Thinking about getting your car's windows tinted in Virginia?
Window tinting can be done for several reasons, but don't always assume your tint is legal. Police can and will pull vehicles over for excessively darkened windows, and the requirements vary from state to state.
Here are the basics of Virginia’s tinted window laws:
- For all vehicles, the front two windows (driver and passenger) may not be tinted below 50% transparency.
- For cars, the rear windows may not drop below 35% transparency.
- For multi-use passenger vehicles (vans, SUVs, trucks, etc), there are no limits to tint transparency.
So what's the penalty for exceeding your vehicle's tint guidelines? Don't be surprised to pay for window tint removal, receive a ticket, and pay fines in excess of $110.
When in doubt, err on the side of lighter window tinting. It might save you a few hundred dollars down the road.
Can You Make Your Windows Reflective?
If you want to avoid the legalities of tinted windows, then you might be tempted to get reflective windows on your car instead. Do not rush out to the customs shop, though. Virginia’s tint law also has clauses that limit how reflective your windows can be before they become unlawful.
For most automobiles in Virginia, front side and back side windows cannot be more than 20% reflective.
When you go to an auto shop to get reflective window coverings installed, you could be offered a product that is more than 20% reflective. Be sure to ask the technician or double-check the packaging to ensure the product meets Virginia’s tint laws, or you could be fined and forced to remove it.
Other Window Tint Laws You Should Know
If the percentage of tint on your vehicle’s back window is greater than 0%, then you must purchase and install dual-side mirrors. You cannot tint your windows red, yellow, or an amber-like shade. You can get window tints in excess of the typical regulations if you have a medical note permitting them. For example, if you are sensitive to direct sunlight, then your doctor might recommend getting tinted windows for your vehicle.