What Is the Legal Percentage of Window Tint in California

What Is the Legal Percentage of Window Tint in California?

Window tinting is a popular modification for vehicles that offers numerous benefits such as privacy, protection from harmful UV rays, and improved aesthetics. However, each state has its own regulations when it comes to the legal percentage of window tint allowed on vehicles. In California, there are specific guidelines that drivers must adhere to in order to stay within the boundaries of the law.

In California, the legal percentage of window tint varies depending on the type of window. The front side windows (driver and passenger) must allow at least 70% of light to pass through. This means that the tint must only block 30% or less of the light. Rear side windows and the rear windshield, on the other hand, can have any darkness level of tint. This means that you can apply any percentage of window tint to these windows, as long as you have functioning side mirrors on both sides of the vehicle.

It’s important to note that the darkness of the tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage, which refers to the amount of visible light that penetrates the glass. The lower the VLT percentage, the darker the window tint.


Q: Can I have a darker window tint if I have a medical condition that requires it?
A: Yes, California allows individuals with specific medical conditions to be exempt from the window tint regulations. However, you must obtain a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating the nature of your condition and the required VLT percentage. The certificate must be kept in the vehicle at all times.

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Q: Are there any exceptions to the window tint regulations?
A: Yes, there are some exceptions. For example, if your vehicle was manufactured with tinted windows, you are allowed to keep the original tint. Additionally, certain commercial vehicles, such as limousines and buses, have different regulations that allow for darker window tints.

Q: Can I get pulled over for having window tint that is too dark?
A: Yes, law enforcement officers have the right to pull you over if they suspect your window tint is too dark. If you are found to be in violation of the window tint regulations, you may be issued a fix-it ticket or a citation.

Q: Can I apply window tint to my front windshield?
A: California law only allows for a non-reflective tint along the top four inches of the front windshield. This tint must not extend below the AS-1 line, which is the topmost part of the windshield where the manufacturer’s logo or information is typically located.

Q: Can I remove window tint myself?
A: Yes, you can remove window tint yourself. However, it may be a tedious and time-consuming process. Using a heat gun, a razor blade, and a lot of patience, you can carefully peel off the tint. It is recommended to consult a professional if you are unsure or not confident in your abilities.

In conclusion, the legal percentage of window tint in California is 70% for the front side windows, while there are no restrictions for the rear side windows and rear windshield. It’s essential to comply with these regulations to avoid any legal consequences. If you have a medical condition requiring darker window tint, you can obtain an exemption certificate from a licensed physician. Be aware of the exceptions and remember to always carry the necessary documents in your vehicle.

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