Skip to main content

Tinting your car’s windows protects you from the sun’s rays and keeps the interior cool in the summertime. Each state has laws regarding how dark the side and rear windows can be tinted, but what about the car’s windshield? Is it illegal to tint the massive front window?

An installer applies window tint
An installer applies window tint | via Getty Images

Your car’s windshield is the biggest and most important window to look out of when driving. Naturally, you would think it would be illegal to tint it. However, that’s not the case. According to data from Green Film USA, most states allow the top of the windshield to be tinted from four to six inches down.

This tint strip can extend from the top of the windshield to the “AS1” line, typically five to six inches down. Autoblog says, “If you can’t locate the AS1 line, flip your sun visors down until they touch the windshield. The bottom of the sun visor generally marks the AS1 line.”

There is no federal ruling regarding windshield tint, as the laws vary from state to state. That said, if you live in states like Minnesota, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, you can tint your car’s windshield.

However, other states like North Dakota, Hawaii, and Vermont allow drivers to tint their car’s windshield up to a certain Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage.

Some states provide window tint law exemptions

An installer check the tinting film on a window
Installer checks tinting film | via Getty Images

Although every state has a cut-and-dry law for window tinting, some states allow exemptions for drivers with a legitimate medical condition. For example, Kelley Blue Book notes that “if a driver is diagnosed with lupus or other medical conditions,” they may apply for a permit, waiver, or exemption from the state’s tinting law through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

How much are tint tickets?

If you decide to throw caution to the wind and tint your car’s windshield regardless of the state laws, there could be some heavy penalties involved. Depending on your state’s laws, you may have to pay a fine or even face jail if pulled over for illegal window tint.

For example, Georgia has some of the harshest penalties for window tint. The state says that driving a vehicle with illegal window tint can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months. That law applies to every car, whether it’s registered in Georgia or not.

How much does it cost to tint your car’s windshield?

An installer puts tint on a driver side window
Installer puts tint on a driver side window | via Getty Images

The cost of tinting your car’s windshield can vary depending on your chosen installer. Generally speaking, many shops charge anywhere from $50 to $100 per window, depending on the type of tint they use.

Most shops use carbon or ceramic tints for their long-lasting durability and UV protection. Other types of tint include metallic, dyed film, and a hybrid tint, all of which aren’t recommended for windshield tinting.

Either way, if you don’t want the sun’s harmful rays pouring in through your windshield, you need to check your state’s laws first. You wouldn’t want to get up getting fined or, worse yet, in jail.