Window tints can be a lifesaver. They protect you against harmful UV rays and keep your interior intact for a longer period.
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 Texas, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss the Texas window tint law and everything around it in detail.
If you live in Texas, this article is for you.
These Texas window tint laws are recently updated in 2023. They were enacted not very long ago in the year 2009.
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 Texas?
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 Texas, 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 Texas according to the Texas Department of Public Safety – Window Tinting Standards and Texas Administrative Code, Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 21: RULE §21.3 – Standards for Sun screening and Privacy Window Devices:
For Passenger Cars
For Front Side Windows: The Texas window tint law defines that a minimum of 25% visible light should be passing through the tint film on the front side windows. This is much lenient in comparison to states such as California and Alaska.
For Rear Side Windows: There is no restriction on the VLT% of rear side windows for the passenger cars. You can use as dark tint as you want.
For Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
For Front Side Windows: The same rule has been applied to commercial and multi-purpose vehicles. According to Texas law, a minimum of 25% visible light should be passing through the tint film on the front side windows.
For Rear Side Windows: Similarly, there is no restriction on the VLT% of rear side windows for commercial cars. You can use as dark tint as you want.
Can You Use Tint on Windshields in Texas?
Let’s see what Texas tint law says about the use of window tint on windshields.
For Passenger Cars
Front Windshield: You can only use window tint on the top 5 inches of your front windshield for passenger cars in Texas.
Rear Windshield: You are allowed to apply a tint of any darkness level over the back windshield of your passenger car in Texas.
For Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
Front Windshield: You can only use window tint on the top 5 inches of your front windshield for commercial and multi-purpose vehicles in Texas.
Rear Windshield: You are allowed to apply a tint of any darkness level over the back windshield of your commercial and multi-purpose vehicles in Texas.
What are the Reflectivity Restrictions in Texas?
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 means that less amount of light is being reflected off the window glass. Similarly, a high reflectivity means that more light is being reflected.
Let’s see if there are any reflectivity restrictions in Texas.
For Front Side Window: According to the Florida tint law, the front windows should not reflect more than 25% of the visible light for passenger cars.
For Rear Side Windows: According to the Florida tint law, the rear windows should not reflect more than 25% of the visible light for passenger cars.
Commercial and Multi-purpose Vehicles
For Front Side Window: According to the Florida tint law, the front windows should not reflect more than 25% of the visible light for commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
For Rear Side Windows: According to the Florida tint law, the rear windows should not reflect more than 25% of the visible light for commercial and multi-purpose vehicles.
Can You Use a Colored Window Tint in Texas?
Yes, you can use colored tints on your windows in Texas. However, the use of red, blue, and amber color is not permitted. You may use other tint colors.
Is Anyone Exempt From the Texas Tint Laws?
Yes, people with medical conditions are exempt from Texas window tint laws. They can contact with Texas Department of Public safety in order get an exemption letter.
You can apply for tint law exemption by filling out this Application for window tint medical exemption. It is compulsory to carry this letter with you at all times in case police pulls you over for darker window tints.
Are there any Penalties for Not Complying With the Window Tinting Laws of Texas?
Yes, you may have to face incremental penalties for not complying with the window tinting laws of Texas. However, the fine depends upon the level of tint darkness you were using. You can be fined a maximum of $20 to $25 for the first conviction.
If you become a repeat offender and break the law again within the year, the punishment becomes even steep. Subsequent offenses within a year will result in a fine of up to $275. Additionally, you would need to remove the illegal tints as well.