Can You Get Pulled Over For Tinted Windows In NY?


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All states have window tint percentage laws. These window tint laws were created to help protect law enforcement. Having tinted windows in New York is not illegal, however, there are specific rules for different types of vehicles. Learn more about the window tint laws and see if your vehicle’s tint is lawful.


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Why Do People Tint Their Car Windows?

You have probably seen window tints on most cars and trucks, whether your are on your way to work, school or the grocery store. Some vehicles come with tinted windows right from the factory and others are put on by the current owner (aftermarket). Factory tinted glass contains pigments and dyes that are mixed into the glass during manufacturing. This darkens the glass and prevents a percentage of visible light from passing through. Aftermarket window tint is a film, made from multiple layers of polyester, that is applied to windows. This film contains metal particles, dyes and pigments to control the amount of light it lets through.

So why do people tint their windows in the first place? Window tints offer a number of benefits for the vehicle owner, such as:

  • Privacy
  • Safety
  • Protects the car upholstery
  • Keeps the vehicle cool
  • Appearance


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What are the NY Window Tint Laws?

Effective January 1, 2017, New York law prohibits dark windshields and front side windows. Window tints cannot block more than 30% of the light coming through the windshield and front side windows. This also applies to rear side windows unless the vehicle has rear-view mirrors on both sides. The mirrors must give the driver a full and clear view behind the vehicle.

The rear side windows must allow at least 70% of light from the outside to pass through the window if the vehicle is classified as a:

  • Sedan
  • Station Wagon
  • Hatchback
  • Coupe
  • Hardtop
  • Convertible

Vehicles that fall into one of these categories are labeled “Passenger Car” on the Federal ID label found on the left, front door panel. Factory tinted windows are allowed on the back side and rear windows if you drive a truck, van, or SUV.

Please note that it is illegal to sell, offer for sale, or install glass that doesn’t comply with the laws above. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle with glass that does not comply with the NY window tint laws.

Your vehicle’s window tint is subject to testing during a New York State Vehicle Inspection. Your car will fail the annual inspection if it has illegal window tints. You will have to have the aftermarket tint removed or address a factory-tinted window before the expiration date on your inspection sticker.


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Can I Get A Window Tint Exemption in NY?

Individuals with qualifying medical conditions may receive an exemption from the tinting limits on light transmittance. You may request an exemption from the law if you have one of the conditions listed below:

  • Albinism
  • Chronic Actinic Dermatitis/Actinic Reticuloid
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Lupus Erythematosus
  • Porphyria
  • Xeroderma (Pigmentosa) Pigmentosum
  • Severe drug photosensitivity, provided that the course of treatment causing the photosensitivity is expected to be of prolonged duration
  • Photophobia associated with an ophthalmic or neurological disorder
  • Any other condition or disorder causing severe photosensitivity in which the individual is required for medical reasons to be shielded from the direct rays of the sun.

Have more questions about vehicle window tint? Call us! We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Lou’s Car Care is the right choice for all of your vehicle repair and maintenance needs. Serving the Baldwinsville, NY and surrounding communities since 1976.



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