Intro to Window Tinting Laws
If you are a driver, it’s a good bet that one of the last things you want to have happen is a traffic stop. In all 50 states, window tinting laws are enacted primarily for the safety of law enforcement and the driver. Taking time to familiarize yourself with your state’s window tinting laws can go a far way in avoiding traffic stops, citations, fines and headache. Each state has it’s own unique laws pertaining to window tinting. Let’s take a few minutes to review some categories that states regulate. Understanding them is essential before having any window tint installed on your vehicle.
1 – Window Tinting Darkness Regulations:
Window tinting darkness is measured in units of VLT (Visible Light Transmission). That is the percentage of light that the film allows to pass through the windows.
Different states enact different restrictions on permissible VLT levels. Further, each state enacts different standards for each window. For instance, some states may allow a 25% VLT on front windows, while others may require 70%(i.e California). Some may even prohibit any darkness at all. The same is true for the back and rear windows. The most sensible thing to do is to check your state’s official laws on the darkness level that is permitted. For Arizona, the legal limit VLT for the front two windows is 33% while all rear windows allow any film darkness.
2 – Color Restrictions on Window Tinting:
While this will not affect most of you, it is important to note that some colors are prohibited for window tinting. The primary reason for this is to avoid driver confusion between civil and law enforcement vehicles. That is why often times, states prohibit colors such as blue, yellow and red from window tinting. A driver could mistaken such a vehicle for an emergency vehicle – and that alone can cause chaos. So if you’re the adventurous type, first check with the tinting laws in your jurisdiction to ensure that you’re in the clear.
3 – Reflectivity Standards for Window Tinting:
Again, this is unlikely to affect most window tinting consumers. Nonetheless, its crucial to bear in mind. All states enact reflectivity standards on window tinting. This is to ensure there are no mirror-like surfaces on windows to potentially cause hazardous situations. While some states outright ban any reflectivity, some states cap it as high as 25%. If you feel the need to install a mirror-like film on your vehicle, be sure it’s done in accordance with state laws in order to avoid traffic stops.
4 – Film Certification and Identification Standards:
In some states, it is required for all film sold and installed to be certified by the state. Further, other states enact policies requiring stickers designating legal film to be placed on designated areas of the vehicle. First, it’s necessary to check your specific state laws on whether this is required where you live. If it is, it’s vital to ensure that your tinting company provides both. In some cases, failing to install certified/legal film where required can void a manufacturers warranty. It also can warrant fines from law enforcement. If you live in a state where this is required, take the necessary steps to ensure you are on the right side of the law when it comes to certified film. Please note that in Arizona, certification stickers are NOT required.
5 – Medical Exemptions:
In many states, medical exemptions are available for those with an official doctor’s recommendation. This may apply to patients who are in need of additional heat protection or vision aide. The most sensible thing to do if you believe you may qualify for a medical tinting exemption is to contact either your physician or law enforcement. IMPORTANT: It is a common belief that a doctor’s note is all that is required to be exempt from AZ window tint laws. While this is partially true, the doctor’s note must be submitted to the DMV for review. After review, if the consumer qualifies, a medical waiver exemption certificate will be mailed to the person. Please visit OBTAINING A MEDICAL EXEMPTION for additional information.
6 – Windshield Tinting Regulations:
Windshield tinting is another area covered on state law books. Some states allow for tinting on the top-most several inches of your windshield. Others allow drivers to install film down to the manufacturer’s AS1 line. It is essential that you understand where your state stands on windshield tinting issues. This is sometimes an area where medical exemptions may be granted.
It is worthwhile to take several minutes to familiarize yourself with the window tinting laws in the state where you live. If you are uncertain about something, it is always best to double-check with your local law enforcement. Ultimately, keeping it legal is always recommended.
For a free quote on your vehicle window tinting, feel free to contact Eclipse Window Tinting.