Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Legal Tint In California – California Tint Law

by angel

Legal tints in California

In California, window tinting is a contentious issue. There are many various points of view on the subject, and it might be tough to know where you stand. However, there are rules and regulations guiding window tinting for safety reasons. This write-up will explain the California window tint law and provide some insight into what it entails for your business or personal vehicle.

Furthermore, this article would shed light on all areas of window tint law, assisting drivers in remaining safe and lawful on the roads. Also, find out what kind of window tints are permitted, how dark you can make your tints in terms of tint darkness, and what the consequences are if you disobey the law. The article is a detailed compilation of all you need to know about California window tint laws.

What is Visible Light Transmission (VLT)?

Visible Light Transmission implies the percentage of visible light passing through your vehicle windows. Several levels or percentages range from 5% to 90%. The term VLT describes the degree of darkness in a tint. The color is darker when the number is lower. A percentage rate of 5%, for example, means a very dark tint. Additionally, as seen below, California has distinct VLT percents for front and back windows.

Does window tint go on the inside or outside?

In California, the tinting film must be applied on the inside of the car windows.

Window Tint Darkness

Highly stringent California legislation guides the amount of window tint darkness and reflection permissible for an automobile. Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is a percentage that measures how much light travels through a car window.

As of 2021, the California window tint legislation posits that the front windshield and front side windows must have a 70% percent VLT if combined with factory tinted. According to state law, the tint on the backside and rear windows of California cars can be as dark as they like. Likewise, the back seat and rear window tints can be as dark as it pleases you. If a vehicle’s rear window is tinted, dual side mirrors are required.

California Window Tint Laws

Due to particular medical concerns, many states allow various window tint percentages. The California window tint law allows for a certain amount of window reflection when using a tint. Below are the standing California tint laws;

  • Windshield: There is permission to have a non-reflective tint on the top 4 inches.
  • Front side windows: Light transmission of 70% is allowed.
  • Backside Windows: Any type of tint darkness is acceptable.
  • Rear windows: Any kind of tint darkness is proper for a rear window.

California window tinting laws further state that automobiles’ tints must be non-metallic and not reflect light. The vehicle film is dyed with bronze or copper to give it a dark appearance that reflects very little of what is behind it, with the implantation of metallic particles for long-term endurance. It is a procedure adopted to accomplish having tints that are non-metallic and do not reflect light.

Window tint CA – Medical Exemption

Vehicle owners can receive exemptions for darker tint under the California State Law of Window Tint Medical Exemptions. You’ll need a note from your doctor indicating that the medical exemptions are necessary to use dark tinted windows and the best solution for any diseases or ailments that cause light sensitivity. In other words, a certificate signed and issued by a qualified dermatologist is a requirement for people restricted from exposure to ultraviolet rays owing to a medical condition.

On the off chance that you have window tint imprinted on your car windows like the front side window or the windshield, you should always have a physical medical exemption certification with you in your vehicle at all times. In addition, cars with tinted windows installed according to these medical exemptions are not motorable at night.

It appears to imply that a lack of front windshield visibility may render your car inoperable or unlawful at night. In summary, a tinted windshield or front side windows can impair the driver’s visibility and result in serious accidents.

California State Law on Medical Exemption

Is it legal in California to use reflective tint? According to California tint laws, reflective tint must not create a specular reflection or headlight glare obstructing occupants’ vision of oncoming or following vehicles any more than a windshield without the substance.

  • Side Mirrors: California law requires dual side mirrors for cars with window tint installed on the back window.
  • Is it legal to use colored tint in California? Though the state of California allows almost all tint colors. However, according to the California tint law, no one is permitted to sell, propose a sale offer, or run any vehicle with blue, red, or amber window tint film, especially on front windshields, windows, or wind deflectors.
  • Window Tint License: California requires filmmakers to certify the films or tints they sell in the state. A certificate with the driver’s full name and street address must be in their possession.

What are the Benefits of Window Tinting

Window tinting obstructs up to 99 percent of UV rays. In addition, the interior of the car cools by 60%. It can also help prevent your car’s interior from cracking, dwindling, and looking worn-out due to ultraviolet radiation. Another significant advantage is the level of seclusion, which can prevent passers-by from peering inside.

Window tint is a form of vinyl that blocks sunlight through the window. As a result, tints can limit or remove visibility, affecting driving performance dramatically and eliminating potentially dangerous solar glare and eye fatigue.

Primarily, there are two kinds of tinted windows: factory tinted windows and aftermarket film.

Factory Tinted Windows

A factory window tint implies that it is already built to the windows while manufacturing the vehicle. A tint implanted into the window’s glass is a factory tint. It is entirely wet and cannot be scrapped or peeled from the window.

Tinted glass, commonly known as window glossing or glazing, incorporates dyes and colorful pigments directly into manufacturing. Therefore, the amount and type of additives employed affect the glass color and level of VLT.

Factory window tinting typically has a VLT of 74% to 85%, which means that the tint film allows between 74% and 85% of light to pass through.

Factory tint is often light because it is permanent, and several states in the United States have particular legal restrictions on tint darkness standards. Though it is rare to produce lighter factory tint, aftermarket film makes it darker.

Factory tint does not possess the added advantages of aftermarket tint, such as UV protection. It’s just a personal preference. Aftermarket tint is suitable for those who like to deflect the light away from their cars.

The main advantage of factory tint with a reduced VLT is its privacy for commuters and possessions. However, factory tint does not provide the same amount of UV shielding or heat control as aftermarket window tint films.

With a UV protection value of 99 percent, window film protects you against UVA and UVB rays. Factory tint only protects against UVB rays because UVB rays cannot overrun any form of glass, even non-tinted mirrors.

In other words, you should install aftermarket window films if you wish to minimize heat in your car, minimize cancer-causing UV radiation, and shield yourself from smashed glass in the event of an accident.

Auto manufacturers usually only install factory-tinted glass in the car’s rear window to comply with a wide range of state tinting laws. In addition, drivers must have a certificate certified by the tint installing company or the tinting film manufacturer that clearly states the VLT percentage.

Although this tint blocks some visible light, it does not provide the same level of UV protection as an aftermarket tint film.

How to Reduce the cost of a window tint?

The easiest way to reduce the cost of a window tint is to do it yourself. You can buy a DIY window tinting kit for your car. The kits are available in different VLT percentages, so you can choose the one that best suits your need. Another way to reduce the cost of a window tint is to find a company that offers discounts. Many companies offer discounts on window tints, so be sure to ask around before making your purchase.

You can also check for online coupons or promo codes that you can use to get a discount on your window tint.

Best Places to Get A Tint In California


The city of Concord is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is known for its beautiful weather and diverse population. There are many reputable tinting companies in this area that can provide you with a high-quality tint job.

San Diego

San Diego is another great city in California to get a tint job done. Concord and San Diego are two of the best places to get a tint in California. There are many reputable companies in these cities that can provide you with a high-quality tint job.


Car window tint is legal in California, but following the window tint law is essential. If someone wants to avoid being penalized, they must follow all of the criteria stipulated in the window tint laws. Therefore, before running vehicles with tinted windows, make sure you know these laws. It is critical to observe these laws, mainly in California. However, different towns have interpreted the window tinting laws. Hence, you must demonstrate that you are familiar with these laws.

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