New York State Window Tinting Laws: What You Need to Know

Are you a vehicle owner in New York State? If so, it’s crucial to be aware of the state’s window tinting laws that could impact your vehicle’s compliance during motor vehicle inspections. Window tinting laws are not just about aesthetics; they also play a significant role in ensuring road safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. In this article, we’ll delve into the essential details of New York State’s window tinting regulations, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and exemptions.

What is New York State Window Tinting Laws?

New York State has implemented specific regulations to control the darkness of vehicle windows. These laws are defined under Section 375 (12-a) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law and have been in effect since January 1st, 2017. As a vehicle owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your windows comply with these rules to avoid potential fines and inspection issues.

new york state window tint laws
New York state window tint laws

The Basics of New York State Window Tinting Laws

Windshield and Front Side Windows

Under New York State law, the windshield and front side windows must not be excessively dark. They are required to allow a minimum of 70% of light from the outside to pass through the window. This regulation ensures that drivers have a clear view of the road and surrounding areas, enhancing overall road safety.

Rear Window and Rear Side Windows

Similar to the front windows, the rear window must also allow at least 70% of light from the outside to pass through. Additionally, the same requirement applies to the rear side windows if the vehicle falls into any of the following categories:

Station Wagon
Sedan
Hardtop
Coupe
Hatchback
Convertible

A vehicle falls into one of these categories if it is labeled as a “Passenger Car” on the Federal ID label located on the left front door panel.

Exterior Rear-View Mirrors

If your vehicle’s rear window tint does not comply with the 70% light transmittance rule, it can be exempted if your car has outside rear-view mirrors on both sides. These mirrors must provide the driver with a full and clear view behind the vehicle.

Illegal Practices

New York State strictly prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or installation of glass that does not comply with the window tinting laws. Similarly, operating a vehicle with non-compliant window tint is also illegal and can result in penalties.

Window Tinting Exemptions for Medical Conditions

While New York State’s window tinting laws are stringent, they do allow exemptions for individuals with certain medical conditions that require protection from direct sunlight. If you have any of the following medical conditions, you may request an exemption from the law using the “Application for Tinted Window Exemption (MV-80W)”:

  1. Albinism
  2. Chronic Actinic Dermatitis/Actinic Reticuloid
  3. Dermatomyositis
  4. Lupus Erythematosus
  5. Porphyria
  6. Xeroderma (Pigmentosa) Pigmentosum
  7. Severe Drug Photosensitivity (provided the treatment causing photosensitivity is expected to be of prolonged duration)
  8. Photophobia associated with an ophthalmic or neurological disorder
  9. Any other condition or disorder causing severe photosensitivity that requires shielding from direct sunlight for medical reasons.

Staying Compliant with the Law

To ensure you comply with New York State’s window tinting laws, consider the following steps:

Inspect Your Window Tinting: Regularly inspect your vehicle’s window tint to verify it meets the state’s requirements. You can seek professional assistance to measure the light transmittance.

Seek Medical Exemption, if Applicable: If you have a medical condition that requires tinted windows, apply for an exemption using the designated form (MV-80W). This will prevent any unnecessary legal issues during vehicle inspections.

Choose the Right Tint: If you plan to install window tint, ensure it adheres to the 70% light transmittance rule for front and rear windows, as well as rear side windows for applicable vehicle types.

Avoid Illegal Practices: Never purchase or install window tint that does not comply with the law. Additionally, refrain from operating a vehicle with non-compliant window tint.

Conclusion

Understanding New York State’s window tinting laws is essential for all vehicle owners in the region. These laws have been put in place to enhance road safety and ensure drivers have a clear view of their surroundings. As of January 1st, 2017, compliance with the 70% light transmittance rule for front and rear windows is mandatory. Exemptions are available for individuals with specific medical conditions, provided they apply for an exemption using the MV-80W form.

Keep your vehicle’s windows in check, stay compliant with the law, and enjoy a safe driving experience in the beautiful state of New York!

Reference

New York Department of Motor Vehicles – Tinted windows

New York DMV

FAQs on window tint in New York

What is the darkest legal window tint in New York?

The darkest legal window tint in New York is one that allows at least 70% of light to pass through. This applies to both the front and rear windows of your vehicle.That means the windshield and front side windows of your vehicle cannot block more than 30% of the light.

Can you have 30 tint in NY?

No, you cannot have 30% tint in New York. The state law requires that your window tint should allow at least 70% of light to pass through, so 30% tint would not be compliant with the regulations.

Is 70 tint legal in NY?

Yes, 70% tint is legal in New York. It meets the state’s requirement for window tint, which mandates a minimum of 70% light transmittance for both front and rear windows.

Can you get pulled over for tinted windows in NY?

Yes, you can get pulled over for tinted windows in New York if your window tint does not comply with the state’s regulations. Law enforcement officers may conduct inspections and issue tickets if your window tint is too dark, obstructing visibility, or not meeting the required light transmittance. It’s essential to ensure your window tint adheres to the legal standards to avoid potential fines or penalties.

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