Home Articles Window Tint Laws in the USA —How Dark Can You Go?

Window Tint Laws in the USA —How Dark Can You Go?


Comfort is one of the most important things that most car owners strive to maintain. However, privacy issues, excess illumination, heat, and stares from strangers are why many people find it imperative to tint their car windows. Whether it’s an old or new car, window tinting improves a person’s comfort and aesthetic appeal of their car.

So, how dark can you go? Starting with the benefits of window tinting, here are some important guiding pointers you should have in mind.

Why Tint Your Windows?

If you’ve been a car enthusiast for a while, you will most likely agree to it that the benefits of window tinting cannot be overstated. In addition to privacy, car window tints also offer added protection from UV rays of the sun, not forgetting that they can enhance road safety by reducing glares from the same or light from other vehicles while on the road. Moreover, window tints can go a long way in lowering interior temperatures, thus increasing comfort. 

Tinting Is Regulated

In most parts of the globe, window tinting for cars is permitted. However, there are limitations as to how far you can go. In the U.S., each and every state has its own set of specific laminations. In other words, each and every state has a legal tint limit that road users and car owners should adhere to.

This limit is basically determined by the levels (in percentage) of VLT, or Visible Light Transmission able to pass through the windows. On this note, the higher the percentage, the higher the amount of light passing through the windows. This means that a lower VLT percentage means a darker window.

How Dark Is Too Dark

The minimum allowable VLT may vary from one state to the other in the USA. In most states, however, front window tints for both the passenger and the driver should not go below 50% VLT. Conversely, rear and back window tints should be VLT 35% and above. The slight difference is because the front portion (cabin) of the car is where more light is needed for a safe and convenient ride.


If your car’s windows are tinted too dark, it may affect visibility, thus making it less safe to drive, especially at night. This increases your likelihood of hitting a pedestrian or being involved in a car crash. Additionally, in case there’s a traffic stop, law enforcement officers need to see the occupants in the vehicle, which is part of ensuring their own safety. 

The Repercussions of Tinting Too Dark

It is also worth noting that traffic law enforcement officers have the right to pull you over at any time if they believe that your car window tints are too dark. They are often equipped with devices that can perform tint analysis and tell exactly how dark your windows are.

If you’re found at fault, it is considered a crime and you might find yourself liable to a penalty, alongside being required to remove your tint and replace it with a more appropriate one. Some may find these laws draconian but in all honesty, legal tint limitations are set for the good and safety of the vehicle.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown
– A keen writer covering topics such as Internet Marketing, SEO, Travel, Beauty and such. She enjoys spending time with her two kids in her past time.