Window Tint Laws

Window Tint Laws

California Window Tint Laws (CA)

Car window tinting laws in California were first put into place in 1999.

California was the 32nd of the 50 states to enact these laws.

On this page we have done our best to collect all of the legal information necessary about your car’s window tint, including how dark the tint is allowed to be and how reflective the tint is allowed to be in California. Aside from the basics, like tint percentages, there are also additional car window tinting rules and regulations in California that we have made available.

California Tint Laws – Legal Darkness Allowed In California

The percentage of light that a window tint film allows to pass through your car windows is called the VLT (Visible Light Transmission), and each state has different legal allowable limits. The amount of light allowed to pass through your film and glass in California is very specific to the state and is different for Passenger Vehicles and Multi-Purpose Vehicles.

I HIGHER VLT means that more light is allowed to pass through the window tint film.

Example: a 75% tint will allow 75% of the light to pass through whereas a 5% tint will only allow 5% of the light to pass through, making the 5% tint a much darker film.

Legal Tint Darkness Allowed For Passenger Vehicles In California:

  • Front Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front seat side windows: up to 88% tint darkness allowed with aftermarket film - up to 70% tint darkness allowed if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Back seat side windows: Any tint darkness can be used
  • Rear window: Any tint darkness can be used

california-window-tint-laws-explained

Legal Tint Darkness Allowed For Multi-Purpose Vehicles In California:

  • Front Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front seat side windows: up to 88% tint darkness allowed with aftermarket film - up to 70% tint darkness allowed if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Back seat side windows: Any tint darkness can be used
  • Rear window: Any tint darkness can be used

california-mpv-window-tint-laws-diagram

Other California Window Tint Rules And Regulations:

California has a few other important things that you will need to consider regarding window tinting and we recommend that you check them out before deciding whether or not you tint your windows:

  • Side Mirrors: Dual side mirrors are required if the rear window is tinted.
  • Window Tint Color Restrictions: All tint colors except Red, Amber and Blue are allowed in California - No color is allowed on side windows
  • Certifications: Manufacturers of film must certify the film they sell in the state and the driver is required to have the certificate in his/her possession.
  • Stickers: State law does require a certificate or a sticker from the installing company and the manufacturer's name and address.
  • Medical Exceptions: California law allows medical exemptions for lower tint on all windows since September 2017.
  • Penalties: 

This information relating to window tint laws in California was last updated on December 13th, 2019. Tinting laws in California were enacted in 1999. In case any of our info provided is not up to date or correct be sure to contact us so we can fix it. Thanks!

State Of California Info

California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the most populous U.S. state, home to 1 out of 8 Americans, and is the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second and fifth largest census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation's 50 most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.

 

Capital: Sacramento

Population: 38,041,430

Area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)

Cities  Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Mountain View, Pasadena, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Monterey, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Hollister, Malibu, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palo Alto, Big Sur, Calabasas, Irvine, Newport Beach, Cupertino, Huntington Beach, Napa, Temecula, Modesto, Torrance, Santa Cruz, Laguna Beach, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Sunnyvale, Stockton, Pleasanton, Ontario, Ventura, Fremont, Menlo Park, Orange, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Burbank, Santa Rosa, Solvang, Eureka

Counties  Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba

Wikipedia

State Website

 

Tint law references

leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=12.&title=&part=&chapter=4.&article=

 

Medical Exemption Info

leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1303

The information provided on this page is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Although we are providing this information as a reference based on the research we have done, we cannot be held liable for any outdated information as these laws have the potential to change frequently.