What is the Darkest Legal Window Tint in New York?

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It’s no surprise how many people want to get their car windows tinted; tinting your car windows makes it appear rich and premium. Aside from improving the appealing appearance of your car, tinting the windows helps reduce light transmittance into the car, which is pretty much needed for people with albinism or sight problems.

But then, car tinting is guided by regulations, which are state-based. So, depending on the state you live and work in, the level of tint you can put on your car window differs. What is the darkest legal window tint in New York? The state of New York allows 70 percent VLT on all windows, with specific exemptions for the windshields.

Car Window Tinting Laws in New York

darkest legal window tint in new york
Photo by Steevven1 via Wikimedia Commons

The tinting law in New York is quite flexible, but some people may not entirely like it because they want something darker. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles has clearly indicated the tinting regulations for drivers within the jurisdiction. The regulations were included in Section 375 (12-a) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.

According to the law, drivers are not allowed to drive with darker car windows, and that includes windshields. Also, your car must have rearview side mirrors before you can get a tint on the rear windows. Furthermore, the tinting laws are applicable to specific car types labeled as “Passenger Cars”: station wagons, sedans, hardtops, coupes, hatchbacks, and convertibles.

However, some persons are exempted from these regulations, which means they can have darker tints on their windows. These are persons that have medical health conditions and do not need to be exposed to much sunlight. They include people diagnosed with:

  • albinism
  • Chronic actinic dermatitis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Porphyria
  • Xeroderma (pigmentosa) pigmentosum
  • Severe drug photosensitivity
  • Any other health condition or disorder that requires an individual to be shielded from direct sunlight rays.

Tinting your car windows is legal in New York, but going with a darker tint (when not medically granted) is illegal, and you’d get fined for such. If you’re planning on moving to New York to live or work and you already have a dark tint on your car’s windows, you’d need to pull them off and put a lighter tint film.

What is the Darkest Legal Window Tint in New York?

NY’s tinting law indicates that you must not have a darker windshield – whether on the front windshield or back windshield; you must not block more than 30% of light transmittance. In other words, the accepted tinting level is 70 percent VLT. Also, you’re it is illegal to use metallic tint materials on any window.

You can apply 70% tint on all your car windows in New York, except for the front windshield, where it is only allowed for you to tint just 6 inches from the top of the glass. Tinting the rear windshield with a 70 percent VLT material is legal, but you must have dual rearview mirrors on both sides.

New York is one of the few states where dark tinting is not allowed. In states like New Mexico, New Hemisphere, Montana, and many others, you can use darker tints up to 30 percent VLT on all windows asides from the front windshield. Sadly, if you love darker tints, you can’t use such in New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get Pulled Over For Tinted Windows in NY?

Yes, you could get pulled over if you drive with dark tints on your car. The NYS DMV website notifies that about 710,000 tickets have been given out for violations since 2012. This means that pretty many people have been fined for driving with illegal tints in New York. The fine can be up to $150.

Are 5 Tints Legal in NY?

No. Putting darker tints on any window when you stay or work in New York is illegal. The darkest legal window tint in New York is 70 percent VLT. Anything lower than this percentage will attract a fine from the NY DMV.

How Do I Get A Tint Permit in NY?

Except you have a health challenge, you don’t need a tint permit – just don’t put darker tints. Health-challenged individuals are required to get a Medical Exemption report signed by a physician or optometrist indicating why the individual needs darker tints.


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