California window tint law 2020 (CA)

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.

Car window tinting laws in California were first put into place in 1999 with California being the 32nd of the 50 states to enact these tinting laws.

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California Tint Laws - What does VLT Mean according to California State Law

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.

A 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.

What is the 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

What is the 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.

Always remember that the laws can change on a daily basis and these rules and regulations may be interpreted differently on a city to city or county to county basis. We recommend double-checking the information contained on this website with your local DMV or local law enforcement agencies for accuracy. This information relating to window tint laws in California was last updated on January 27th, 2020. 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!

California Automotive Window Tint Law References

California Window tint Medical Exemption References

According to the law in California, the driver must have a document provided by your window tint film installer, in addition to a dermatologist’s note stating the need for medical exemption.

According to the bill:

“The driver has in his or her possession, or within the vehicle, a certificate signed by the installing company certifying that the windows with the material installed meet the requirements of this subdivision and the certificate identifies the installing company and the material’s manufacturer by full name and street address, or, if the material was installed by the vehicle owner, a certificate signed by the material’s manufacturer certifying that the windows with the material installed according to manufacturer’s instructions meet the requirements of this subdivision and the certificate identifies the material’s manufacturer by full name and street address”

Want a complete guide for medical exemptions for tinted windows in all 50 states?

Click this button to be taken to a PDF file that will help you to understand the medical exemptions in all 50 states

State of California Information

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.

california-state-map

What is the Capital of California

The capital of California is Sacramento

What is the population of California

The population of California is 39,512,223 according to Wikipedia as of 2019.

What is the area of California

The area of California is 163,696 square miles and ranks as the 3rd largest state in the United States!

California Wikipedia Page

Checkout California's Wikipedia page to learn all kinds of cool facts about the state!

Official California state Website

If you want to learn more about the laws in California checkout their official Website Here

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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

Window Tint Laws By State