Each country and state has its own set of established window tint laws.
The US is no different. Each state has defined its own restrictions on the VLT (visible light transmission) percentage through front, rear, front windshield, and rear windshield.
We will discuss all these restrictions for each of the 50 states, along with answering the 6 frequently asked questions about window tint laws in the US. So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it.
A Summary of Window Tint Laws of 50 States of the USA
Before dwelling on the window tint laws of each of the US states, it is important to understand a few things.
The first thing is that VLT stands for visible light transmission. VLT percentage is the percentage of the visible light that passes through the glass window.
In the case of tint, if VLT% is lower, it means it is a darker tint since it allows a lesser percentage of visible light to pass through it. Similarly, if VLT% is higher, it means it is a lighter tint since it allows a higher percentage of visible light to pass through it.
Another important thing to know is that legally, you cannot tint the front windshield in most states. So, the governments have defined the number of inches on top of windshields that can be tinted to avoid direct sunlight. In certain cases, it has been called AS-1, which is the manufacturer-applied tint, usually between 4-6 inches on top of the front windshield.
One other thing you should know is that whenever the word any appears in the table, it means that tint with any VLT% can be applied. Similarly, when the word none appears, it means that no aftermarket tint can be applied whatsoever.
Now you have a crude idea about VLT and how front windshield tint works. So, let’s summarize the VLT and colored tint restrictions for passenger and commercial cars in different states of the United States.
|State||VLT Restriction for Passenger Cars||VLT Restriction for Commercial and Multi-Purpose Vehicles||Restrictions on Colored Tint|
|Alabama||32%||6 inch||32%||32%||32%||6 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Alaska||70%||5 inch||40%||40%||70%||5 inch||40%||40%||Only green, gray, bronze and neutral smoke colors are permitted.|
|Arizona||33%||AS-1||Any||Any||33%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Arkansas||25%||5 inch||25%||10%||25%||5 inch||10%||10%||All colors are allowed.|
|California||70%||4 inch||Any||Any||70%||4 inch||Any||Any||The red, blue, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Colorado||27%||4 inch||27%||27%||27%||4 inch||27%||27%||The red and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Connecticut||35%||AS-1||35%||Any||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Delaware||None||AS-1||Any||Any||None||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Florida||28%||AS-1||15%||15%||28%||AS-1||6%||6%||No colored tint is allowed.|
|Georgia||32%||6 inch||32%||32%||32%||6 inch||Any||Any||The red and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Hawaii||35%||4 inch||35%||35%||35%||4 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Idaho||35%||6 inch||20%||35%||35%||6 inch||20%||35%||All colors are allowed.|
|Illinois||35%||6 inch||35%||35%||50%||6 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Indiana||30%||AS-1||30%||30%||30%||AS-1||30%||30%||All colors are allowed.|
|Iowa||70%||70%||Any||Any||70%||70%||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Kansas||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Kentucky||35%||AS-1||18%||18%||35%||AS-1||8%||8%||All colors are allowed.|
|Louisiana||40%||AS-1||25%||12%||40%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Maine||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Maryland||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Massachusetts||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||All colors are allowed.|
|Michigan||4 inch||4 inch||Any||Any||4 inch||4 inch||Any||Any||Silver and gold tint is prohibited.|
|Minnesota||50%||None||50%||50%||50%||None||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Mississippi||28%||AS-1||28%||28%||28%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Missouri||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Montana||24%||AS-1||14%||14%||24%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Nebraska||35%||AS-1||20%||20%||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Nevada||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red and amber tint is prohibited.|
|New Hampshire||70%||6 inch||Any||Any||70%||6 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|New Jersey||None||None||Any||Any||None||None||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|New Mexico||20%||5 inch||20%||20%||20%||5 inch||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|New York||70%||70%||70%||Any||70%||70%||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|North Carolina||35%||AS-1||35%||35%||35%||AS-1||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|North Dakota||50%||70%||Any||Any||50%||70%||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Ohio||50%||5 inch||Any||Any||50%||5 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Oklahoma||25%||AS-1||25%||25%||25%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Oregon||35%||6 inch||35%||35%||35%||6 inch||Any||Any||The red, gold, yellow, amber, or black tint is prohibited.|
|Pennsylvania||70%||70%||70%||70%||70%||70%||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Rhode Island||70%||AS-1||70%||70%||70%||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|South Carolina||27%||AS-1||27%||27%||27%||AS-1||27%||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|South Dakota||35%||AS-1||20%||20%||35%||AS-1||20%||20%||All colors are allowed.|
|Tennessee||35%||70%||35%||35%||35%||70%||35%||35%||All colors are allowed.|
|Texas||25%||5 inch||Any||Any||25%||5 inch||Any||Any||The red, blue, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Utah||35%||4 inch||Any||Any||35%||4 inch||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Vermont||None||AS-1||Any||Any||None||AS-1||Any||Any||All colors are allowed.|
|Virginia||50%||5 inch||35%||35%||50%||5 inch||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Washington||24%||6 inch||24%||24%||24%||6 inch||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Washington D.C.||70%||5 inch||50%||50%||70%||5 inch||35%||35%||All colors are allowed.|
|West Virginia||35%||5 inch||35%||35%||35%||5 inch||Any||Any||The red, yellow, and amber tint is prohibited.|
|Wisconsin||50%||AS-1||35%||35%||50%||AS-1||35%||35%||All colors are allowed.|
|Wyoming||28%||5 inch||28%||28%||28%||5 inch||Any||Any||No red, yellow, or amber on the windshield. Otherwise, all colors are allowed.|
6 Frequently Asked Questions About Window Tint Laws
This section will address your frequently asked questions about the window tint laws.
1. Why window tint is illegal in some states?
For security and safety reasons, window tinting is illegal in some states. There are two aspects of this. One is the security. 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 will enable criminals and law-breaking individuals 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.
The second aspect is the safety. Window tints have many benefits. These include protection against harmful UV and infrared rays, glare reduction, elevated privacy, improved performance of AC, and reduction of solar energy transfer.
But there are a few downsides, such as glare and obstruction of view. A very dark tint doesn’t let the driver see the road and the surroundings properly. This is why the traffic administration authority ensures that drivers are able to see through glass properly.
2. Can you be pulled over for not complying with window tint laws?
Absolute yes. You can get pulled over for not complying with the window tint laws of your state. Window tint regulations are properly enacted laws. So, not only can you be pulled over, but you can also face possible detention and fines.
For example, in the state of Alabama, you can be fined a maximum of $100 and/or ten days in prison for the first conviction. Similarly, for a second conviction within a year, you could face a potential fine of $200 and/or 30 days in jail.
If you become a repeat offender and break the law for the third time in the year, the punishment becomes even steep. Third and subsequent offenses within a year will result in a fine of $500 and/or up to 3 months in prison.
3. What is reflectivity? Is there any restriction on reflectivity as well?
Reflectivity is the amount of light reflected from your window glass. 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.
The measure of reflectivity is used alongside the measure of VLT (visible light transmission) percentage to determine an adequate level of light that should pass through the window. Most states have posed a restriction on reflectivity as well.
In some states, the maximum reflectivity allowed is 20%, 25%, or 35%. A 30% reflectivity means that your tint should not reflect more than 30% light back. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to allow 70% of harmful rays to enter your car. It only means that 70% of visible light should not be reflected by the tint.
4. Why do most states allow any window tint for rear windows?
For identification purposes, it is enough if law enforcement personnel are able to see front passengers, which is why most states allow any window tint for rear windows. You can choose any level of VLT% for rear side mirrors.
However, it is important to note that the window tinting laws vary from state to state. So, you must consult the window tinting laws of your specific state before making any decision.
5. Is someone exempt from window tint laws?
Yes, law enforcement, special vehicles, and people with medical conditions are exempt from window tint laws. However, if you’re using special tint due to a medical condition, you must carry a note or prescription from an authorized doctor. Otherwise, when law enforcement pulls over, you might land in trouble.
6. Is 5% Limo tint legal in the States?
None of the states in the US permit the use of 5% limo (dark) tint on the front side windows and windshields. You can choose a window tint as dark as 5% for rear windows in these states:
- North Dakota
- New Jersey