle code. Often, certain people like lawyers will have window tint to keep their cars concealed from onlookers. The key to ensuring that window tint is not in violation of the law is to know what the laws are for tinting windows. If you are in violation of the law, it is helpful to have the phone number of a good bail bondsman.

What is Window Tinting?

Window tinting is essentially a term for certain methods that darken the windows to prevent certain amounts of light from passing through the safety glass on the windows, windshield, and rear glass. Many of the newer cars on the market are made with certain tints to keep out the harmful UV rays of the sun. However, the trouble comes into play whenever third-party customizing companies, or an individual puts on the tint that violates state laws. What are these laws?

What Are the Laws?

Window tinting is regulated under individual state laws. They can be found within the vehicle or traffic code, and they are often discussed with terms like “material obstruction” or “obscuring non-transparent materials.” Window tinting comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. A few of the most common violations include heat-shrinking tinted film over the glass, shade bands on the top edge of the windshield, or even a sunscreen device that is attached to the window by using suction cups.

The state laws often used a light transmittance that can get through and how much visibility is allowed by the tinted glass. Another huge violation is the one-way mirrored tint that allows visibility from the inside by not from the outside.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions to the rule of window tinting laws. People, who either drive or ride in a vehicle, with certain medical conditions may be allowed darker tint on their windows because of their need for limited exposure to light. Some of these conditions might include things like photosensitivity, melanoma, lupus, or a sunlight allergy.

To qualify for the medical exemption, a driver or a passenger must have certain documentation that proves their need for an exemption. This will also help avoid a citation. Documentation can include things like letters that explain the medical need, notes that state the sunlight exposure, or a prescription for the medical condition. Officers might also request to see the documentation for the specific vehicles which needs the specific tint.

Knowing if the Tint is a Violation

How does one know if their window tint is in violation of their state law? Well, there are certain measurements that measure the amount of light transmittance through the window. It can be difficult to understand, however. The best way to ensure that the window tint is not in violation of laws is to take the vehicle to an inspection company to have the tint inspected by professionals. These professionals will test the window tint by using a photometer to measure the light transmittance of the tint. They will also know if the tint violates any state laws.

Contacting the state department of motor vehicles is a great place to start when trying to locate an inspector to handle the inspection of window tint. This DMV office will also be able to tell the car owner whether they are in violation or not. If moving to another state, it is always wise to have the tint inspected should it be in violation in the new state.


Window tint is found on many vehicles. Professional vehicles and even personal vehicles often sport the tint on side windows, rear windows, and windshields to create a cooler interior or even just to look cool. Certain medical conditions might require window tint, which makes these conditions an exception to the window tint laws. By having the right documentation, these people can avoid citations for their window tint. State inspectors can help vehicle owners know if their tint is in violation of the law or not, and it is wise to have the tint checked in each state owners live in.

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