About Texas Car Window Tinting Requirements
Texas first enacted car window tinting laws in 2009. These regulations govern how tinting is applied to all of the windows on an automobile, truck, van or SUV. Some vehicles are exempt from the window tint requirements imposed by Texas law. These include law enforcement vehicles, taxis, buses, limousines, and vehicles used by persons with medical permits.
The manufacturers of tinting (aka sunscreening) film are required to certify the film they sell in Texas. Thus, it is important that all Texas motorists use certified film for trusted protection. Tinting devices may be applied to the windshield of a motor vehicle if certain conditions are met:
- Tinting devices must be applied above the AS-1 line. If there is no AS-1 line, the sunscreening or tinting devices must end five inches below the top of the windshield. A vehicle’s “AS-1 line” means a line extending from the letters AS-1, found on most motor vehicle windshields, running parallel to the top of the windshield or shall mean a line 5 inches below and parallel to the top of the windshield, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.
- Tinting devices may not be red, amber, or blue in color.
- Tinting devices, when measured in combination with the original glass, must have a light transmittance value of 25% or more.
- Tinting devices, when measured in combination with the original glass, must have a luminous reflectance value of 25% or less.
- A clear or un-tinted UV film is allowed anywhere on the front windshield without a medical exemption being required.
Texas regulates the amount of light allowed in a vehicle. More specifically, the percentage of light allowed through a car window’s film and glass. Window tint darkness is regulated based on Visible Light Transmission, otherwise known as VLT – the percentage of visible light allowed in through the combination of film and the window. Texas laws contain specific regulations based on whether the motor vehicle is a sedan, SUV or van.
Tint darkness for sedans, SUVs, and vans:
- Windshield: 25% VLT tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches, with less than 25% reflection.
- Front Side windows: Must allow more than 25% of light in.
- Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
- Rear Window: Any darkness can be used with side outside mirrors, 25% VLT without.
Window tinting film containing metallic elements can reflect incoming light and reduce the glare and heat generated by visible light. Texas law permits a specific window reflection when tinting windows.
Tint reflection for sedans, SUVs, and vans:
- Front Side windows: Must not be more than 25% reflective.
- Back Side windows: Must not be more than 25% reflective.
Some miscellaneous regulations include the requirement of dual side mirrors if the vehicle’s rear window is tinted. A sticker to identify legal tinting is required between the film & glass on the driver’s side window. Texas allows medical exemptions for special tint. Meeting these requirements necessitates the assistance of a tinting professional who has the experience and ability to make all of the measurements necessary to determine whether the vehicle meets Texas legal requirements.
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