Window Tinting – New Law in 2017

Can You Have Tinted Windows on Your Car?

Since January 1st 2017, tinted or shaded windows will be checked when you have car inspected. This video on YouTube has additional information about this new law.

Window Tint - Credit: Sf46

What is Window Tinting?

Window tinting refers to different methods that prevent or limit the amount of light that passes through your vehicles windshield or windows.

Most cars already have safety glass that has been coated or treated to keep out harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays. Such window tinting is done during the manufacturing process and usually compliant with the law.

If you are considering after-market window tinting, you should make sure such changes are compliant with the New York law.

Reflections Car Window - Photo Credit: Tomwsulcer

What New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Says

Section 375 (12-a) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law does not allow a windshield or front side windows that are dark.

  1. The windshield and front side windows cannot block more than 30 percent of the light. This means that 70 percent or more of the light from the outside must pass through the window.
  2. This law also applies to the rear window unless the vehicle has outside rear-view mirrors on both side. The mirrors must give the driver a full and clear view behind the vehicle.
  3. Rear side windows must also allow at least 70 percent of light from the outside to pass through the window if the vehicle is classified as a:
    • station wagon
    • sedan
    • hardtop
    • coupe
    • hatchback
    • convertible

    A vehicle falls into one of these categories if it is labeled “Passenger Car” on the Federal ID label found on the left front door panel.

What You Need to Know

It is unlawful for anyone to sell, offer for sale, or install glass that does not comply with this law.

It is also unlawful to operate a vehicle with glass that does not comply with this law.

Exemptions Offered for Certain Medical Conditions

NYS Health department regulations specify that only the following medical conditions may be used to justify an exemption from the limits on light transmittance.

If you have one of the medical conditions below that require you to have tinted vehicle windows, you may request an exemption from the law using the Application for Tinted Window Exemption (MV-80W).

  • Porphyria
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosa
  • Severe Drug Photo-Sensitivity


Reflections Car Window – Credit: Tomwsulcer

Window tint enforcer – Credit: Sf46

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