Window Tint Ticket: Potential Penalties And Costs Explained | SmartFinancial (2023)

There are many reasons drivers tint their windows, from blocking heat to wanting privacy. However, it’s important that you don’t get in legal trouble with the wrong tint shade. All states including the District of Columbia have window tint laws that limit the use of tinting, with possible exemptions for those with medical needs. Most states consider certain levels of window tint as a misdemeanor or minor infraction. If you do not remove the tint, then the ticket fee will continue to increase anytime you are pulled over. In addition to these tickets, you will also have to pay for tint removal verification fees, court processing fees and any late fees. However, if you refuse to take off your tint, you could face the following penalties:

  • $25 as your first warning to fix the window tint
  • $100 for first time illegal window tint ticket
  • Over $200 for second illegal window tint ticket

A window tint ticket can also affect your car insurance rate, just like any other violation on your record. Plus, if your tinted windows are darker than the legal limit and you get into a covered car accident, your insurance company may not pay for all damages for the illegally tinted windows. If your windows were tinted by the manufacturer to an amount that's legal in your state, they may be protected by your comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Always keep your insurer up to date with any modifications you make to your vehicle and ask if your current policy covers damages to it. If you file a claim, your coverages will not include modifications the insurer was not made aware of.

On This Page

  • Is Window Tint Legal?
  • How Is Window Tint Measured?
  • What Happens if You Get Pulled Over for a Window Tint?
  • Are the Medical Necessity Exemptions to Window Tint Laws?
  • How Much Is a Window Tint Ticket?
  • Does a Window Tint Ticket Affect Your Car Insurance?
  • Can You Get a Window Tint Ticket Dismissed?
  • How To Measure Your Window Tint
  • FAQs
  • Get the Right Car Insurance for Tinted Windows

Window Tint Ticket: Potential Penalties And Costs Explained | SmartFinancial (11)

Is Window Tint Legal?

Whether or not tinting windows is legal depends on a variety of factors, the most important being where you live and how dark you tint your window(s). Most states allow drivers to tint their window up to limits, while others ban tinting on the front side windows but not other car windows. Check out our table below to see what’s allowed in your state before installing tint to your car windows.

(Video) 35% vs 20% vs 5% Window Tint! What tint is best for you?

All states including the District of Columbia have window tint laws that limit the use of tinting, with possible exemptions for those with medical needs.

How Is Window Tint Measured?

Window tint levels are measured by the percentage of light that passes through the tint, also known as visible light transmission (VLT). Higher VLT percentages allow more light to pass through, allowing for more visibility. For example, a 60% VLT means 60% of visible light can pass through the window. A 20% tint means only 20% of visible light can come through, making the window darker. You can calculate VLT by using a specialized tint measuring tool (either a tint meter with magnetic probes or a horseshoe tint meter) that is placed on both sides of the window to measure the amount of visible light that passes through. The higher the number (which is usually a percentage,) the more visible light can pass through.

Windshield tints can be measured in inches, detailing how far down the tint goes from the top of the windshield. For example, a five-inch windshield tint would have tinting that goes five inches down from the top of the windshield. The rest of the windshield is untinted.

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What Happens if You Get Pulled Over for a Window Tint?

Depending on the state, you may get a ticket if your window tint is darker than the legal amount. How much it goes over the legal amount will influence your window tint ticket. If you drive to a different state, know that every state has different window tinting limits (see below).

Law enforcement will not waive fines and tickets just because your original state has different laws or if you failed to look up the laws for the states you are traveling through. If you have modified your car windows, you should keep paperwork in your glove compartment that shows the VLT percentage of your windows, in case a police officer asks. Additionally, your fines will be lower if you’re pulled over for a first offense but will get exponentially more expensive each time you get pulled over.

(Video) I got ALL my windows tinted.... PULLED OVER IMMEDIATELY....

Are the Medical Necessity Exemptions to Window Tint Laws?

Yes, there are medical exemptions for window tints, but eight states currently do not accept them:

  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

Most states allow drivers to tint their window up to limits, while others ban tinting on the front side windows but not other car windows.

Medical exemptions usually only apply to people with a valid vision or medical-related condition that requires a reduction of exposure to sunlight. Additionally, those with medical exemptions are usually tied to a specific car and must carry a letter or certification on them that exempts them. Some examples of qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Melanoma
  • Lupus
  • Allergy to sunlight
  • Albinism
  • Photosensitivity
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Vitiligo
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer

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How Much Is a Window Tint Ticket?

Window tint ticket costs vary based on your state and its legal tint limits plus how many tickets or offenses you already have. If your window tint is only a little over your state’s legal limit and it’s your first offense, you will likely just get a warning. If you haven’t removed your tint and get pulled over again, law enforcement will most likely give you a first-offense ticket. Any time you’re pulled over for your windows, your ticket cost will increase.

State

Front Sides

Rear Sides

Rear Window

Windshield

Fines (First Offense)

Alabama

32%

32%

32%

6"

$100 fine and/or 10 days in prison.

Alaska

70%

40%

30%

5"

Up to $300 fine and $10 surcharge if not fixed within a timeframe.

Arkansas

25%

25%

10%

5"

$1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Arizona

ANY

ANY

ANY

AS1

$250.00 for each time.

California

70%

ANY

ANY

4"

$25 and you will need to remove the tinted windows. An infraction is $197.

Colorado

27%

27%

27%

4"

$500 to $5,000 For a Class B traffic infraction or a misdemeanor traffic offense

Connecticut

35%

35%

ANY

AS1

Fine depends on the history of infractions and driving history, and whether you fix the tint — you risk having your car impounded.

District of Columbia

70%

50%

50%

5"/AS1

$50 up to $1000 fine if not removed within 5 days.

Delaware

70%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$28.75 to $100 fines.

Florida

28%

15%

15%

AS1

Illegal tinting is classified as a non-moving violation and a non-criminal infraction which can result in a fine.

Georgia

32%

32%

32%

6"

$1,000 or up to 12 months in jail.

Hawaii

32%

35%

35%

70% light

$297 per window.

Idaho

35%

20%

35%

AS1

$67 per infraction

Illinois

35%

35%

35%

6"

$50-$500 fine. Second or subsequent violations are class C misdemeanor with $100 - $500 fine.

Indiana

30%

30%

30%

AS1

$500 up to $10,000 for Class C misdemeanor.

Iowa

70%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$127.50

Kansas

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$500 fine for Class C misdemeanor.

Kentucky

35%

18%

18%

AS1

Class B misdemeanor

Louisiana

40%

12%

25%

AS1

$150 for first offense, $250 for second offense, $350 for subsequent offenses.

Maine

35%

ANY

ANY

4"

$100 fine.

Maryland

35%

35%

35%

5"

$50-$1,000 citation.

Massachusetts

35%

35%

35%

6"

Up to $250 fine.

Michigan

4"

ANY

ANY

4"

$95 fine and two points on your license.

Minnesota

50%

50%

50%

NONE

$125 fine.

Mississippi

28%

28%

28%

AS1

$1000, or imprisonment in county jail up to 3 months, or both.

Missouri

35%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$75 per infraction.

Montana

24%

14%

14%

AS1

$500 fine and/or up to 6 months in county jail.

Nebraska

35%

20%

20%

5"/AS1

$100 fine.

Nevada

35%

ANY

ANY

AS1

Over $100 fine.

New Jersey

NONE

ANY

ANY

NONE

$1000 for a first offense, while second window tint ticket could be up to $5,000.

New Hampshire

NONE

35%

35%

6"

$93 fine.

New Mexico

20%

20%

20%

5"/AS1

$75 fine.

New York

70%

70%

ANY

6"

$150 fine.

North Carolina

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$50 fine plus court costs, which total up to about $238.

North Dakota

50%

ANY

ANY

<70%

$20 fine.

Ohio

50%

ANY

ANY

<70%

$100 fine.

Oklahoma

25%

25%

25%

5"/AS1

$5.00 to $500 fine, and/ or imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days.

Oregon

35%

35%

35%

6"

$360 fine.

Pennsylvania

70%

70%

70%

NONE

$110 fine.

Rhode Island

70%

70%

70%

AS1

Up to $250 per offense

South Carolina

27%

27%

27%

AS1

$200 fine or 30 days in prison for each offense.

South Dakota

35%

20%

20%

AS1

Class 2 misdemeanor.

Tennessee

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$100 to $230 or more fine.

Texas

25%

25%

ANY

5"/AS1

$275 fine.

Utah

43%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$50 fine.

Vermont

NONE

32%

ANY

32%

Will cause you to fail an inspection.

Virginia

50%

35%

35%

AS1

$96 per citation.

Washington

24%

24%

24%

6"

$124 fine.

West Virginia

35%

35%

35%

5"

$200 fine.

Wisconsin

50%

35%

35%

AS1

$175 fine.

Wyoming

28%

28%

28%

5"/AS1

$110 fine.

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In many states, if you fix the window tint issue, you can get the ticket dismissed.

Does a Window Tint Ticket Affect Your Car Insurance?

Typically, legal window tinting should not affect your car insurance coverage. Window tinting will only impact your car insurance if your windows are tinted at illegal levels according to your state’s requirements. Tinted windows make it harder to see at night, which can increase your chances of getting into an accident. If you get into an accident while having illegally tinted windows, your insurance premiums will definitely increase. Your insurer may even drop you if you failed to notify them regarding your car modification. You should consider purchasing extra insurance for tinted windows, which will likely increase your car insurance but will keep you legally protected.

(Video) Tint laws In Texas: how dark is too dark?

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Can You Get a Window Tint Ticket Dismissed?

If you get pulled over for a window tint-related traffic offense, the best way to avoid being issued a citation is to have a letter that clears you for being medically exempt. If you do not have a medical exemption, you will have to pay the fines and remove the tint.

In many states, if you fix the window tint issue, you can get the ticket dismissed. When you remove the window tint, you should take pictures of your car windows as proof that the tint was removed. You can also take your car to a tint shop to ensure that you meet your state’s legal requirements (and save your receipt.) In order to dismiss a “fix-it” ticket, you may have to do it within a certain time frame and with an affidavit. For most states, this time frame is typically within two weeks to 30 days.

How To Measure Your Window Tint

Using a tint meter is likely the most efficient and reliable way to assess tint percentage and is used by law enforcement and tinting professionals. Roll your window down halfway and slide the tint meter over the window. The tint meter will display your window’s precise opacity grade and tint percentage. Once you know what your percentage is, you can compare it with your state’s legal tint limit.

Get Personalized Car Insurance Quotes Here

You may get a ticket if your window tint is darker than the legal limit. How much it goes over the legal max will influence your window tint ticket.

FAQs

Why do people tint car windows?

People may tint their car windows to shield them from harmful UV rays, heat and bright sunlight. Others may just like the luxury look of darkly tinted windows. Some people have medical reasons like skin cancer or photosensitivity.

Does car insurance cover tinted windows?

Your insurer may cover damage to your windows, but only if the window tint was from the manufacturer and legal in your state. If you modified your car and didn’t notify your insurance company prior to damage, they may just repair what your policy covers excluding your tint.

Can you get a window tint ticket dismissed?

Yes, you can get a window tint ticket dismissed or reduced if you remove the window tint within a specified time — typically two weeks to a month. If you have a medical exemption you can avoid a ticket. Outside of that, you will likely keep accruing hefty fines and infractions if you do not fix the tint.

(Video) 4 Easy ways to not get a TICKET for ILLEGAL Tint!

Key Takeaways

  • Each state has their own individual regulations and laws regarding tinted car windows.
  • Illegal window tinting can result in tickets or accidents that raise your car insurance rates.
  • Some insurance companies may require windows to be covered under modified car insurance.
(Video) Traffic Safety First Ep. 13: Window Tinting

Get the Right Car Insurance for Tinted Windows

If you just got your windows tinted on your vehicle, you may need to modify your auto insurance. Why not save money on a new policy? Just enter your zip code on this page or call 855.214.2291 to speak with a representative to compare multiple free auto insurance quotes in minutes.

FAQs

Can you get points for window tints? ›

If the front side windows or windscreen are found to be too heavily tinted, drivers are committing an offense. They can then be issued with an Endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice (EFPN) – meaning three points on the driving licence and a fine.

How much is a tint ticket in California? ›

First, a person may be assessed a fine of $25 and be ordered to remove any window tinting on the vehicle. A person could also be charged with an infraction that results in them having to pay $197. There are no points assessed to a person's driving record for window tint violations in California.

How much is a fix it ticket for tinted windows in California? ›

Two things can happen if you violate Vehicle Code 26708. The first is that you may get assessed a fine of $25.00 and ordered to remove any window tinting. The second is that you may get charged with an infraction (as opposed to a misdemeanor or felony) and that you must, as a result, pay a fine of $197.00.

How much is a tint ticket in South Carolina? ›

SC Window tint tickets cost a minimum of $200 and window tint violations can be much more expensive.

How do you get around a tint ticket? ›

If you have sufficient proof that your window tint was either removed or replaced with tint that complies with the state's law, your ticket will be dismissed. You may have to pay a small fee, typically under $100, to cover time and court costs.

What happens if you are caught with illegal tints? ›

If your tinted windows break the law, you could get a penalty notice, court summons or a "prohibition notice" stopping you from using your vehicle on the road until you have the extra tint removed.

Does a tint ticket affect insurance California? ›

A window tint ticket can affect your car insurance rate, just like any other violation on your record. Plus, if your tinted windows are darker than the legal limit and you get into a covered car accident, your insurance company may not pay for all damages to the illegally tinted windows.

Is a 35% tint legal in California? ›

Due to strict California's tinting laws, the 35% tint is illegal. The only way to get a 35% tint on your vehicle is by having a specific disease that requires you a darker tint.

Can I just pay a fix it ticket in California? ›

If you have decided not to provide proof of correction, or if you already have provided proof of correction, but not yet paid, you may pay your traffic ticket now .

How do I get a fix it ticket signed off in California? ›

You can get a ticket signed off for a fee at your local Police station, Sheriff office or Courthouse. If you have a CHP office nearby, they will also sign off your citation and they usually don't charge a fee.

Does 70 tint make a difference? ›

Getting a 70% tint on your windshield can help you to reduce the glare and temperature in your vehicle. A 70% tint on your windshield can help you to reduce the glare and temperature in your vehicle.

How do I get a tint waiver in SC? ›

The Driver must obtain an optometrist or a physician's written certification, indicating that the special window treatment or application is a medical necessity.

What is illegal tint in SC? ›

Front Side windows: Must allow more than 27% of light in. Back Side windows: Must allow more than 27% of light in. Rear Window: Must allow more than 27% of light in.

Is South Carolina strict on tint laws? ›

The laws surrounding window tint are stricter in South Carolina than in some other states, and the penalties are also quite high. The minimum fine for not complying with tinting laws is $200, but you might have to pay more or even spend 30 days in jail if you are a repeat offender.

How much is a tint ticket in Texas? ›

If it's your first ticket, you can be told to remove the tint and fined as little as $20 to $25. If you don't remove the tint and receive a second window tint ticket, your ticket fine, including court costs, could be as much as $275.

Can you tint your front windows? ›

The front windscreen must allow a minimum of 75% of light in at all times. The front side and passenger windows must allow at least 70% in. This means that if you are pulled over and have the tints on an officer will not ask you to remove it or issue a ticket.

Can you have 5 tint in California? ›

California window tint law restricts windshield tint on top 4 inches. Front side windows must have 70% light transmission or more. Back side windows and rear window may have any tint darkness.

Do window tints affect insurance? ›

Do tinted windows affect insurance? Tinted windows won't increase or decrease your insurance cover, provided you ensure that they are legal.

What percentage is light smoke tint? ›

Headlight Armor Smoked Lighting kits are available in three levels of tinting: Light Smoke 50% Standard Smoke 30% Stealth Smoke 20%

Are chameleon tints legal? ›

Chameleon tint is also legal to have on the front windscreen in most vehicles as it lets in more than 75% of the light. If you have any more questions about window or light tinting, you can read our webpage HERE.

Do you have to declare tints on insurance? ›

If you have points on your licence, you are legally obliged to tell your existing insurer and you must declare it when shopping around for a new policy.

Can you get a tint exemption in California? ›

Certain states may still allow tinting on a vehicle's windshield or front passenger window, provided there is a medical necessity for the tint. California, however, is not one of those states, and does not allow for medical exemptions to the state's window tint laws.

What tint percentage can you get away with in California? ›

Window Tint Darkness

The 2022 California window tint laws requirements are for the front windshield and front side windows to have a 70% VLT. California car window tint law has no restriction on how dark the tint on the rear and back side windows can be.

Can people see inside 5% tint? ›

A 5% tint is extremely dark, and you can't see through it at all. This is actually illegal in most states but is most commonly used on the back windows of limousines.

Is 35 or 50 tint darker? ›

Because less light can get through, the window tint with 35% VLT will look darker than the 50% VLT. If you want to upgrade your ride with dark, sleek windows, make sure you choose a low VLT percentage.

What tint is the darkest? ›

A 5% is the darkest tint you can get, and you can't see through 5% tinted car windows at all. In most states, a 5% tint is illegal. It's most commonly used on the back windows of private cars and limousines.

Is 30% a dark tint? ›

Is 30 percent tint dark? A vehicle with a 30% tint will give you a darker appearance but is still very easy to see through making it one of the most popular tint shades. It is considered a medium shade as it is right between 5% which is the darkest and 50% which is a very light tint and considered clear by most.

Is 20 tint illegal in California? ›

California Window Tinting Laws. California window tint law restricts windshield tint on top 4 inches. Front side windows must have 70% light transmission or more. Back side windows and rear window may have any tint darkness.

Do you get points for illegal tints UK? ›

What's The Penalty? If your front side windows or windscreen are found to be too heavily tinted, you are committing an offense. You can be issued with an Endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice (EFPN) – meaning your license will be endorsed with 3 points, plus you will be served a £60 fine.

What is the fine for tinted windows in NJ? ›

Penalties for violating the window tint law

Violation of the New Jersey tint law will result in a maximum $1,000 fine for the first offense, and $5,000 for the second and any subsequent offenses.

Can you get pulled over for tint in MD? ›

Can You Get Pulled Over for Tint in Maryland? The answer is yes. If your windows look too dark, or the police suspect them of being lower than is legally permissible, you may find yourself pulled over and facing a ticket.

Do I have to tell my insurance about tinted windows? ›

As with any modification, insurers need to know. Whatever the change people are making, I always advise them to ask their insurer beforehand. It's an easy way of preventing any unpleasant surprises. You must tell your insurer even if you're tinting rear glass to improve security or protect young kids from the sun.

What is the darkest tint you can get legally? ›

Legal Window Tint
  • There are no federal laws governing windshield tint. ...
  • Window tint percentage is measured by visible light transmittance (VLT), or the amount of light passing through the windows. ...
  • Most new vehicles come with factory tint already installed. ...
  • 
  • Most manufacturer's tint will be no darker than 70 percent VLT.
9 Apr 2021

How do I pass inspection with tinted windows in NJ? ›

In NJ the rules are simple - no tint film at all on front windshield or either front side window. Period. Rear windows, sides and farthest back can be tinted as dark as the owner wants BUT cannot be mirror finished, metallic finished or be reflective in any way.

Can a cop pull you over for tinted windows in NJ? ›

The state first passed a law banning windshield obstructions in 1921, but it does allow transparent rear window tinting. New Jersey police pulled over David L. Smith in 2018 for an alleged tinted window violation and arrested him when they found a gun.

How do I get a tint waiver in MD? ›

You can download the Maryland Tint Exemption Form at the Maryland State Police's website or the Maryland Department of Health's Website.

How much is a tint ticket in Maryland? ›

How much is a tint ticket in Maryland? Any of these violations are subject to a $50 citation. Violators also have to go to an official District Inspection Station within 5 business days after or else they may be fined up to $1,000.

How do I pass inspection with tinted windows in Maryland? ›

Windows on the driver and right front passenger doors with add-on window tint must have at least 35 percent light transmittance. All other windows can be tinted to any degree of darkness.

How much is a tint ticket in NY 2022? ›

How Much Are NY Tint Fines? If your windows do not meet the 70% light threshold, you can face fines up to $150 for windows that are too dark. Police can issue one ticket for all non-compliant windows or tickets for each window failing to meet regulations.

How do I get a tint exemption in NY? ›

NY Window Tint law- Medical Exemption

To apply for authorization from the DMV, The Driver must obtain a letter signed by a physician or optometrist indicating that the special window treatment or application is a medical necessity.

How do you get around the tint law in NY? ›

Here are the reasons or ways that you can get around the law and get an exemption, keep in mind, these are all listed as medical reasons and you will need a form signed by your doctor.
...
What are the 3 ways that you can 'get around' the NYS Window Tint law?
  1. Porphyria.
  2. Xeroderma pigmentosum.
  3. Severe Drug Photosensitivity.
15 Feb 2022

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