Understanding Virginia Car Tint Laws

May 14, 2023 - 2:16 am - 3 min read


Car tint laws have been put in place as a means of ensuring road safety and promoting law and order on the roads. Different states have different laws regarding car tints, and it is important for vehicle owners in Virginia to comply with the state laws to avoid being penalized. This article aims to help you understand the car tint laws in Virginia.

What is Car Tint?

Car tint refers to the process of adding a thin film or layer of dark plastic to a car’s windows. Tinting helps reduce the amount of visible light entering the car by reflecting or absorbing sunlight. Tinting can also reduce the amount of heat entering the vehicle, making the vehicle more comfortable during hot weather.

Virginia Car Tint Laws

In Virginia, the laws on car tint are governed by Virginia State Code, Section 46.2-1052. The law states that the front windshield of a vehicle must be at least 75% transparent; any other windows on a passenger car must be at least 50% transparent. Tinted windows on the rear of a passenger vehicle must let in at least 35% of light.

For SUVs, vans, and trucks, the front windshield and front side windows must also have a visible light transmittance (VLT) of at least 50%, but can be any tint darkness. The rear windows behind the driver and rear side windows can have any tint darkness, but must let at least 35% of light in.

Failure to comply with these laws can lead to fines or even having your vehicle impounded.

Medical Exceptions

People with medical conditions that require little or no exposure to sunlight can apply for a medical exception from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will evaluate the applicant’s medical condition and provide a written certification to permit darker window tinting.

After-market Tinting

If you’re considering tinting your vehicle’s windows, it’s important to ensure that you use a licensed installer. The state law requires that the installer labels the vehicle with a sticker indicating the percent levels of tint on each window.

It is also important to note that in Virginia, after-market tinting must not use red, blue, or amber colors. Use of these colors is strictly prohibited by the law.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

If you’re found driving a vehicle with tinted windows that don’t comply with Virginia’s car tint laws, you may receive a fine or a citation. The fine amount can range from $100 to $250 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may attract higher fines or even lead to license suspension and the impounding of your vehicle.


In conclusion, as a vehicle owner in Virginia, it’s important to comply with the car tint laws set in place. Not only is it illegal to drive around with non-compliant tinted windows, but it can also lead to avoidable citations and fines. Complying with these laws helps to ensure road safety and promote law and order on the roads.

Semantic keywords: car tint laws, Virginia State Code, after-market tinting, visible light transmittance (VLT), medical exception.


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