Windshield Laws in New York

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If you are a licensed driver in New York, you know you are required to follow numerous traffic laws when navigating the roadways. While those rules are designed to keep yourself and others safe, there are also rules governing the windshield in your vehicle for the same reason. The following are the windshield laws in New York that drivers must comply with to avoid citations and potentially costly fines.

Windshield requirements

New York has strict requirements on both the windshield and the devices related to it.

  • All vehicles driven on the roadways must have windshields.

  • All vehicles are required to have windshield wipers that are capable of removing snow, rain, sleet, and other moisture to provide a clear view through the glass while driving.

  • All vehicles must have safety glass or safety glazing material for the windshield and windows, which is glass that is either treated or manufactured with other materials to greatly reduce the potential for flying or shattering glass if struck or in an accident when compared with traditional plate glass.

Obstructions

New York also has laws in place to ensure that motorists can see clearly when driving on the roadways.

  • No motorist may operate a vehicle on the roadways that has posters, signs or any other nontransparent materials in the windshield.

  • Posters, signs and nontransparent materials are not permitted on the windows to either side of the driver.

  • Only stickers or certificates required by law may be affixed to the windshield or the front side windows.

Window tint

Window tint is permitted on vehicles in New York as long as it meets the following requirements:

  • Non-reflective tint is permitted on the windshield along the uppermost six inches.

  • Tint applied to the front and back side windows must permit more than 70% light transmittance.

  • Tint applied to the rear window can be any darkness.

  • If the rear window of any vehicle is tinted, there must also be dual side mirrors in place to provide visibility behind the vehicle.

  • Metallic and mirrored tint is not permitted on any window.

  • Each window must have a sticker stating that it is within the legal tint requirements of the law.

Cracks, chips and defects

New York also limits the possible cracks and chips that are permitted on the windshield, albeit not in a succinct manner:

  • Vehicles on the roadway must not have cracks, chips, discoloration or defects that distort the driver’s visibility.

  • The broad language of this requirement means that it is up to the ticketing officer’s discretion as to whether the cracks, chips or defects affect the driver’s ability to see while driving.

Violations

Drivers in New York who do not comply with the above laws are subject to fines and having demerit points added to their driver’s license.

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.


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