Are window tint shades legal?
Each state has its own regulations for the window tint amount it allows on each car window type — front side windows, back side windows, rear window, and windshield.
For example, many states allow different levels of tinting based on the window type, and some ban tinting on the front side windows but not the other windows of a vehicle. Always check with your BMV or DMV to find out your state's window tint laws before installing a window tint to your car.
How is window tint measured?
Window tint levels are measured by the percentage of light that can pass through the window. This percentage is called the VLT (visible light transmission). The higher the VLT percentage, the more light can pass through, and the lighter the tint will appear.
Windshield tints are often also measured in inches, indicating how far down the tint goes from the top of the windshield. For example, a five-inch windshield tint would have tinting that goes five inches down from the top of the windshield. The rest of the windshield would be untinted.
Can you get a ticket for window tint?
Yes, you can get a ticket if your window tint shade is darker than the legal amount in your state (or if your windshield tint is wider than the legal amount). If you drive across state borders, know the window tinting limits of each state you drive through. Police officers don't have to waive window tint tickets just because you're from a state with different rules.
How much is a window tint ticket?
Ticket amounts vary based on your state, how far over the legal tint limit your windows are, and how many offenses you've had. If your tint is only slightly over the legal limit for the state you're in and it's your first offense, you might receive a small ticket or warning. Your ticket amount can increase into the hundreds if your tint is well over the legal limit or if you're caught multiple times.
Do window tint tickets affect car insurance?
A window tint ticket can affect your car insurance rate, just like any other violation on your record. Plus, if your tinted windows are darker than the legal limit and you get into a covered car accident, your insurance company may not pay for all damages to the illegally tinted windows. Depending on your insurer, there may also be other potential effects to your car insurance policy.
Does car insurance cover tinted windows?
Damage to your window tinting is sometimes, but not always, covered by auto insurance. If your windows were tinted by the manufacturer to an amount that's legal in your state, they may be protected by your comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Check with your insurance company to be sure.
Tinting your car windows after you purchase it is considered a modification and may require special coverage if you want it to be protected by insurance. If you have comprehensive and collision through Progressive, you typically have $1,000 of aftermarket parts and equipment (ACPE) coverage that could apply to your aftermarket tinted windows. Progressive also offers CPE (custom parts and equipment), an optional car insurance coverage that typically covers up to $5,000 on top of your ACPE coverage.
Windows tinted by the manufacturer and within your state's limits may be covered.
Let your insurer know about any modifications you make to your car, and ask if your current policy can cover damages to the new modifications. If they're unaware of the customization and your car is damaged, or if your current coverages don't include the modification, they may cover other repairs to the car but not the windows. Learn more about insurance for modified cars.