There are many good reasons why you should get your car windows tinted. In some states, tinting has even become a popular car upgrade, and almost everyone has become accustomed to it.

But did you know you can get pulled over and probably get arrested by police for dark window tinting? Yes, window tinting is legal, many local shops can perform this task within minutes and you can even hire a popular company online like Scorpion Window Film but it can still land you in jail. There is a lot of controversy concerning this topic, let’s dig a little bit deeper in the law governing how dark window tints should be.

Window Tint Law

Window tinting law is under state law. The statues applied are only found in the traffic or vehicle code of every state’s law.

State laws on tinting are about light transmittance on your cars window tint. They are mainly concerned with the amount of light that can get in and the level of visibility that the tint allows.

Some of the law sections discussing window tinting that can give you a glimpse of how window tinting is regulated are;

  • Section 9D:  Windshields and windows obscured by nontransparent materials; Massachusetts.
  • Title 37, Part 1, Rule 21.3: Window Tinting Standards’ for Texas
  • Section 375 (12-a) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law’ for New York

Most of these state laws have different levels of light transmittance that they allow. Some will even have different requirements for a cars windscreen, the cars side, and rear windows. They will all give a minimum specific value e.g., 25% of light allowance that your tint should not go below. If your cars window tint light is allowing light below the accepted levels, then you are violating the law.

So, how will a police officer know the level of your window tint light transmittance? This takes us to the measurement of a window tint.

How window tints are measured

Measuring a car’s window tints light transmittance is quite difficult, let alone being accurate. Most police officers will have to use a photometer to tell the level of your window tint.

Therefore, it is necessary to have your car’s tint inspected to identify whether it complies with your state’s tint laws. Visit any government or a private licensed inspector to determine whether your car’s windows meet your state laws on window tinting.

Nevertheless, some exemptions can be allowed during the enforcement of the window tint laws.

Exemptions for window tint laws

Most states will have exemptions for drivers and passengers with certain medical conditions, which require them to have limited light exposure. Some of the common medical conditions that qualify for exemption under state laws are melanoma, albinism, and photosensitivity among others. For these and other medical conditions, one needs to present medical documentation showing the minimum light exposure the person is allowed to have.

Final word

If you are looking to have a tint job done for your car, make sure you work with a professional that understands how window tint percentages work and your state’s tint laws. Numbers can be confusing in window tinting, therefore its best to let professionals handle it for you.


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