Window tints are a great way of protecting against harmful UV rays of the sun.
But there is a lot of complication around laws and regulations of window tints. Some states allow it, while others prohibit its use.
If you’re wondering about window tint laws in Illinois, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss the Illinois window tint law and everything around it in detail.
If you live in Illinois, this article is for you.
They recently updated the Illinois window tint laws in 2023. They actually enacted them in the year 2001.
What are Window Tint Laws? Why These Laws Exist?
Stipulations in law that underline the restrictions on various specifications of window tints are commonly referred to as window tint laws.
These laws determine if you can use window tints in a specific state or not. If yes, then what will be the allowable visible light transmission (VLT) percentage and reflectivity? The law also covers the penalties for violation and parties exempt from following it.
These laws exist for security and safety reasons. With increasing crime rates and car-jacking incidents, it is important for law enforcement personnel to be able to see the driver.
A dark tint enables criminals to get away without any identification. This is why, to ensure the safety of all citizens, window tint laws have been implemented in all states.
Additionally, a dark tint hinders the view of the driver. This is why the traffic administration authority ensures that drivers are able to see through glass properly.
What are the VLT% Restrictions in the State of Illinois?
Visible Light Transmission or VLT percentage is the percentage of the visible light that passes through the glass window.
A lower VLT% means a darker tint since it allows a lesser percentage of visible light to pass through it. Similarly, a higher VLT% means a lighter tint since it allows a higher percentage of visible light to pass through it.
Almost all states, including Illinois, have imposed restrictions on the VLT% of tints. VLT% restrictions can be divided into two main categories: passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
Let’s discuss both these categories in Illinois according to the Illinois Vehicle Code Chapter 12, Article V – Glass, Windshields, and Mirrors:
For Front Side Windows: The Illinois window tint law defines that a minimum of 35% visible light should be passing through the tint film on the front side windows. (A 5% variance is allowed, so actually, you can go down to 30%.)
For Rear Side Windows: According to Illinois window tint law, a minimum of 35% visible light should be passing through the tint film on the rear side windows. (A 5% variance is allowed, so actually, you can go down to 30%.)
Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
For Front Side Windows: According to Illinois law, a minimum of 50% visible light should be passing through the tint film on the front side windows. (A 5% variance is allowed, so actually, you can go down to 45%.)
For Rear Side Windows: As far as the rear side windows go, there are no VLT% restrictions on commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
Can You Use Tint on Windshields in Illinois?
Most states allow the application of tint film on the top 4-6 inches of the windshield.
Because the angle of incidence for sunlight is such that it falls right on top of the windshield, more than 70% of heat and UV rays enter at the top.
Now, let’s see what the Illinois tint law says about the use of window tint on windshields.
For Passenger Cars
Front Windshield: In Illinois, for passenger cars, you can apply window tint only to the top 6 inches of your front windshield.
Rear Windshield: Illinois imposes restrictions on the VLT% of the rear windshield as well. The rear windshield of your passenger car must allow at least 35% of visible light through it.
For Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
Front Windshield: You can only use window tint on the top 6 inches of your front windshield for commercial vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles in Illinois.
Rear Windshield: In the state of Illinois, you can apply a tint of any darkness to the rear windshield of your commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
What are the Reflectivity Restrictions in Illinois?
Reflectivity is slightly different from visible light transmission percentage.
Where VLT% decides the amount of visible light passing through the glass film, reflectivity is a measure of light dispersed or reflected by a tint film.
A lower reflectivity reflects less light from the window glass. Conversely, high reflectivity reflects more light.
Let’s see if there are any reflectivity restrictions in Illinois.
For Front Side Window: According to the NC window tint law, the front windows should be non-reflective for passenger cars.
For Rear Side Windows: According to the NC window tint law, the rear windows should be non-reflective for passenger cars.
Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
For Front Side Window: According to the NC window tint law, the front windows should be non-reflective for commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
For Rear Side Windows: According to the NC window tint law, the rear windows should be non-reflective for commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
Can You Use a Colored Window Tint in Illinois?
Yes, you can use colored tints on your windows in Illinois. No specific color has been explicitly banned in the tint laws of New Jersey. It is also illegal to use a tint film over the taillights, headlights, or license plate of your car in the state of Illinois.
Is Anyone Exempt From the Illinois Tint Laws?
Yes, if you are suffering from photo-sensitive allergies such as dermatitis, you are exempt from the Illinois tint laws. You can apply for permission to use a darker tint by filling out this Illinois Medical Exemption Application Form.
First of all, you need a recommendation from a licensed physician. On the grounds of this recommendation, you can apply and ask for permission from the office of the Illinois Secretary of State. If approved, an exemption sticker is issued to you.
Are there any Penalties for Not Complying With the Window Tinting Laws of Illinois?
Yes, you may have to face a fine for not complying with the window tinting laws of Illinois. You can be fined somewhere between $50-$500 for first conviction. The second offense qualifies as a class C misdemeanor and results in a fine of $100-$500.
If you continue to neglect the window tinting laws of Illinois, the amount of fine will keep on increasing with increased ramifications.