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Many car owners opt to add aftermarket tinting to their vehicles – meaning they add extra tinting to what the car comes off the lot with. They choose to do this because tinting your car windows has numerous benefits. For example, an appropriate amount of car window tint helps keep the inside of your vehicle cooler when the weather turns blistering hot. It also helps reduce fading on seats and dash, which keeps your car’s interior looking brand new for longer.

Many people are unaware, however, that tint can also get you in trouble. If it is too dark, in fact, it could be potentially illegal in the state you current reside.

State Window Tint Laws

Each state has their own set of window tinting laws, which can vary slightly in regards to an appropriate darkness. States boasting warmer year-round climates, like Florida and California, typically allow more tinting than northern states with cooler climates. These laws aren’t set in place “just because,” either, but are designed to keep you, and everyone else on the road, safe.

When window tinting is too dark, it can pose some serious visibility issues, which are most prominent at night, or on gloomy, cloudy days. Not only will you have issues seeing outside your car with tinting being the obvious primary problem, but excess car window tint also causes your interior to become drastically darker. The dark interior can become an issue when it becomes a distraction, or lowers the lighting to a degree where the driver has difficulty seeing inside the vehicle itself.

Upon hearing these issues, they become obvious reasons for window tint regulations. But, there is another not-so-obvious reason many states have tinting laws in place. When tinted too darkly, it becomes impossible to see anything going on inside the car. While this may not sound like a big deal to you, it can be a very big deal to police officers making traffic stops. Unable to see into your car, officers are unable to detect whether you pose them a real threat.


Penalties for illegal car window tinting vary, based on the state and degree of tinting. Common penalties, however, include:

  • Fines, ranging upwards of $50
  • Community service time
  • Impoundment of your vehicle

If you do not pay or serve the penalties set, the situation could get worse, and include heavier fines, loss of your license, and even jail time.  


Keeping all this in mind, you can now see why it is imperative you research your state’s car window tint laws before deciding to add tint. Although tinting your car windows does serve multiple purposes, these benefits are certainly not worth the price you could potentially pay for having illegally tinted windows.

If you are unsure of your window’s current tint, you can take it to a certified dealership or tint installation service. They should be able to tell you the degree of tinting your car current has. From there, you can decide if you can legally add additional tinting.

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