Is Window Tint Illegal?

By Andrew Lu on July 30, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Is my window tint legal? It's a common question asked across the country. You may have heard a lot of different (and contradictory) things said about the legality of car window tints and whether you could get pulled over for tints.

The source of the confusion may be because there is no federal regulation on car tinting and states and cities usually have their own unique laws and regulations. Legal window tints in one state may be illegal in another. And legal tints in one city may be illegal if you simply drive to the next town.

So can you get pulled over for window tints? The answer is that "it depends."

Specifically, it depends on where you are driving.

  • Window Tinting. Each state has different rules on how much light must be allowed through the window (e.g. 75% light transmittance). In addition, you should be aware that most glass already has a certain percentage of tint built in from the factory. So if you add a film (tint) that reduces light transmission, you may be inadvertently breaking the law.

  • Mirror Tints. Some states like Maine make reflective or mirror tints illegal regardless of how much light can transmit through.

  • Trucks. In many states pickup trucks, SUVs, and even minivans are defined as multipurpose vehicles, as opposed to personal passenger cars. As a result, they may be subject to different window tint laws. For example, some trucks can cover up their back and side windows with graphics and logos so long as their front windshield is clear.

  • Exceptions. Individuals who require a window tint due to medical necessity may be allowed to get a medical waiver from the law. Medical waivers depend upon your state laws and your specific medical condition.

Are you still left wondering if your window tint is illegal? If you want to avoid getting pulled over for your car's window tints (or already have been ticketed), you may want to talk with an attorney to learn about the specific requirements in your state.

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