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An Overview of Window Tint Laws by State

Tinting your windows can keep your ride cooler, add extra privacy, and block harmful UV rays responsible for many types of skin cancer. And, it looks cool, too!

Unfortunately, there are legal parameters set for how dark your glass can be. And, they vary from state to state.

If you’re considering vehicle window tinting, don’t miss this opportunity to learn what’s allowed, first. Read on for a thorough breakdown of each state’s window tint laws.

Legal Tint Percentages

Window tint percentages let you know how much light they allow to pass into the vehicle. Known as the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percent, this number varies from low numbers like 5%, which are very dark, all the way up to values like 70%, which only block a small amount of light.

Some states allow tint as dark as 25% so long as it’s applied properly. Others don’t allow any tint at all! 

Because these numbers change frequently, it’s essential to look up the most recent percentages released by the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

Which Windows To Tint

In most states, car tint laws don’t treat all windows equally. The front side, back side, and rear windows will all have different permitted percentages. The windshield is an entirely different matter, with its own permitted percentage, as well as limits on how wide a border must be left untinted.

For vehicles with film on their back windshield, local tint law may require the use of additional side mirrors.

If you’re new to the world of window tint, you’ll likely want to hire professional help to apply all the different shades on the correct windows. This will also help ensure a perfectly straight application, with even borders and no folds, wrinkles, or bubbles.

Approved Types of Tint

Car window tint laws also dictate factors like color and reflectivity. In some states, shades of blue and green, red, yellow, and amber are prohibited. In others, mirror tint and metallic finishes aren’t allowed.

Take a look at the different types of window tint here, to find your ideal finish.

 

If you live in a state with no restrictions when it comes to color and reflectivity, the sky is the limit. In addition to a rainbow spectrum of shades to choose from, you’ll also find a wide variety of materials ranging from ceramic to carbon fiber.

Obey Your State’s Window Tint Laws

With this article as your guide, you should have a thorough understanding of each state’s window tint laws.

Before making a final choice on how dark to go and where to apply your window film, consider where you’ll be driving. A car that is legally tinted in your home state may exceed another location’s legal tint percentages. And, like it or not, this can result in a traffic citation.

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