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Car tint laws in Texas can be complex, given the detailed regulations and requirements. We will go into the specifics of Texas car tint laws, from window tint regulations to color and certification requirements, legal necessities, and even medical exemptions and penalties for non-compliance.

Understanding Car Tint Laws in Texas

In the Lone Star State, car window tinting is not just a matter of aesthetics or privacy. It’s a matter of law. Texas has specific regulations in place to govern the tinting of vehicle windows, all designed to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. These laws dictate the Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%), the reflectiveness of the tint, the permissible colors, and more. Before you consider tinting your vehicle windows in Texas, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these laws. Non-compliance can result in penalties. In the following sections, we will go deeper into the specifics of these laws, examine the medical exceptions, and discuss the potential penalties for non-compliance.

Specific Window Tint Regulations in Texas

Texas has detailed regulations regarding window tint, all aimed at ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers. Here are the key specifics you need to be aware of:

  1. Windshield: Tinting is allowed on the windshield but must not extend below the AS-1 line, typically located around the top 5 to 6 inches of your windshield or above the driver’s line of sight.
  2. Front side windows: These windows must have a VLT% of at least 25%. This means that the front side windows must allow a minimum of 25% of light to pass through.
  3. Back side windows and Rear window: There is no restriction on the VLT% for these windows in Texas, meaning you can choose any level of darkness. However, if you tint the back windows, your vehicle must be equipped with left and right side mirrors.
  4. Reflectiveness: Reflective tints are allowed on both the front and back side windows, but they cannot exceed 25% reflection. These reflectivity restrictions are in addition to the VLT% guidelines.
  5. Dual side mirrors: The vehicle must have dual side mirrors to maintain visibility if the rear window is tinted more than 25%.

These regulations balance the benefits of tinted windows, such as privacy and protection from ultraviolet rays, and the need for visibility for safe driving. Before you tint your car windows in Texas, ensure that you or your service provider adhere to these specific regulations to stay on the right side of the law.

Color and Certification Laws for Car Tints in Texas

Navigating Texas’s color and certification laws for car tints can seem daunting. However, understanding these laws is crucial for maintaining road safety and staying within the bounds of legality. Let’s look into the specifics:

Color Laws:

The Lone Star State has stringent regulations regarding the colors permissible for car window tints. These rules are in place primarily to ensure road safety. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Red Tints: In Texas, red-tinted windows are a no-go. The color red is often associated with warning signals or danger, and its use in car window tints can potentially cause confusion and distractions on the road.
  2. Amber or Blue Tints: Similarly, amber and blue tints are prohibited. These colors are typically reserved for specific vehicle categories, such as law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

Certification Laws:

Texas also has specific certification requirements for window tinting films:

  1. Certification Requirements: Manufacturers selling window tinting films in Texas must certify that their products comply with the state’s window tint laws.
  2. Stickers: As per state law, a sticker identifying legal tinting must be placed between the film and glass on the driver’s side window. This serves as proof of your adherence to the legal requirements.

By understanding and complying with these color and certification laws, you can ensure the safety of all road users and avoid any potential legal issues.

Legal Requirements for Tinted Cars in Texas

Tinting your car windows in Texas involves more than just choosing a color and a level of tint. There are also legal requirements that both drivers and service providers need to be aware of. Let’s explore these in detail:

Manufacturer Identification:

Texas law mandates that the tinting film’s manufacturer provide a certification label. This label, which confirms the tinted film’s compliance with state regulations, should be permanently affixed to the window between the tinted film and glass on the driver’s side.

Medical Exemptions:

The Texas tint law does provide for medical exemptions for darker window tints. For example, individuals with conditions like Lupus or Photosensitivity, which necessitate protection from UV rays, can apply for these exemptions. We’ll look deeper into medical exemptions in the subsequent sections.

VLT% Measurements:

VLT% measurements are taken using a light transmission meter, which is placed outside the window. If the windows are factory-tinted, the aftermarket tint will be measured in combination with the factory tint to ensure it falls within the legal limit.

Tint Installer Responsibility:

It’s the responsibility of window tint installers to ensure that the tinted windows comply with the current regulations. This includes the tint’s color, visible light transmission, and reflectiveness.

By strictly adhering to these legal requirements, you can promote all road users’ safety while ensuring compliance with Texas car tint laws.

Window Tint Exemptions

Below are the exemptions to Window Tint requirements.

  1. Law Enforcement – Vehicles that are maintained by a law enforcement agency and used for law enforcement purposes.
  2. Medical Exception – used by persons for medical reasons.
  3. Passenger Transport – vehicles used to transport passengers on a regular basis for a fee, (i.e., taxi, limousine, and buses).

Medical Exemptions

Texas car tint laws allow for exceptions, such as medical exemptions. Non-adherence to these regulations, however, can result in penalties.

In some instances, health conditions may require a darker window tint than what is typically permitted by Texas law. For such situations, the state does offer medical exemptions.

A written certification from a physician is required to be eligible, stating that the darker tint is a medical necessity for the individual to shield them from sunlight.

Motorists must obtain a signed medical exemption statement from a licensed physician or licensed optometrist, which should:

The signed medical exemption statement will suffice as proof of a medical exception.

As of 01/01/2019, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Regulatory Services Division, will no longer issue Window Tint Exemption Certificates. The Department will not be accepting nor reviewing applications for the certificate.

Non-Compliance Penalties

Driving a vehicle with illegal window tinting in Texas can attract a range of penalties. The severity of these penalties is contingent on the degree of the violation, and each case is evaluated individually.

For a first-time offense, the offender may be subjected to a fine of up to $1,000. Repeat violations could lead to escalated fines or even Class C misdemeanor charges, potentially including jail time. Moreover, being caught with illegal tint might result in a court order to remove the unlawful tint.

Staying informed about Texas tint laws, ensuring your vehicle’s tint complies with these legal requirements, and understanding the process for medical exemptions are crucial steps in avoiding these penalties.

1. What percentage of tint is legal on car windows in Texas?

The permissible tint limit on windshields and front-side windows is 25% in Texas. This means such windows should allow more than 25% light into the vehicle (Texas Vehicle Code, Section 547.619).

2. Can drivers in Texas use reflective or mirrored tints on their automobiles?

In Texas, the law restricts the usage of reflective and mirrored tints. The reflection on all windows must not exceed 25%, maintaining visibility and safety on the road (Texas Vehicle Code, Section 547.619).

3. Are there any specific regulations on back and rear window tinting in Texas?

The state of Texas allows any tint level on the back and rear windows. However, should the vehicle not have a rearview mirror, the windows should allow 25% of light into the vehicle (Texas Vehicle Code, Section 547.619).

4. Does Texas permit the use of color tints on car windows?

Texas law authorizes the use of color tints. However, the colors red, amber, and blue are strictly prohibited due to their association with emergency and law enforcement vehicles (Texas Vehicle Code, Section 547.305).

5. How does Texas law regulate tint on car windshields?

Texas law allows non-reflective tint on car windshields. The tint can only be applied above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or five inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is higher (Texas Vehicle Code, Section 547.619).

6. Are there any penalties for violating car tint laws in Texas?

Texas penalizes violations of car tint laws through fines and vehicle inspection failures. The exact penalties can vary depending on the severity and frequency of the violation (Texas Vehicle Code, Sections 547.609-547.613).

Reference:

https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/vehicle-inspection/window-tinting-standards