How Dark Can Your Car Window Tint Be?

Dark car window tint looks amazing, protects you from direct UV rays, reduces glare, boosts your safety, increases your privacy…the list goes on and on. It may seem that the darker your tint is the better. However, laws say otherwise.

Let’s shed some light on the matter and figure out how dark you are allowed to go.

Know the Law: What is VLT?

When it comes to car window tint, you often see it written as a percentage. The number indicates VLT or Visible Light Transmission. The higher the VLT is, the more light the tint allows passing through the glass.

So if your tint is 60% then it allows 60% of light to pass through. An 80% car window tint lets more light in than a 30% tint. With a 0% tint, no light can pass through.

Law regulates the amount of light that can pass through your car’s tinted windows. These laws vary from state to state and so do the fines for breaking them.

These laws usually depend on the climate. For example, sunny Florida allows lower VLT indications because glare and heat are a big issue. Meanwhile, in the cloudy and rainy Washington, you may face serious visibility problems strutting a 30% car window tint.

Consider your traveling habits before opting for an ultra-dark window film. In the majority of states, you won’t get ticketed for breaking the tint laws if your vehicle is registered in another state. However, some states like Ohio and Utah are often strict about the matter.

What Does Car Window Tint Percentage Depend On?

The car window tint rules depend on several factors, including vehicle type and window type.

Vehicle Type

When it comes to window-tinting regulations, in some states, passenger cars are not in the same category as SUVs and vans.

For example, you may face a tinting restriction for the rear side window in your sedan while your neighbors with an SUV can go as dark as they prefer. In other states,  a lucky sedan owner may not face any side window tinting restrictions while SUV owners need to keep the tinting light.

Window Type

The type of your window matters as well. What may be fine for the rear window is out of the question for the windshield and vice versa.

  • Windshield – while you can’t have your windshield tinted, some states allow a shade band (a thin band of tint on the top part of the windshield). The thickness of the band varies from state to state.
  • Front side windows – some states allow up to 24% tint while others don’t permit any tinting for front side windows at all.
  • Rear side windows – some states don’t have any restrictions for rear side windows while others like New York and Rhode Island have them set at 70%.
  • Rear windows – same as with rear side windows, restrictions vary from 70% to none at all.

In Georgia, for sedans, the windshield shade band can be as thick as 6 inches. Meanwhile, the restriction for the front side, rear side, and rear windows is set at 32%. For SUVs and vans, the windshield shade band can be up to 6 inches thick as well. However, the 32% restriction works for front side windows only. Rear side and rear windows can be as dark as you want them to.

Medical Exemptions to the Car Window Tinting Law

If you have a medical condition that makes car window tinting a necessity, you can get an exemption. Exemption requirements vary from state to state.

For example, in Georgia, you can get a medical waiver for window tint. If you require special shielding from the sun due to a medical condition, you can be allowed to install window tint with a 23% VLT. However, you can’t get an exemption if it’s possible to achieve adequate protection from the sun by wearing glasses.

Each state has a list of conditions that can get car owners a medical waiver. The most common are:

  • Melanoma
  • Light-sensitive porphyria
  • Lupus
  • Albinism
  • Vitiligo
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Solar Urticaria
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatomyositis

Some states like Kansas and Kentucky don’t issue medical waivers regardless of the car owner’s condition.

Benefits of Car Window Tinting

Complying with car window tinting laws may seem like a hassle. Thankfully, your tint provider knows all ins and outs of the local regulations. All you have to do is ask for a consultation. A respectable car window tint company would never install a product that doesn’t comply with state laws.

The benefits of tinting your windows are obvious regardless of the state you live in.

1. Fresh Upholstery Appearance

If you live in a sunny state like Georgia, you know what it’s like to deal with faded upholstery. Direct UV rays lead to fading, which makes the car seats look old and worn. Window tint can delay the fading processes substantially.

2. Skin Protection

The benefits of sun tanning are highly overrated. In fact, lengthy sun exposure could lead to health problems. Even though not all car window tints block UV rays completely, they keep the majority of them out.

3. Comfortable Temperatures

Entering your car after it has been sitting in the sun all day makes inferno seem like a breezy day in the park. Tinted windows block some of the heat from getting through, making the driving much more bearable while saving money on running the a/c at full speed.

4. Privacy and Security

The darker your window tint is, the harder it is to see what goes on inside your car. This can prevent theft.

5. Amazing Look

Window tint can make any car look special. Even if you live in a cloudy and rainy state, tinting can be a great way to tweak your vehicle’s appearance.

Enjoying Your Car Window Tint

When installed correctly, window tint can last a lifetime. Choose top-notch materials and respectable window tint providers to enjoy all of the above benefits for many years.

At GForce Films, we have decades of experience installing car window tint with various VLT levels on vehicles of all types. Contact us to get a free quote today.

GForce Films