The sun’s rays can be damaging to skin, eyes, and even to the interior of a car. That’s why many states have laws regulating the maximum amount of visible light that can pass through a car’s windows. In Washington State, the legal tint level is regulated by the Department of Licensing.
Types of Tint
Tint film is available in a variety of shades – from nearly clear to very dark. In Washington State, the law allows for both factory-installed and aftermarket tinting. The legal tint level is determined by the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) – the amount of light that passes through the window film and glass.
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Limits
Each state has its own regulations regarding tint levels. In Washington State, the legal VLT limits are as follows:
- Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield. No other tint is allowed.
- Front side windows: Must allow at least 24% of light in.
- Back side windows: Must allow at least 24% of light in.
- Rear window: Must allow at least 24% of light in.
Tint that is darker than the legal limits is considered illegal.
Exceptions to the Rules
In some cases, exceptions to the rules can be made. For example, a medical exemption may be granted to a person with a medical condition that requires the use of tinted windows. Medical exemption forms must be completed and signed by a physician, and submitted to the Department of Licensing.
Penalties for Violations
Drivers who violate the tint laws in Washington State can face fines and other penalties. Depending on the severity of the violation, a driver may be issued a warning or be required to remove the tint from the vehicle. If a driver fails to remove the tint, they may be subject to a fine of up to $124.
The legal tint level in Washington State is regulated by the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) limits. Tint that is darker than the legal limits is considered illegal and drivers can face fines and other penalties for violating the law. Exceptions to the rules can be made in certain cases, such as for medical reasons. It’s important for drivers to be aware of the tint laws in Washington State to avoid getting fined or issued a warning.