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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

What Is the Legal Tint in Texas? | Understanding the Window Tinting Laws

With sunshine all year round, most residents and their motor vehicles often become victims to the intense UV rays. It increases the temperature in one's car and causes glare that prevents the driver from seeing the road.

Automotive tinted windows are one of the best solutions to help mitigate the dangers of direct sunlight. However, before installing a tint, car owners must understand the Texas window tint laws to ensure compliance and avoid legal trouble.

A Fort Worth criminal lawyer at Sparks Law Firm have extensive experience helping defendants fight unreasonable arrests and other traffic-related charges. They can help the affected party by providing legal guidance and support.

What Is the Legal Tint in Texas?

What Is the Legal Tint in Texas?

The amount of light that passes through a vehicle's windows is commonly referred to as visible light transmission or VLT. Under the Texas window tint laws, car windows should not have a VLT that is below a certain percentage.

Whether it is sedans, SUVs, or vans, the following are the window tint laws in Texas that motor vehicle owners must follow:

Front Windshield

When it comes to the front windshield, car owners can have 25% or more light transmittance value above the manufacturer's AS-1 line. This prevents the sun's glare and blocks the light from other oncoming vehicles, allowing the driver to see the road up ahead clearly.

Tinting below the AS-1 line (windshield tint strip) is against the law. Car owners can apply a clear, un-tinted UV film on the front windshield without needing a medical exemption certificate.

Front Side Windows

The Texas window tint law allows 25% or more VLT for the front side windows, which are to the left and right of the motor vehicle. Any lower than 25% could lead to trouble with law enforcement officers.

Rear Windows

Under the Texas tint laws, there are no restrictions on the level of tint for the back side windows.

Rear Windshield

There are no restrictions placed on the rear windshield, and car owners can have any level of tint darkness.

However, there are certain conditions that they must meet, and these include the following:

  • The motor vehicle should have side-view mirrors that allow the drivers to see up to 200 feet from the rear of their automobile.

  • Any motor vehicle that does not have side mirrors should not have a tint lower than 25% VLT on the rear windshield. It should also have less than 25% reflectivity.

Other Requirements

Vehicles with outside mirrors on each side can have any level of tint on the rear window, while the Texas tint laws require a 25% VLT for automobiles with no outside mirrors.

Motor vehicles with tinted back windows should have dual side mirrors.

Window Tint Reflection Guidelines in Texas

Besides VLT requirements, motor vehicle owners must adhere to the following window tint reflection guidelines in Texas:

  • Under Texas law, motor vehicles shouldn't have tinted front side windows that are more than 25% reflective.

  • SUVs, sedans, and vans shouldn't have tinted back-side windows that are more than 25% reflective.

Are There Exemptions in the Texas Window Tint Laws?

Under the window tint laws in Texas, there are certain medical exemptions. It is possible for an individual to seek a prescription or signed statement from a licensed physician that explains their medical condition and the need for tinted windows.

With a medical exemption, drivers can have a tint that has a VLT of less than 25% for the two front-side windows. However, it's essential to understand that these tint law exemptions do not apply to the vehicle's windshield.

The state's Department of Public Safety can guide the drivers on the medical exemptions and how to apply for one in Texas. There are certain things that the prescription should mention, some of which include the following:

  • The driver's name;

  • The medical condition the driver is suffering from; and

  • The reasons why the driver requires a darker tint level.

It's important to note that the Department of Public Safety does not accept or review tint applications or issue window tint exemption certificates.

Under the window tinting laws in Texas, drivers must reach out to a qualified professional for a signed medical exemption statement.

Law enforcement vehicles (solely used for the purpose of law enforcement) and transportation vehicles (limousines, buses, and taxis) are also exempt from the Texas tint laws.

Another group of vehicles that can have a tint level that is below the percentage mentioned under the law is ambulances.

Can Texas Car Owners Tint Their Windshield Visors?

Car owners in Texas can tint their windshield visors. However, there are certain restrictions that they must adhere to.

A 25% VLT tint is legal for the visor (top six inches) on the front windshield of any sedan, SUV, or van. It can help the drivers avoid the sun's glare, allowing them to see the road clearly.

What Are the Consequences of Window Tint Violations in Texas?

What Are the Consequences of Window Tint Violations in Texas?

Law enforcement officers in Texas often have a tool that allows them to determine the level of tint on a motor vehicle's windows.

If police officers are suspicious of a sedan, SUV, van, or truck, they have the right to pull the automobile over and check the tint darkness using the special tool.

Since most car owners are unaware of the window tint laws in Texas, the first ticket is also referred to as the "fix it" ticket, as it only costs $20 and requires the driver to remove and replace the illegal tint.

However, if the law enforcement officers find that the driver did not remove and replace the illegal tint, the second ticket can cost well over $200.

To avoid trouble with the law, it's crucial for the drivers to head over to a local car tint shop to test the tint darkness and VLT. They must remove and replace the tint if it does not comply with the state laws.

Illegal tints can also lead to increased premiums, especially if the driver gets into an accident. Sparks Law Frim can also advise on what drugs are legal in Texas.

Tinted Car Windows May Lead to Unreasonable Arrests. Sparks Law Firm Can Provide Legal Representation!

Those who are facing window tint violations along with other criminal charges in Fort Worth, Texas, should call to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sparks Law Firm. They have the knowledge of Texas tinting laws and can protect the defendant's rights by assessing their case and guiding them on their legal options.


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