Window Tint Laws For Each State: Ultimate Guide

Any car owner who appreciates the look and performance of their car should be aware of the legal background of window tinting. Navigating the many laws from several states, each with its own restrictions on the acceptable tint levels, can be a challenge. This thorough guide is your key to knowing these rules, making sure your window tint adheres to state legislation, and keeping your automobile looking good.


Why is window tint regulated, and what is it?

Window tinting is applying a thin layer to the glass surfaces of automobile windows. Its main goal is to reduce visible light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation entering the windows. The tint level—described as a percentage of Visible Light Transmission (VLT)—determines how much light passes through the glass. The VLT percentages needed for the front, side, back, and windshield windows differ across states.

More crucially than only safeguarding your privacy, rules are in place to guarantee your safety and the safety of all other road users. These rules provide for window tinting while ensuring that drivers have adequate visibility for safe driving. 

Window Tint Percentages
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Knowing VLT and Other Essential Tinting Terminology

Understanding the basic terminology used in tint regulations is essential before delving into particular state laws:

  • The percentage of visible light that can enter your car through its windows is the VLT% (Visible Light Transmission). The tint is darker with lower VLT%.
  • The VLT% permitted on your car's driver and front passenger windows is called the front-side window tint level.
  • The permitted VLT% for the back passenger windows of your car is called the rear-side window tint level.
  • Tint level of the rear window: This shows the permitted VLT% of the rear window.
  • Windshield: The rules are more stringent here; most states forbid tinting below the manufacturer's AS-1 line.
  • AS-1 Line Typically seen on windshields, this line indicates how much tint can be applied.

State-by-State Examination of Tint Laws

Examining the differences in tint laws among all states:

State Front Glass Rear Glass Sides Rear Glass Window Windshield
Alabama 32% 32% 32% 6"
Alaska 70% 40% 30% 5"
Arizona 33% ANY ANY AS1
Arkansas 25% 25% 10% 5"
California 70% ANY ANY 4"
Colorado 27% 27% 27% 4"
Connecticut 35% 35% ANY AS1
Delaware 70% ANY ANY AS1
District of Columbia 70% 50% 50% 5"/AS1
Florida 28% 15% 15% AS1
Georgia 32% 32% 32% 6"
Hawaii 32% 35% 35% 70% Light
Idaho 35% 20% 35% AS1
Illinois 35% 35% 35% 6"
Indiana 30% 30% 30% AS1
Iowa 70% ANY ANY AS1
Kansas 35% 35% 35% AS1
Kentucky 35% 18% 18% AS1
Louisiana 40% 25% 12% AS1
Maine 35% ANY ANY 4"
Maryland 35% 35% 35% 5"
Massachusetts 35% 35% 35% 6"
Michigan 4" ANY ANY 4"
Minnesota 50% 50% 50% NONE
Mississippi 28% 28% 28% AS1
Missouri 35% ANY ANY AS1
Montana 24% 14% 14% AS1
Nebraska 35% 20% 20% 5"/AS1
Nevada 35% ANY ANY AS1
New Hampshire NONE 35% 35% 6"
New Mexico 20% 20% 20% 5"/AS1
New York 70% 70% ANY 6"
North Carolina 35% 35% 35% AS1
North Dakota 50% ANY ANY <70%
Ohio 50% ANY ANY <70%
Oklahoma 25% 25% 25% 5"/AS1
Oregon 35% 35% 35% 6"
Pennsylvania 70% 70% 70% NONE
Rhode Island 70% 70% 70% AS1
South Carolina 27% 27% 70% AS1
South Dakota 35% 20% 27% AS1
Tennessee 35% 35% 20% AS1
Texas 25% 25% 35% 5"/AS1
Utah 43% ANY ANY AS1
Vermont NONE ANY 32% 32%
Virginia 50% 35% 35% AS1
Washington 24% 24% 24% 6"
West Virginia 35% 35% 35% 5"
Wisconsin 50% 35% 35% AS1
Wyoming 28% 28% 28% 5"/AS1


Windows Tinting Medical Exemptions

Many states have medical exemptions from their usual tinting laws. Darker hues may be used by those with conditions that make them light-sensitive. Generally, such people must have supporting paperwork, such as a doctor's letter, to help the exemption.

Window Tinting Advantages Continued Legally

Window tinting not only enhances the look of your car but also offers a range of practical benefits:

  • Lower UV Radiation: Tints block up to 99% of UV radiation, shielding passengers and keeping the car's interior from deteriorating.
  • Extra Privacy and Security: Tinted windows give additional privacy, making it difficult for others to see inside the automobile.
  • Increased Energy Efficiency: Window tints lessen the demand for air conditioning by keeping interior temperatures cooler.
Car window tint film overview
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Understanding and abiding by your state's window tint regulations is not just about safety and legal compliance, it's also about respecting your own aesthetic and personal preferences. Whether you live in icy Alaska or sunny California, understanding the particular laws can enable you to make wise window tinting choices. To enjoy the advantages of hassle-free window tinting, always remember to balance legal requirements with your own aesthetic and personal preferences. Your choices matter. 

FAQ Questions

Q: Can I tint my windows legally?
A: Yes, if it complies with the particular VLT% regulations in your state.

Q: Darkest legal tint: what is it?
A: The states differ on this. For instance, limo tint, or 5% tint, is permitted on specific windows in some states.

Q: In what ways do law enforcement officials check the legality of window tint?
A: At traffic stops, police measure the VLT% of window tints using instruments called tint meters.

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