How Much Is a Window Tint Ticket and Is Insurance Affected?

There are many reasons drivers tint their windows, from blocking heat to wanting privacy. However, it’s important that you don’t get in legal trouble with the wrong tint shade. All states including the District of Columbia have window tint laws that limit the use of tinting, with possible exemptions for those with medical needs. Most states consider certain levels of window tint as a misdemeanor or minor infraction. If you do not remove the tint, then the ticket fee will continue to increase anytime you are pulled over. In addition to these tickets, you will also have to pay for tint removal verification fees, court processing fees and any late fees.  However, if you refuse to take off your tint, you could face the following penalties:

  • $25 as your first warning to fix the window tint
  • $100 for first time illegal window tint ticket
  • Over $200 for second illegal window tint ticket

A window tint ticket can also affect your car insurance rate, just like any other violation on your record. Plus, if your tinted windows are darker than the legal limit and you get into a covered car accident, your insurance company may not pay for all damages for the illegally tinted windows. If your windows were tinted by the manufacturer to an amount that's legal in your state, they may be protected by your comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Always keep your insurer up to date with any modifications you make to your vehicle and ask if your current policy covers damages to it. If you file a claim, your coverages will not include modifications the insurer was not made aware of.

Whether or not tinting windows is legal depends on a variety of factors, the most important being where you live and how dark you tint your window(s). Most states allow drivers to tint their window up to limits, while others ban tinting on the front side windows but not other car windows. Check out our table below to see what’s allowed in your state before installing tint to your car windows.

All states including the District of Columbia have window tint laws that limit the use of tinting, with possible exemptions for those with medical needs.

How Is Window Tint Measured?

Window tint levels are measured by the percentage of light that passes through the tint, also known as visible light transmission (VLT). Higher VLT percentages allow more light to pass through, allowing for more visibility. For example, a 60% VLT means 60% of visible light can pass through the window. A 20% tint means only 20% of visible light can come through, making the window darker. You can calculate VLT by using a specialized tint measuring tool (either a tint meter with magnetic probes or a horseshoe tint meter) that is placed on both sides of the window to measure the amount of visible light that passes through. The higher the number (which is usually a percentage,) the more visible light can pass through.

Windshield tints can be measured in inches, detailing how far down the tint goes from the top of the windshield. For example, a five-inch windshield tint would have tinting that goes five inches down from the top of the windshield. The rest of the windshield is untinted.

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What Happens if You Get Pulled Over for a Window Tint?

Depending on the state, you may get a ticket if your window tint is darker than the legal amount. How much it goes over the legal amount will influence your window tint ticket. If you drive to a different state, know that every state has different window tinting limits (see below).

Law enforcement will not waive fines and tickets just because your original state has different laws or if you failed to look up the laws for the states you are traveling through. If you have modified your car windows, you should keep paperwork in your glove compartment that shows the VLT percentage of your windows, in case a police officer asks. Additionally, your fines will be lower if you’re pulled over for a first offense but will get exponentially more expensive each time you get pulled over.

Are the Medical Necessity Exemptions to Window Tint Laws?

Yes, there are medical exemptions for window tints, but eight states currently do not accept them:

  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

Most states allow drivers to tint their window up to limits, while others ban tinting on the front side windows but not other car windows.

Medical exemptions usually only apply to people with a valid vision or medical-related condition that requires a reduction of exposure to sunlight. Additionally, those with medical exemptions are usually tied to a specific car and must carry a letter or certification on them that exempts them. Some examples of qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Melanoma
  • Lupus
  • Allergy to sunlight
  • Albinism
  • Photosensitivity
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Vitiligo
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer

How Much Is a Window Tint Ticket?

Window tint ticket costs vary based on your state and its legal tint limits plus how many tickets or offenses you already have. If your window tint is only a little over your state’s legal limit and it’s your first offense, you will likely just get a warning. If you haven’t removed your tint and get pulled over again, law enforcement will most likely give you a first-offense ticket. Any time you’re pulled over for your windows, your ticket cost will increase.

State

Front Sides

Rear Sides

Rear Window

Windshield

Fines (First Offense)

Alabama

32%

32%

32%

6"

$100 fine and/or 10 days in prison. 

Alaska

70%

40%

30%

5"

Up to $300 fine and $10 surcharge if not fixed within a timeframe.

Arkansas

25%

25%

10%

5"

$1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Arizona

ANY

ANY

ANY

AS1

$250.00 for each time.

California

70%

ANY

ANY

4"

$25 and you will need to remove the tinted windows. An infraction is $197.

Colorado

27%

27%

27%

4"

$500 to $5,000 For a Class B traffic infraction or a misdemeanor traffic offense 

Connecticut

35%

35%

ANY

AS1

Fine depends on the history of infractions and driving history, and whether you fix the tint  — you risk having your car impounded.  

District of Columbia

70%

50%

50%

5"/AS1

$50 up to $1000 fine if not removed within 5 days.

Delaware

70%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$28.75 to $100 fines.

Florida

28%

15%

15%

AS1

Illegal tinting is classified as a non-moving violation and a non-criminal infraction which can result in a fine.

Georgia

32%

32%

32%

6"

$1,000 or up to 12 months in jail.

Hawaii

32%

35%

35%

70% light

$297 per window.

Idaho

35%

20%

35%

AS1

$67 per infraction

Illinois

35%

35%

35%

6"

$50-$500 fine. Second or subsequent violations are class C misdemeanor with $100 - $500 fine.

Indiana

30%

30%

30%

AS1

$500 up to $10,000 for Class C misdemeanor.

Iowa

70%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$127.50

Kansas

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$500 fine for Class C misdemeanor.

Kentucky

35%

18%

18%

AS1

Class B misdemeanor

Louisiana

40%

12%

25%

AS1

$150 for first offense, $250 for second offense, $350 for subsequent offenses.

Maine

35%

ANY

ANY

4"

$100 fine.

Maryland

35%

35%

35%

5"

$50-$1,000 citation.

Massachusetts

35%

35%

35%

6"

Up to $250 fine.

Michigan

4"

ANY

ANY

4"

$95 fine and two points on your license.

Minnesota

50%

50%

50%

NONE

$125 fine.

Mississippi

28%

28%

28%

AS1

$1000, or imprisonment in county jail up to 3 months, or both.

Missouri

35%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$75 per infraction.

Montana

24%

14%

14%

AS1

$500 fine and/or up to 6 months in county jail.

Nebraska

35%

20%

20%

5"/AS1

$100 fine.

Nevada

35%

ANY

ANY

AS1

Over $100 fine.

New Jersey

NONE

ANY

ANY

NONE

$1000 for a first offense, while second window tint ticket could be up to $5,000.

New Hampshire

NONE

35%

35%

6"

$93 fine.

New Mexico

20%

20%

20%

5"/AS1

$75 fine.

New York

70%

70%

ANY

6"

$150 fine.

North Carolina

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$50 fine plus court costs, which total up to about $238.

North Dakota

50%

ANY

ANY

<70%

$20 fine.

Ohio

50%

ANY

ANY

<70%

$100 fine.

Oklahoma

25%

25%

25%

5"/AS1

$5.00 to $500 fine, and/ or imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days.

Oregon

35%

35%

35%

6"

$360 fine.

Pennsylvania

70%

70%

70%

NONE

$110 fine.

Rhode Island

70%

70%

70%

AS1

Up to $250 per offense

South Carolina

27%

27%

27%

AS1

$200 fine or 30 days in prison for each offense.

South Dakota

35%

20%

20%

AS1

Class 2 misdemeanor.

Tennessee

35%

35%

35%

AS1

$100 to $230 or more fine.

Texas

25%

25%

ANY

5"/AS1

$275 fine.

Utah

43%

ANY

ANY

AS1

$50 fine.

Vermont

NONE

32%

ANY

32%

Will cause you to fail an inspection.

Virginia

50%

35%

35%

AS1

$96 per citation.

Washington

24%

24%

24%

6"

$124 fine.

West Virginia

35%

35%

35%

5"

$200 fine.

Wisconsin

50%

35%

35%

AS1

$175 fine.

Wyoming

28%

28%

28%

5"/AS1

$110 fine.

In many states, if you fix the window tint issue, you can get the ticket dismissed.

Does a Window Tint Ticket Affect Your Car Insurance?

Typically, legal window tinting should not affect your car insurance coverage. Window tinting will only impact your car insurance if your windows are tinted at illegal levels according to your state’s requirements. Tinted windows make it harder to see at night, which can increase your chances of getting into an accident. If you get into an accident while having illegally tinted windows, your insurance premiums will definitely increase. Your insurer may even drop you if you failed to notify them regarding your car modification. You should consider purchasing extra insurance for tinted windows, which will likely increase your car insurance but will keep you legally protected.

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Can You Get a Window Tint Ticket Dismissed?

If you get pulled over for a window tint-related traffic offense, the best way to avoid being issued a citation is to have a letter that clears you for being medically exempt. If you do not have a medical exemption, you will have to pay the fines and remove the tint.

In many states, if you fix the window tint issue, you can get the ticket dismissed. When you remove the window tint, you should take pictures of your car windows as proof that the tint was removed. You can also take your car to a tint shop to ensure that you meet your state’s legal requirements (and save your receipt.) In order to dismiss a “fix-it” ticket, you may have to do it within a certain time frame and with an affidavit. For most states, this time frame is typically within two weeks to 30 days.

How To Measure Your Window Tint

Using a tint meter is likely the most efficient and reliable way to assess tint percentage and is used by law enforcement and tinting professionals. Roll your window down halfway and slide the tint meter over the window. The tint meter will display your window’s precise opacity grade and tint percentage. Once you know what your percentage is, you can compare it with your state’s legal tint limit.

You may get a ticket if your window tint is darker than the legal limit. How much it goes over the legal max will influence your window tint ticket.

FAQs

Why do people tint car windows?

People may tint their car windows to shield them from harmful UV rays, heat and bright sunlight. Others may just like the luxury look of darkly tinted windows. Some people have medical reasons like skin cancer or photosensitivity.

Does car insurance cover tinted windows?

Your insurer may cover damage to your windows, but only if the window tint was from the manufacturer and legal in your state. If you modified your car and didn’t notify your insurance company prior to damage, they may just repair what your policy covers excluding your tint.

Can you get a window tint ticket dismissed?

Yes, you can get a window tint ticket dismissed or reduced if you remove the window tint within a specified time — typically two weeks to a month. If you have a medical exemption you can avoid a ticket. Outside of that, you will likely keep accruing hefty fines and infractions if you do not fix the tint.

Key Takeaways

  • Each state has their own individual regulations and laws regarding tinted car windows.
  • Illegal window tinting can result in tickets or accidents that raise your car insurance rates.
  • Some insurance companies may require windows to be covered under modified car insurance.

Get the Right Car Insurance for Tinted Windows

If you just got your windows tinted on your vehicle, you may need to modify your auto insurance. Why not save money on a new policy? Just enter your zip code on this page or call 855.214.2291 to speak with a representative to compare multiple free auto insurance quotes in minutes.

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