California Car Tint Law

California Tinting Laws

Cars with tinted windows look fancy, but if you live in California, that won’t be a good idea! Thanks to the California tint laws, you cannot use tint film on the windows whenever you want.

But what do these laws say? Well, that’s what we’ll discuss here today.

It was 1999 when the tinted windows law in California was proposed. It talks about how much dark or reflective your car window tint should be, depending on the state you live in. 

We’ve provided all the information you need in this regard over here. Also, there is also some extra information on rules and regulations, which you should obey if you don’t want to get fined.

So yes, it’s pretty crucial you read the whole article from top to bottom.


California Tint Laws 2022 – Everything You Need to Know

Before you get to know the tinted windows law in California, you need to learn about the VLT. So before we get into the details, let’s talk about it first!

What does VLT mean according to California state law?

The VLT or Visible Light Transmission indicates the percentage of detectable light that passes through your car’s window.

When the VLT is lower, the window tint will get darker. And higher VLT means that more light will penetrate the windows without any trouble.

For instance, if you install 75% tint on the glasses, 75% light will go through them. And when the tint is 5%, the insides of your car will be way darker!

By the way, We have in-depth content about VLT and window tint percentage for your reference. We recommend checking it out If you want to know the different levels of window tint.


So, what is the legal tint in CaliforniaCA window tint law 2022

The California window tint law is different for each type of vehicle. For passenger and multipurpose vehicles, you have to follow dissimilar rules.

So here is the legal tint in California for multipurpose and passenger automobiles.

Legal Tint in California- Tint Darkness for Passenger Vehicles

  • Windshield
    If you are using a non-reflective tint, you can install it on the top four-inch of your vehicle’s windows according to California tint law 2022.
  • Front side windows
    You can use up to 88% tint darkness with aftermarket film & up to 70% tint darkness if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Backside windows
    Window tint shades legal California 2022 says any tint darkness can be used for back-side windows.
  • Rear window
    The same goes for the rear window you can use any tint darkness.

Legal Tint in California- Tint Darkness for Multi-purpose Vehicles

  • Windshield
    If you are using a non-reflective tint, you can install it on the top four-inch of your vehicle’s windows.
  • Front side windows
    You can use up to 88% tint darkness with aftermarket film & up to 70% tint darkness if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Backside windows
    You can use any tint darkness according to tinted windows law in California.
  • Rear window
    You can use any tint darkness according to tinted windows law in California.

Legal Tint Reflection in California

Using tint on your automobile’s window can reflect the incoming light and reduce the heat. Moreover, the tinted windows also prevent glares.

Well, the window tint California law authorizes some specific window reflection while using a tint. So if you ever think about coloring the glasses, pay attention to this as well.

Tint Reflection for Sedans

  • Front side windows
    In the front side windows, you don’t have permission to use any metallic or mirrored finish.
  • Backside windows
    The same thing goes for the backside windows too. You cannot use any metallic or mirrored appearance on this one as well.

Tint reflection for SUV and Vans

  • Front Side windows
    You can’t use more reflective than a standard window.
  • Back Side windows
    You can’t use more reflective than a standard window.

Other Tinted Windows Law California You Need to Know

When it comes to window tinting of your vehicle, California is pretty serious about that. You will have plenty of rules and regulations to abide by.

Besides maintaining a specific percentage of the glare on each window, here are some other restrictions you need to follow, even if you want to do a subtle darkening.

Side mirrors in California

If you are using tint rear window Dual side mirrors are required

Restricted Colors

You are not allowed to use red, amber, or blue color tint also you have to use a colorless side mirror.

Certificates

Manufacturers of the film must certify the film they sell in the state and the driver is required to have the certificate in their possession.

Stickers

According to the state law does require a certificate or a sticker from the installing company and the manufacturer’s name and address.

Penalties

When the coloring has been done wrongly you will get the first warning to fix that. The second time you will be fined up to $25, And for the third time you are stopped for violating the tinted windows law in California, they can charge you up to $197.


Tinted Windows Law California Medical Exemption

California law allows medical exemptions for lower tints on all windows. In California, there is a specific law that allows for medical exemptions from the window tint requirement. The law states that medical exemptions are allowed for those who have a diagnosed medical condition that impairs their ability to see clearly while driving. There are specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a medical exemption, including submitting an application and having your doctor fill out a form stating your diagnosis and how it affects your ability to see clearly while driving. If you meet the requirements, you will be issued a Medical Exemption Card, which exempts you from the window tint requirement.

How to Get Medical Exemption for Window Tint in California

The process for getting this California Window Tint Exemption Form is fairly simple. You just need to go to your doctor and get a note from them stating that you need the dark tint for medical reasons. Once you have the note, take it to your local motor vehicle office and they will issue you an exemption sticker to put on your car.

California Medical Exemption Requirements

StateCalifornia
Statute, regulation, or other sourceswindow tint California vehicle code 26708, § 26708.2
For whom the exemption may applydriver or front-seat passenger
Reason(s)due to a medical condition
Which windowsside windows of the front seat
Limits on the amount of tintthe device only; the device must allow ready
removal; device may not be used during
darkness; the device must have a luminous transmittance
of >= 35% or a reflective quality
exceeding 35% on either the inner or
outer surface
Certification from medical provider (which type[s] of provider)licensed physician and surgeon; licensed
optometric
Application to state
department
Document required in
vehicle
the letter or other documents
signed by the physician
and surgeon or
the optometrist must be in
the person’s possession

Window Tint Exemption Form California

The process for getting a California exemption form is relatively simple. You just need to fill out a form and submit it to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to qualify for an exemption. First, your car must be used for business purposes. Second, all of the windows on your car must be tinted evenly.

Click here to get the California exemption form.


Benefits of Window Tinting

The tint on your car’s window isn’t just a decorative thing; it comes with greater benefits too. So let’s talk about the advantage of coloring your vehicle’s window, shall we?

Prevents the Interior from Fading

While parking our cars, we always look for shades, don’t we? Well, it helps us to maintain the top-notch condition of our car’s exterior.

Likewise, when you use tints on your vehicle’s windows, the interior doesn’t have to face the harshness of the sunlight. Therefore, if you have beautiful leather seats, they are less likely to get damaged!

Blocks UV Rays

You don’t need to get lectured about the harmful effects of UV rays, do you? We all know that applying tons of sunscreen isn’t enough to protect you from damage. And when your car has tinted glasses, you can avert this UV situation pretty gracefully.

Get Better Security

Nothing is worst than people staring at you when you mind your own business in the car. The people in the backseat have to go through this problem more than the drivers. And when you get tinted glasses, you don’t have to go through this annoyance anymore.

Take a Chill Pill

When riding on the hottest summer days, even the AC won’t be enough to cool you down. But if you have tinted windows, you don’t have to worry about sweating anymore!


Cost of Car Window Tint

The cost may vary from film to film when it is to tint. For instance, if you want to use a regular classic film for your Sedan, it will cost you up to 150-200 bucks. And when you want something exclusive like ceramic tints, you will need to spend $400 or more!

However, if you don’t have the budget to do the tinting professionally, you can get a DIY tint kit. It will cost you around a hundred bucks, which is a relief!

To know more detail about car tint cost click here.


California Window Tint Laws FAQs

Is Ceramic Tint Legal in California?

Ceramic tint can be a legal option for cars in California. Certain types of ceramic tint, such as Privacy Film, are specific to the vehicle and do not obstruct views from the inside or outside of the car. This type of tint is often used on luxury cars and has the added benefit of reducing heat output in summer weather.

California Vehicle Code Window Tint

Vehicle Code 26708 governs window tinting in California, and there are specific requirements that must be met in order to stay within the law.

Is 5 tint legal in California?

Yes, it is legal to have a tint level of up to five percent but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, you can use 5% tint only on your car’s back and rear windows.

Is 20% Tint Legal in California?

Yes, 20% tint is legal according to California tinting laws 2022 but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, you can use 20% tint only on back & rear windows.

Is 30% Tint Legal in California?

Yes, 30% is legal to tint in California but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, you can use 30% tint only on back & rear windows.

Is 35% Tint Legal in California?

Yes, 35% of window tint shades are legal in California but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, you can use 35% tint only on back & rear windows.

Is 50 Tint Legal in California?

Yes, 50% of window tint shades are legal in California but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, you can use 35% tint only on back & rear windows.

Is Front Window Tint Legal in California?

Yes, Front window tint is legal in California but there are some restrictions on that. In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, If you are using a non-reflective tint, you can install it on the top four-inch of your vehicle’s windows according to California tint law 2022.

What is the Darkest Legal Tint in California?

In California, the law states that any type of tinting on a vehicle must be done in a way that is consistent with federal safety regulations. According to California tint law, 88% tint darkness with aftermarket film & up to 70% tint darkness if combined with factory-tinted windows.


California Tint law references

California Vehicle Code, Division 12 Equipment of Vehicles, Chapter 4 Windshields, and Mirrors – Section 26708

California Window Tint Exemption

Assembly Bill no. 1303 (September 2017) – amended medical exemptions


The Bottom Line

The goal of creating this article was to enlighten you about the California tint laws so you can confidently drive your car through the state. The article you’ve read just now was last updated in 2022. If you think we’ve missed any new information, feel free to contact us anytime you want.

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of California tint laws when having your car windows tinted. The law is in place to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers, so make sure to abide by it. If you have any questions about the law or would like your windows tinted, be sure to consult with a professional.