Posted By Vinyl Frog On June 17, 2023
Texas Window Tint Laws - Everything You Need to Know
The Texas window tint laws govern the darkness and reflectivity of window tinting on vehicles, with the aim to promote road safety while allowing vehicle owners to personalize their rides within certain limits. These were enacted in 2009 with specific rules regarding the visual light transmission through the windows, exemptions and other issues.
Understanding the precise regulations established by the state is crucial to avoid legal repercussions and ensure compliance. This comprehensive guide explores the key provisions of Texas tint laws, including permissible tint darkness levels, reflectivity limits, and exceptions.
What Are The Tint Laws In Texas?
In Texas, the permissible tint darkness level is determined by the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. VLT refers to the amount of light that can pass through the tint film. Lower VLT percentage indicates a darker tint.
The law also clearly states that the tint on the vehicle windows should not be red, amber, or blue in color. The rules mentioned apply to vehicles owned by the citizens, may they be minis, sedans, SUVs or vans. Below are the acceptable VLT percentages for different windows of the vehicle according to the law in Texas:
- Window tint of 25% or more VLT is allowed along the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or the top five inches of the windshield. Tinting below this line is strictly prohibited. This is actually quite beneficial for the drivers as it blocks the sun’s glare and bright light from other vehicles and they are able to see the road ahead clearly.
- The reflectivity of this tint should not be more than 25%.
- It is allowed to apply a perfectly clear, un-tinted UV film anywhere on the front windshield. You do not need a medical exemption document for it.
Front Side Windows
- According to the Texas law, a tint film with 25% VLT or more can be applied to the front side windows that are to the right and left of the driver. It should not be darker than this.
- The reflectivity of the tint should not be more than 25%.
Rear Side Windows
- There are no restrictions on the tint darkness level for rear side windows both the right and the left ones. Vehicle owners can choose any level of tint darkness for these.
Similar to rear side windows, there are no specific limitations on the tint darkness level for the rear windshield. Vehicle owners have the freedom to apply the tint of any VLT percentage. However, there are certain conditions that must be met to avail this rule:
- The vehicle should be equipped with side mirrors that give the driver the view of the roadway for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle.
- If the vehicle does not have side mirrors then the window tint on the rear windshield should not have less than 25% VLT.
- Without mirrors, the reflectivity of the window tint should also be 25% or less.
Tint Light Reflectance Law in Texas
In addition to darkness levels, Texas tint laws also regulate the reflectivity or the mirror-like properties of window tinting. Excessive reflectivity can blind other drivers and impair visibility, leading to dangerous driving conditions. The regulations for window tint reflectivity in Texas are as follows:
- Reflective tint is permitted on front side windows, but it must not exceed 25%.
- There are no restrictions on the reflectivity level for rear side windows. However, it is recommended to use tints with minimal reflectivity to ensure optimal visibility.
Exceptions And Special Considerations In The Texas Window Tint Laws
Individuals with specific medical conditions that require limited exposure to sunlight can apply for a medical exemption. However, this exemption is only granted upon obtaining written certification from a licensed physician or optometrist. With this, you can get permission to apply tints having VLT below 25%, that also for the two front side windows only but not the windshield.
The medical exemption statement should specifically identify the driver of the vehicle that has the medical condition and it should clearly state why it is necessary to apply a tint darker than the one specified by the law. The document should remain in the vehicle at all times so that it could be shown upon demand by a law enforcement officer. It should also be shown when the vehicle is presented for annual inspection.
Certain vehicles are exempted from following the tint laws in Texas. These include:
- Those belonging to the law enforcement agencies. These are the ones that are to be used for the purpose of enforcing laws and can easily be identified.
- Vehicles that are used for medical purposes are also exempted from following Texas window tint laws such as ambulances.
- Also exempted from the window tint laws in Texas are the vehicles owned by transport agencies. These are the ones intended for passenger transportation such as limousines, buses, and taxis.
Legal Consequences Of Non-Compliance With The Texas Window Tint Laws
Not following the tint laws in Texas can result in legal consequences. Law enforcement officers may issue citations and require vehicle owners to remove or adjust illegal tint. Additionally, driving a vehicle with illegal tint can impact insurance coverage and lead to increased premiums. Therefore, ensuring compliance with the regulations is vital to avoid these issues.
The law enforcement officer might give you a ticket if the tint is not according to the law. How much you will be charged depends on different factors such as:
- How much darker your tint is than the given limit.
- If you have received any tickets before.
- If yes, then was the tint removed or not.
Therefore, if it’s your first tint you can be charged around $20 to $25 and would be asked to remove the tint. In case, if you didn’t remove the tint after receiving the first ticket, the second one would cost you much more including the court fees that would cost you around $300.
State officials have clearly mentioned these rules to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and the public to avoid any incidents that may occur on the road due to dark tints. Also it helps the police authorities to detect any suspicious activity happening in the vehicle.
The Law Of Labeling The Window Tint
In Texas, the law requires you to label the window tint. The sticker should be placed between the film and the window on the driver’s side of the vehicle. It should be legible, and clearly state the VLT percentage and reflectivity of the window tint. The manufacturer or the installer of the window tint will provide this label. It should certify that the tint complies with the light transmission and luminous reflectance specifications stated by the Texas law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Texas Window Tint Laws - Final Words
It is highly important to follow the regulations of the state. By adhering to the approved levels of tint darkness and reflectivity, individuals can prioritize a safe driving experience. Non-compliance with these laws may lead to citations, the need to remove or modify illegal tint, and potential insurance coverage complications.
Texas tint laws strike a balance between vehicle customization and road safety. By familiarizing themselves with the regulations, vehicle owners can personalize their vehicles within the permissible limits, avoid potential legal issues, and actively participate in creating a safer driving environment for everyone.
Check out the window tints available at Vinyl Frog. These are premium quality films that can easily be applied on your vehicle’s windows while conforming to the related law in Texas. You will get maximum protection, privacy and a car that looks sleek and glamorous.