Understanding the Window Tint Law in California

Window tint laws in California regulate the darkness of tinting on car windows to ensure safety and visibility for drivers. These laws help prevent accidents and provide guidelines for drivers on what is allowed and what is not when it comes to tinting their vehicle windows.

How dark can window tint be in California?

In California, the darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission (VLT), which is the percentage of visible light that passes through the window. The state law mandates that:

  • Front side windows must have a VLT of 70% or more.
  • Back side windows and rear window can have any level of darkness, as long as the vehicle has outside mirrors on both sides.
  • Reflective tint is not allowed on front side windows.

Are there any medical exemptions for window tint in California?

Yes, there are medical exemptions for window tint in California. Drivers with a medical condition that requires them to be shielded from the sun’s rays can apply for a medical exemption from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This exemption allows them to have darker tint on their windows than what is normally allowed by law.

What are the penalties for violating window tint laws in California?

Penalties for violating window tint laws in California can vary depending on the offense. Some common penalties include:

  1. Fix-it ticket: If an officer determines that your window tint is too dark, you may receive a fix-it ticket. This requires you to remove the illegal tint and have your vehicle inspected by law enforcement.
  2. Penalty fine: If you fail to comply with the fix-it ticket or are caught with illegal tint again, you may face a penalty fine ranging from $25 to $197.
  3. Vehicle impoundment: In some cases, officers may impound your vehicle if you have illegal window tint.

Can you tint your windshield in California?

Window tinting on windshields is allowed in California, but only on the top four inches of the windshield. This tint strip can have a darkness level equal to or darker than the rest of the vehicle’s window tint.

Do factory tinted windows comply with California law?

Factory tinted windows, also known as privacy glass, do not comply with California’s window tint laws. Even if your vehicle came with factory tinted windows, you are still required to follow the state’s regulations on window tint darkness levels.

Is it legal to remove window tint in California?

It is legal to remove window tint in California, and drivers are advised to do so if their current tint level does not comply with state law. If you are issued a fix-it ticket for illegal tint, you will need to remove the tint and have your vehicle inspected by law enforcement to ensure compliance.

Are there any specific regulations for commercial vehicles regarding window tinting in California?

Commercial vehicles, such as trucks and vans, are subject to the same window tint laws as personal vehicles in California. The front side windows of commercial vehicles must have a VLT of 70% or more, while back side windows and rear windows can have any level of darkness.

Overall, understanding the window tint laws in California is essential for all drivers to avoid penalties and ensure safety on the road. By complying with these regulations, drivers can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while also maintaining visibility and transparency for a safer driving experience.