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Q: What Is the Legal Limit for Window Tint?

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What is the legal limit for window tint?

A: Automotive window tinting is accomplished b...

Automotive window tinting is accomplished by applying a plastic film of the desired darkness on the inside of the glass, and looking at this from a nationwide perspective, you’ll get 50 different variations on the same theme. Generally, depending on what state your car is registered in, the windshield cannot have tint applied, except for a band across the top four to six inches high. The windows on the front doors cannot be tinted at all, or have a film with “light transmittance” of 65% to 75%. This means if the light outside the car is 100%, 65% to 75% of the light has to penetrate into the interior of the car. The reason for this is so law enforcement has a clear view inside the car during traffic stops.

You can pretty much do whatever you want on any glass behind the two front doors. However, some states require functioning outside rearview mirrors if there’s dark tinting on the glass in those areas. Generally prohibited is highly reflective “mirror style” tinting.

A good tint installer should be knowledgeable about your state’s regulations and have samples available so you can decide on color and darkness before you have any tinting done on your vehicle. Of course, it never hurts to double check the rules yourself by contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles.

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