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Window Tinting Laws: How Dark Is Too Dark?

By In Automotive Tinting, Window Tinting On August 06, 2014


To some people, the idea that there are laws governing your car’s window tinting seems a little bit silly. After all, if you’re paying for your car, shouldn’t you have the right to tint your windows how you want? If you want some privacy while you’re driving, or if you simply just want to keep all that light out, shouldn’t you have the right to do so?

Some of the states that regulate tint claim that if you have tint that is too dark, you won’t be able to see well enough to drive safely. Make sure your Vero Beach window tinting falls within Florida’s guidelines.

However, there are virtually no recorded cases in which the darkness of a car’s tint has impaired the vision of the driver. Other states claim that the dark window tint keeps cameras from being able to record images of the driver, and still others say that police officers cannot safely judge whether or not a person in a car has a weapon when pulled over for a traffic stop.

The final common rationale is that the tinting adds a layer to the glass, making it more difficult to break. If emergency personnel are having to break into a car to save a driver or passenger, the argument goes, then that added layer makes the task more difficult.

There are some excellent objections to these claims. For example, wouldn’t tint of any darkness add the same strength to glass? If that’s an issue, why isn’t all tint banned? While it is true that too many police officers die during traffic stops, the numbers of people hiding weapons behind dark glass doesn’t seem to be enough to merit this restriction, as oncoming traffic is just as dangerous to officers at a traffic stop as dark glass.

Finally, why do drivers need to be filmed going through intersections? If you’re tracking cars to levy a toll, you can use the license plate to tell who’s coming through.

Even with these objections aside, most states have laws in place governing the level of tint you can apply on your window. In Florida, your front side windows have to allow in 28% of the incoming light. The rear windows and back panel have to allow in at least 15%. None of your windows can have a reflective index higher than 25% in the front and 35%in the back.

If you are using a multi passenger vehicle (MPV — this refers to SUVs or vans), the numbers for the rear panel or back side windows are 6% instead of 15). You can get a medical exemption if you need darker tint for safe driving.

There are some other regulations associated with tinting. If your back window is tinted, you have to have dual side mirrors. There is a sticker that verifies that your tinting is legal, and it must go inside the doorjamb on the driver’s side door. Manufacturers of the tinting film are required to certify that film for sale in Florida.

When you buy tinting for your car, a reputable company will know the laws and not sell you tinting that you can’t use. Be armed with this information, though, so when you go shopping you will know the right questions to ask. You don’t want to get a ticket for windows that are too dark, and you don’t want to have to pay to have tinting replaced.


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