Windshield Laws in Maryland

Licensed drivers know they are required to follow the traffic laws when traveling the roads in Maryland. In addition to the rules of the road that all motorists must follow, there are also specific regulations concerning the windshield of your car or truck. The following are the windshield laws in Maryland that drivers must comply with to drive legally on the roadways.

Windshield requirements

  • All vehicles on the roadway are required to have windshields if they were originally equipped with such from the manufacturer.

  • Windshield wipers are required on all vehicles and must be capable of clearing rain and other types of moisture from the windshield.

  • All windshields must be safety glass, which is glass that is manufactured or treated with materials that substantially decrease the potential for flying glass or shattering in the event of being struck or an accident.

Obstructions

  • No driver can operate a motor vehicle with signs, posters or other nontransparent materials on the windshield.

  • Required stickers are permitted in the lower corners within a seven-inch square area providing they do not interfere with the driver’s ability to see the roadways or intersecting roadways.

  • No items may be hung or suspended from the rearview mirror.

Window tint

  • Non-reflective tint may be added to the top five inches of the windshield.

  • All other window tint must allow over 35% of the light to pass through.

  • No vehicle may have red tint applied to any window.

  • Each tinted window must have a sticker specifying that it is within the legal tint limits affixed between the glass and the film.

  • If the rear window is tinted, the vehicle must have side mirrors on both sides.

Cracks and chips

Maryland does not specify a permissible size for cracks and chips in the statutes. However, large cracks and those that are in a starburst or spider web pattern may be considered an obstruction of the driver’s clear view. It is generally up to the discretion of the ticketing officer as to whether an area of damage presents a danger due to obstructing the driver’s sight line.

  • Federal regulations state that cracks that do not intersect with another crack are permissible.

  • Federal regulations also state that chips smaller than ¾ of an inch are permissible if they are not three inches or less from another area of damage.

Violations

Maryland requires vehicle inspections, which means all vehicles must be in compliance with the above regulations in order to be registered. However, failing to comply with the Maryland windshield laws can result in fines ranging from $70 to $150 if the issue caused an accident. Additionally, these infractions can also carry a one point demerit that is added to your license or a three-point demerit if the violation caused an accident.

If your windshield needs to be inspected or your wipers are not working properly, a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can help you get back on the road safely and quickly so you are driving within the laws.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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