Texas Window Tinting Laws: Know Your Limits and Stay Legal

Car enthusiasts and drivers who prioritize privacy and protection often turn to window tinting for their vehicles. Tinted windows not only enhance the aesthetics of a car but also offer various functional benefits, such as reducing glare and heat inside the vehicle. However, before you rush to get your car windows tinted, it’s essential to be well-informed about the regulations governing window tinting in your state.

Window Tint Darkness in Texas

The darkness of your car’s window tint is measured by VLT (Visible Light Transmission), which indicates the percentage of visible light allowed through the windows. In Texas, the allowed VLT percentage is specific and varies for different types of vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, and vans.

Texas Window Tinting Laws
Texas Window Tinting Laws

Tint Darkness for Sedans

  • Windshield: A 25% VLT tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or the top 5 inches, with less than 25% reflection.
  • Front Side Windows: These windows must allow more than 25% of light to pass through.
  • Back Side Windows: Any level of darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any level of darkness can be used, but if the rear window is tinted darker than 25% VLT, side outside mirrors are required.

Tint Darkness for SUVs and Vans

  • Windshield: Similar to sedans, a 25% VLT tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or the top 5 inches, with less than 25% reflection.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 25% of light to pass through.
  • Back Side Windows: Any level of darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any level of darkness can be used, but if the rear window is tinted darker than 25% VLT, side outside mirrors are required.

Window Tint Reflection in Texas

Window tint can also have reflective properties that reduce glare and heat from incoming light. However, Texas imposes certain limits on the level of reflection allowed for window tints.

Tint Reflection for Sedans, SUVs, and Vans

  • Front Side Windows: The tint on these windows must not be more than 25% reflective.
  • Back Side Windows: The tint on these windows must not be more than 25% reflective.

Other Texas Window Tint Rules and Regulations

Apart from tint darkness and reflection, there are additional important laws and regulations that Texas imposes on window tinting. Make sure to consider these factors before getting your car windows tinted:

  • Side Mirrors: If the rear window is tinted, dual side mirrors are required to ensure proper visibility.
  • Restricted Colors: Texas prohibits the use of tint colors like red, blue, and amber on windshields. These colors may obstruct the driver’s view and compromise road safety.
  • Certification: Film manufacturers must certify the tint they sell in the state. When getting your windows tinted, ensure that the film used is certified and complies with Texas law.
  • Stickers: To identify legal tinting, a sticker is required between the film and glass on the driver’s side window. This sticker helps law enforcement officers determine if your tint complies with the legal requirements.
  • Medical Exceptions: Texas makes provisions for medical exemptions, allowing individuals with specific medical conditions to use special tint. If you believe you qualify for a medical exemption, consult Texas tint laws to understand the terms and requirements.

Know Your Local Regulations

It’s essential to recognize that interpretations of Texas tinting laws may vary in different counties or places of residence. While this article provides a comprehensive overview of the state’s regulations, local authorities may have specific nuances and additional rules that apply.

To ensure you comply with all the relevant laws, we strongly recommend double-checking the information with your local DMV or law enforcement authorities before tinting your car windows.

Key Takeaway

Window tinting can enhance the appearance and comfort of your vehicle, but it’s crucial to abide by the law. In Texas, specific regulations dictate the darkness and reflectiveness of car window tints. Sedans, SUVs, and vans have different tinting requirements, so be sure to choose the right tint for your vehicle type.

Remember the key points:

  • VLT Darkness: Sedans, SUVs, and vans have varying allowances for window tint darkness. Make sure your chosen tint complies with Texas law.
  • Reflection Limits: Window tints must not exceed 25% reflectiveness on front and back side windows.
  • Additional Regulations: Consider factors like side mirrors, restricted colors, tint certification, and the required sticker for legal tinting.
  • Medical Exemptions: Texas offers medical exemptions for special tint in certain cases. If you qualify, understand the terms and conditions of the exemption.
  • Local Variations: Always check with local authorities to ensure you adhere to any additional rules specific to your area.

With this knowledge, you can confidently get your car windows tinted, knowing that you are staying within the bounds of the law and enjoying the benefits of tinted windows in Texas. Drive safely, comfortably, and with peace of mind.

Tint law references:

Texas Department of Public Safety

Texas Administrative Code, Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 21: RULE §21.3 – Standards for Sunscreening and Privacy Window Devices

Texas Department of Public Safety – Application for window tint medical exemption

FAQs on Window Tint in Texas

What is the darkest tint allowed in Texas?

In Texas, the darkest tint allowed for car windows varies depending on the type of vehicle. For sedans, the rear window can have any darkness of tint, but if the tint is darker than 25% VLT (Visible Light Transmission), the side outside mirrors are required. For SUVs and vans, the same rules apply.

Is 35% tint legal in Texas?

Yes, 35% tint is legal in Texas for the front side windows and the back side windows of both sedans and SUVs or vans. However, the rear window can have any level of darkness, as long as it is paired with side outside mirrors if the tint is darker than 25% VLT.

Will I get pulled over for 20% tint in Texas?

Possibly. In Texas, the front side windows of both sedans and SUVs or vans must allow more than 25% of light to pass through. So, if you have 20% tint on the front side windows, it is darker than what is legally allowed, and you may get pulled over and fined.

Can you tint your front windshield in texas?

In Texas, you can tint your front windshield, but there are specific regulations:

  • You can tint the top few inches of the front windshield (above the AS-1 line) with a non-reflective tint.
  • The rest of the front windshield, below the AS-1 line, should not be tinted.
  • For the front side windows (driver and passenger), at least 25% of light must be allowed to pass through the tint.
  • Tint on the rear side windows and rear window can be darker, but if you use a reflective tint, it should not reflect more than 25% of light.

Always check with local authorities for the most up-to-date tinting regulations to ensure compliance.

Is 70% tint legal in Texas?

Yes, 70% tint is legal in Texas for all windows, including the front side windows, back side windows, and rear window, for both sedans and SUVs or vans. It allows more than enough light to pass through and complies with the state’s regulations.

Is 15 percent tint legal in Texas?

No, 15% tint is not legal in Texas for the front side windows of both sedans and SUVs or vans. The law requires these windows to allow more than 25% of light transmission, so 15% tint is too dark and can lead to potential fines or citations.

Is ceramic tint legal in Texas?

Yes, ceramic tint is legal in Texas as long as it adheres to the state’s regulations regarding tint darkness and reflectiveness. The type of tint (ceramic, dyed, or metallic) is not the primary concern; rather, it’s the VLT percentage and reflection levels that matter.

Is 5 percent tint legal in Texas?

No, 5% tint is not legal in Texas for the front side windows of both sedans and SUVs or vans. Again, these windows must allow more than 25% of light to pass through, so 5% tint is much darker than what is legally permitted and can result in legal consequences if used.

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