Car Window Tinting Laws and Tips

There are many reasons to tint your car windows. Firstly, it looks good. If you have the right car (and let’s face it, if you were not a petrol head you would probably not be looking at this page!), tinted windows can really add to the look.Window Tint 2

There are other reasons for tinting, including keeping your car cool in hotter climates. Then there is also privacy. It is why limousines have their windows tinted – to keep the (sometimes nefarious, usually hedonistic) goings-on inside away from the prying eyes of the outside world.

There is also a legal bit. Now stay with us through that part because it could save you a lot of heartache and even money in the long run. If you get it wrong you could get yourself in trouble with the police. But by the time you have finished here you will know your VLTs from your UVAs, your UVBs and your UVCs.

Click on your state below to see tint laws



AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

The Legal Bit

You will need to make sure you know the relevant laws regarding window tinting in your state. It is not really possible to give a definitive guide as the rules differ from state to state, but this is how it works. It is all about visible light transmission – or VLT.

VLT is a measurement of the amount of light that gets through a window. It is worked out by looking at a combination of the factory tint plus any tinting film you apply. The laws in your state will determine what level of tint you can apply to each window of your car.

vlt-example Higher numbers mean more light can get in the window. For example:
  • 70% VLT – This means 70 percent of light will get in the window so this is a relatively light tint.
  • 5% VLT – Only 5 percent of light will get through the window in this example so this is quite a dark tint.
Sun Protection – Interestingly, most films that are 70% VLT will offer the same UV protection (protection from the sun’s rays) as much darker films. All good quality films offer up to 99% UV protection, whether it is 70% VLT or 5% VLT. The main benefits of darker films are privacy and appearance.

Let’s look at some state-by-state examples:

California Tint Law
  • Windshield – A non-reflective tint is allowed in the top 4 inches of the windshield, but the rest must be left clear.
  • Front Side Windows – 70 percent of light must come in through front side windows so the tint film used on cars in California has to be 70% VLT or lighter.
  • Rear Side Windows – Any percentage of VLT can be applied so window tints can be as dark as you want them to be.
  • Other Rules – The tinting films applied to both the front and side rear windows cannot be reflective and certain colors are not allowed, specifically red, amber and blue.
Illinois
  • Windshield – A non-reflective tint is allowed in the top 6 inches of the windshield but the rest must be left clear.
  • Front Side Windows – Nothing can be applied to these windows.
  • Rear Side Windows - Any percentage of VLT can be applied so window tints can be as dark as you want them to be.
  • Other Rules – Any tinting films used must be non-reflective, but there are no restrictions on color.
Safety inspectors and police officers can use measurement tools to determine the level of VLT on windows. It is better to check the laws where you live before you buy a tinting film to avoid getting a ticket.

Whatever your reasons are for tinting your windows, you have come to the right place. On this website we will describe the best way to tint your car windows, whether that is by doing it yourself or paying someone else to do it. We have video tutorials and buying tips for some of the best products that are available. Or if you want to find your state law for car window tint, simply click on your state from the map above.

Tint Laws by State

State
Front Sides
Back Sides
Back Window
Visor
AL32%32%32%6"
AK70%40%40%5"
AZ33%ANYANYAS1
AR25%25%10%5"
CA70%ANYANY4"
CO27%27%27%4"
CONOANYANY4"
CT32%32%ANYAS1
DE70%ANYANYAS1
FL28%15%15%AS1
GA32%32%32%6"
HI35%35%35%4"
ID35%20%35%AS1 or 6"
IL35%35%35%6"
IN30%30%30%AS1
IA70%ANYANYAS1
KS35%35%35%AS1
KY35%18%18%AS1
LA40%25%12%AS1
MA35%35%35%AS1 or 6"
ME50%50%50%4"
MD35%35%35%5"
MIANYANYANY4"
MN50%50%50%NO
MO35%ANYANYAS1
MS28%28%28%AS1
MT35%ANYANYAS1
NE35%20%20%AS1 or 5"
NV35%ANYANYAS1
NHNO35%35%6"
NJNOANYANYNO
NM20%20%20%AS1 or 5"
NY70%70%ANY6"
NC35%35%35%AS1
ND50%ANYANY70%
OH50%ANYANY70%
OK25%25%25%AS1 or 5"
OR35%35%35%6"
PA70%70%70%NO
RI70%70%70%AS1
SC27%27%27%AS1
SD35%20%20%AS1
TN35%35%35%AS1
TX25%ANYANYAS1 or 5"
UT43%ANYANYAS1
VTNOANYANYAS1
VA50%35%35%AS1
WA35%35%35%6"
WV35%35%35%5"
WI50%35%35%AS1
WY28%28%28%AS1 or 5"