Tempe Car Window Tinting
Some people believe that car window tinting keeps the temperature inside a car cooler, while others just think window tinting makes a car look cooler. And in some cases, drivers or passengers may have a legally recognizable medical need to have tinted vehicle windows, even when the tint level would otherwise violate their state’s vehicle code.
Whatever your reason for wanting Tempe Window Tinting on your car, truck, or another passenger vehicle, you should get familiar with laws that regulate vehicle window tinting, as well as exemptions from those laws. Here you will find basic information on window tinting laws, “medical necessity” exemptions, and more.
Car Window Tinting Basics
What is “window tinting” when it comes to cars, trucks, SUVs, and other passenger vehicles? In practical terms, “window tinting” refers to methods that prevent certain levels of light from passing through the safety glass — meaning the windshield, side windows, and rear window of a vehicle.
The safety glass on most newer cars and passenger vehicles has been coated or treated so that some degree of window tinting is in place, to keep out harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays. This tinting is done during the manufacturing process and is almost always in compliance with federal and state window tinting laws and regulations.
But window tinting can also be done after a vehicle has been manufactured and sold (or “after-market,” in the vernacular). And it is when these modifications are made — often by a private “customizing” company or by the vehicle’s owner him/herself — that window tint laws are most often violated.
Car Window Tint Laws
Car window tinting is almost always regulated under state law, and the applicable statutes can usually be found in a state’s vehicle or traffic code.
Your state’s vehicle code may consider “window tinting” to include:
- Heat-shrinking a tinted sheet of film to a vehicle’s windshield or window, usually on the inside surface of the glass. This is usually done “after-market.”
- “Shade bands,” usually meaning a thin, horizontal strip of tint at the top of a vehicle’s windshield, where it meets the vehicle roof.
- Sunscreen devices that are temporarily affixed to the inside surface of a vehicle’s windshield, side windows, or rear window (i.e. a plastic shade device on a passenger side window, held in place with suction cups).
Most state laws on vehicle window tinting are concerned mainly with the levels of “light transmittance” or “luminous reflectance” that the vehicle’s safety glass allows — meaning how much light can get through and how much visibility the glass allows.
So, if the windows on a vehicle are tinted to such a degree that the amount of light that can come through is below the amount identified under state law (i.e. 75% light transmittance), then the vehicle does not comply with the state’s vehicle code, and the vehicle’s owner will be issued a citation. Many state vehicle codes contain different light transmittance requirements for the vehicle’s front windshield when compared with standards for the vehicle’s side and rear windows.
Finally, most state vehicle codes specify that no vehicle windshield or window may contain opaque or mirrored material, or “one-way” glass.