California Window Tinting Laws

In California, window tinting is governed by various laws. The requirement that windshield tint be limited to the top 4 inches is an important regulation. They must permit the light transmission of at least 70% via the front side windows. The rear window and the back side windows, however, may both be completely dark. California’s window-tinting rules went into effect in 1999 to control the practice.

We understand that you need full disclosure on the allowable darkness and reflectivity of the window tint on your car. To make sure you’re operating within the bounds of the law, you must abide by these rules.

To assist you in understanding the extra guidelines and requirements for automobile window tinting in California, we have included extensive instructions below.

If you need any help or have any more queries, do let us know. We’re here to assist you!

Understanding California Window Tinting Laws

Overview of Window Tinting Regulations

To protect drivers, passengers, and law enforcement personnel, California has particular rules regarding window tinting. You must become knowledgeable about these regulations in order to assure compliance and avoid any fines.

The key parts of California’s window-tinting laws are as follows:

Darkness & Visible Light Transmission (VLT)

According to Visible Light Transmission (VLT) %, California law chooses the minimum amount of darkness that may be used for window tint.

The quantity of visible light that may travel through the window is referred to as VLT. The colour becomes darker as the VLT % decreases.

  1. Window (Front Side): The front side windows in California are required to allow at least 70% (or 70% VLT) of light to enter the room. This suggests that the in question windows could just have a very little tint or none at all.
  2. Windows (Both The Rear And Side): In vehicles without a sunroof, the amount of darkness in the rear side and rear windows may differ.
  3. Vehicles (with Sunroofs): If your car has a sunroof, the same VLT rules that apply to front-side windows also apply to it.

To keep your car on the road legally with no penalties, you have to stick to these VLT percentages.

Reflectivity Limits

In addition to limitations on darkness, California also has restrictions on window tint’s reflection. Visibility concerns for other vehicles and police officers might result from increased reflectivity. The rules are as follows:

  1. Reflectivity on Front Side Windows: Metallic or mirror window tints that reflect more light away from the glass than a particular threshold are banned in California.
  2. Reflectivity on Rear Side Windows and Rear Window: Rear side windows and the rear window reflection are not subject to any special limitations.

Select non-reflective window tints that put safety first and reduce glare to ensure compliance.

Medical Exemptions

The state of California acknowledges certain medical problems that call for people to have darker window tinting for reasons connected to their health.

A person needs a certificate from a qualified doctor in order to be eligible for a permit for medical reasons The medical condition and the suggested amount of window tint darkness should both be included on the certificate.

Keep in mind that there are restrictions on how dark the window tinting may be, even with a medical exemption. To guarantee the following medical and legal criteria, it is important to confer with the appropriate authorities.

Window Tint Darkness in California

Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is the term used to describe the quantity of visible light that may enter your car’s windows in California. Depending on the kind of vehicle—sedans or SUVs/vans—different requirements apply to VLT percentages.

For sedans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches.
  • Front Side windows: Aftermarket film should allow more than 88% light or a minimum of 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Back Side windows: You have the freedom to choose any darkness level.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness is permissible.

For SUVs and vans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches.
  • Front Side windows: Aftermarket film should allow more than 88% light or a minimum of 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows.
  • Back Side windows: You can opt for any darkness level.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness is allowed.

To maintain adherence and safety on California’s highways, several laws are in place. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further queries or require any additional details. We’re here to help you!

Window Tint Reflection In California

By reflecting incoming light, window tints can reduce glare and heat.

Make sure to take note of the California window tint laws, which enable a certain window reflection when using a tint.

For sedans:

  • Front Side windows: The front side windows’ tint shouldn’t be any more reflecting than a typical window.
  • Back Side windows: Additionally, the tint of the windows on the backside shouldn’t be more reflective than a typical window.

For SUVs and vans:

  • Front Side windows: The tint on the front side windows shouldn’t be more reflecting than a typical window.
  • Back Side windows: The tint on the glass on the backside shouldn’t be any more reflecting than a regular window, though.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Penalties for breaking California’s window tinting regulations include fines and possible car repossession. To prevent facing any legal repercussions, it is essential to follow these rules.

The penalty for breaking the law might range from financial penalties to more serious outcomes like higher insurance rates and fines on your driving record, depending on the exact violation.

State of California Info

California, situated on the West Coast of the United States, is a remarkable state with various notable attributes.

Firstly, it holds the distinction of being the most populous state in the country, accommodating approximately one out of every eight Americans. In terms of land area, California ranks as the third largest state, trailing only Alaska and Texas.

The state of California encompasses two of the nation’s largest census statistical areas. The Greater Los Angeles area stands as the second largest, while the San Francisco Bay Area claims the fifth spot. These regions are known for their vibrant cultural diversity and economic significance.

Furthermore, California boasts eight cities among the nation’s 50 most populated. These cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland.

Each city contributes its own unique characteristics, ranging from entertainment and technology to agriculture and politics. Notably, the capital city of California is Sacramento.

California’s prominence as a populous and geographically significant state solidifies its place as an influential and dynamic part of the United States. If you have any more questions or need further information about California, feel free to ask. We are here to assist you!

  • Population: 39,237,836
  • Area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)
  • Capital: Sacramento

Cities in California: Palo Alto, Big Sur, Calabasas, Irvine, Newport Beach, Cupertino, Huntington Beach, Napa, Temecula, Modesto, Torrance, Santa Cruz, Laguna Beach, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Sunnyvale, Stockton, Pleasanton, Ontario, Ventura, Fremont, Menlo Park, Orange, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Burbank, Santa Rosa, Solvang, Eureka, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Mountain View, Pasadena, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Monterey, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Hollister, Malibu, Fresno, Bakersfield.

Counties in California: Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba, Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa.


In conclusion, it’s critical for every car owner to comprehend and abide by California’s window tinting rules.

You may drive lawfully and securely in California by following the laws on darkness and reflectivity, taking into account medical circumstances where necessary, and avoiding fines for breaking the law.

For the most accurate and recent information on California’s window tinting rules, remember to check with local authorities or with a professional window tinting provider.


  1. California Vehicle Code – Section 26708-26713.5
  2. California Department of Motor Vehicles
  3. Assembly Bill no. 1303 (September 2017) – amended medical exemptions

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