Automotive window tinting has been around for a long time. In fact, laws were enacted back in 1999 to limit the amount of tinting allowed on vehicles. If you’re planning to tint your car, truck or SUV windows, you need to consider just how dark is too dark for your windows.
The Level of Darkness Allowed in California
Tinting is defined by VLT, or Visible Light Transmission, and it is calculated by percentage. So, for example, a window with 40 percent VLT allows 40 percent of the light through. The amount allowed by California is very specific and varies depending on if your car is a sedan versus a van or SUV.
For sedans, the windshield may have non-reflective tint on the top four inches of the window, and front side windows must let over 88 percent of light in (or have a VLT of 70 percent or higher). Any amount of darkness can be used on the rear side windows and the rear window; vans and SUVs have the same requirements as sedans in that respect.
Tint Reflection Allowed in California
Tinting for windows reflects light while reducing the amount of glare which drivers experience. The laws governing reflection state that tinting cannot be more reflective than what would be seen in a standard window.
Too much reflection could hamper a person’s ability to see and could lead to an accident. It’s important to know the limits to ensure safety.
Other Rules and Regulations for Tinting
If a window is tinted, dual side mirrors must be mounted and in working order. Tinted windows cannot be red, blue or amber. Side windows can only use colorless tint. The driver must have the certificate for the tint, and stickers from the installation company must be displayed on the vehicle.
If a person requires different tinting than what is allowed by law, they must present the requirement from their physician. The state will allow a medical exception in certain cases.
Many people choose to tint windows because it enhances the image of the vehicle. However, there are also practical reasons to get windows tinted. For instance, it can reduce the amount of heat in the vehicle, which protects the upholstery from fading and cracking. It also reduces the glare of the sun when a person is driving.
Tinted windows make it easier to keep the vehicle cooler when you’re driving, which increases passengers’ comfort level. Tinted windows are also less likely to shatter in an accident, which means less injury from impact.
To ensure your tinting meets state laws and regulations, work with a professional auto tinting service. They will know the latest California laws and ensure their work is high-quality.
Tinted windows not only look sleek but are practical as well. Make sure you know how dark is too dark, what kind of tinting works for you, and that your tinting plan meets the requirements of the state before you have it installed.
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