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Window Tint Laws in California

Window tints are popular because they serve several purposes and make cars look more attractive. Along with providing some privacy, the main objective of window tinting is to block out sun and heat, keeping the inside of the vehicle cooler than it would be otherwise.

While everyone is allowed to tint their vehicles, California, like many other states, imposes laws concerning tints. Not only does the violation of the window tint law put drivers at risk of fines, but it can also affect accident claims in the event of a collision. 

What Does VLT Mean in California?

VLT, or visible light transmission, refers to the amount of light a tint allows into the vehicle. The VLT is represented by a percentage. The lower the number, the less light the tint lets in, and the darker the tint appears. 

Every state has a different allowable percentage of VLT for vehicle window tints. In California, the tint’s VLT depends on the type of vehicle and window. 

California Window Tint Laws for All Vehicles

Many states have different requirements for window tints depending on whether the vehicle is a passenger vehicle, like a sedan, or a multipurpose vehicle, like a truck, van, or SUV. In California, tint laws are the same for passenger and multipurpose vehicles. 

The California-specific requirements for vehicle tints are as follows:

  • Front windshield: A non-reflective tint is only allowed on the top four inches of the front windshield, which means that the entire windshield cannot be tinted
  • Front side windows: Up to 88% VLT if it’s aftermarket tint, but up to 70% darkness if it’s incorporated with factory-tinted windows
  • Back side windows: Any percentage of tint darkness is allowed
  • Rear window: Any percentage of tint darkness is allowed

After purchasing or leasing any passenger or multi-use vehicle, it’s important to familiarize yourself with California law if interested in window tinting. Following the law can help you avoid potential legal trouble in the future. 

Reflection for Window Tints in California

Like reflective sunglasses, window tints can also come with a metallic sheen to them, making them reflective. Reflective tints can further help block out sunlight and reduce glare. California law also has rules for tint reflection.

In California, tint reflection for any window cannot be more than that of a standard window. This means that owners are not allowed to add additional reflective material to their vehicle’s windows.

Other California Rules and Regulations for Window Tints

Along with darkness and reflectiveness, California law has additional rules and regulations regarding window tints:

  • Restricted colors: Tints come in colors, including amber, red, and blue, but California law does not allow colored tints on any vehicle
  • Side mirrors: If the rear window is tinted, dual-sided mirrors are required
  • Certificate requirements: Tint manufacturers are required to certify their films, and drivers are required to keep such certificates in their vehicles
  • Sticker requirements: State law requires either a certificate or a sticker from the installing company with the manufacturer’s name and address
  • Medical exceptions: California law allows for medical exceptions if an individual requires darker tints 

These additional considerations are essential, as failing to abide by them can also result in repercussions and fines. 

Can Window Tints Affect a California Car Accident Claim?

If you’re involved in a car accident and the responsible driver had illegal tints, it could help prove the driver’s fault. For example, if the collision occurred at night, you could argue that the dark tints made it difficult for the driver to drive safely.

When you’re injured in a collision, rely on a California car accident attorney to assist you. An experienced lawyer can obtain certain evidence, like evidence of illegal tints, to help build your case and reach a favorable outcome.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(855) 599-2987

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Office
350 S Figueroa St Suite 276
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(877) 751-8953

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