Window Tint Laws in California: What You Need to Know

Are you looking for an affordable way to enhance the look and feel of your car? If so, Precision Auto Spa’s automotive window tinting services could be the perfect solution for you. But before you go blacking out your car’s windows, you need to understand window tint laws in California.

To avoid hefty fines and penalties, here’s everything you need to know about the Golden State’s window tinting laws.

The Basics of California Window Tint Laws 

Whether you drive an SUV, sedan, van, or truck, you must abide by California’s window tinting laws. 

In a nutshell:

• 70% of light must be able to come through factory-tinted front side windows

• Rear and back side windows can be tinted as dark as desired

• Must have dual-side mirrors if tinting rear and back windows

• Blue, red, or amber-colored tints are illegal

Window Tint Darkness

The percentage of Visible Light Transmission or VLT determines window tint darkness. This measurement reflects the rate of light that can penetrate the window tint. The lower the VLT is, the darker the shade will be.

Your windshield and front side windows in California must have a 70% VLT for factory tint. Aftermarket tint must allow more than 88% of light in. That’s because drivers need a clear view of the road ahead. Remember that you cannot tint the top four inches of your windshield and front side windows. Called the “eyebrow,” this area can only be upgraded with non-reflective tint. 

California has no VLT restrictions for back-side or rear windows. Tinted rear windows are required to have dual-sided mirrors. This helps you maintain a better view of the road behind you.

Medical Exemptions

California does have a medical exemption for its window tint laws. Specific drivers can use automotive tints and other devices to protect them from the sun’s UV rays. These devices cannot be used at night. California requires people with these medical conditions to only install transparent, clear, and colorless tints.

California Window Tint Exemption Application

Drivers who think they are eligible for a California window tint exemption need to get a signed letter or document from their surgeon, physician, optometrist, or dermatologist stating that they need specialized window tint to protect them from the sun’s rays due to a severe medical condition. 

You can complete an application online on the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ website to submit your documents. 

Other California Window Tint Rules and Regulations

Here are a few other important California laws to keep in mind before tinting your windows:

  • Tint reflections must not be more reflective than a standard window. This law applies to all windows of all makes and models.
  • You cannot use amber, blue, or red tint colors.
  • California does not require a sticker from a window tint installing company or the manufacturer’s name and business address.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

If you do not adhere to California window tinting laws, you will receive a “fix-it ticket” if it is your first offense. A second violation results in a $25 fine. Third-time offenders can be charged up to $197 in fines.

California’s Go-To Company for Quality Window Tinting Solutions

Now that you understand California window tinting laws, it’s time to find a high-quality company. The experts at Precision Auto Spa have years of training and experience. We take the time to understand your needs. We also use XPEL window tints, the most high-quality films on the market. This ensures you’ll receive optimal results the first time around.

Contact us today by calling (916) 514-1907 to learn more.