Why Are Tinted Windows Illegal?

November 4, 2020

Why Are Tinted Windows Illegal?


Not all tinted windows are, in fact, against the law. The key issue is this: how dark can you go? There’s no denying that adding a tint improves a car’s aesthetics. But did you know that every state has differing laws as to what’s considered OK, and what’s too dark? So let’s delve into the shady world of window tints and discover what you can do and where without falling foul of the law…

Tinted Windows: Understanding the basics of the law


·      All about visible light transmission

·      Tinted windows: A to Z from state-to-state

·      When darker is allowed: medical exemptions


All about visible light transmission

Windows tinting is classified by the amount of light transmission and the luminous reflectance of the glass. These are the two factors that determine the amount of light that can pass through the glass and the level of visibility it affords. This is referred to as visible light transmission, or simply, VLT, and is stated in a percentage format.  The lower the percentage, the darker the windows.

Tinted windows: A to Z from state-to-state

Or, more accurately, A–W (Alabama to Wyoming). The most complicated aspect of tinting your car windows is that the laws vary in each state. This means that, potentially, you could be driving a perfectly legal car in Florida. But by crossing the state border into Alabama you risk being fined.

The reasons for these state-to-state differences are (generally) down to ensuring the driver has adequate visibility of the road and his/her surroundings. Sunny southern states usually allow for darker tints (Florida, for example, allows a minimum of 28% VLT). But those with long periods of darkness and weather conditions that don’t enhance visibility, such as Alaska, have stricter laws.


To further muddy the waters, individual car windows also have different requirements (and again, these change in each state). Californians can’t tint the front side windows by any more than 70%, but the rear and rear sides can be as dark as you choose! Other states also have similar requirements. There are also varying restrictions to the windshield, which, for obvious reasons, must provide unobstructed vision. However, most states allow for a darker, tinted band across the top of the screen (although this is illegal in Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). The depth is determined by state law and can be as much as 6 inches.


While most states allow for around 30% VLT, others, such as New York and DC, are more stringent. Illinois and Texas have some of the most complicated window tint laws of all.

When darker is allowed: medical exemptions 

Certain medical conditions allow for an exemption to the tint laws. In general, it’s those that are exacerbated through sun exposure. These include melanoma, psoriasis, and solar urticaria.


The exemption applies to the individual and a specific vehicle. It’s highly recommended that the appropriate documentation is carried at all times. This should include certification of the condition by a medical professional, the specific amounts of UV exposure that it pertains to, be dated, and state the duration or length that the prescription applies for.

Trust Auto SuperShield for high-quality, 100% legal window tinting, Boca Raton

Let’s face it, window tints look great! So the last thing you need is to be told that yours don’t adhere to the law. Because of the state-by-state variations, utilizing the services of a local provider is the savvy choice for adding them to your vehicle. South Florida residents know that when it comes to window tinting, Boca Raton-based Auto SuperShield is the only place to go.


These guys know window tints and car wraps better than anyone else. So if you need the look of your ride to reflect your image, and be sure you remain within the laws, there’s simply nowhere else to choose. 


Find out more at https://www.autosupershield.com and book your window tint today.


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