Mark Roman | September 27, 2022 | Florida LAw
Tinted windows provide a vehicle’s occupants with increased privacy, reduce glare while driving, and enhance a car’s appearance. Window tinting is especially popular in Florida due to its ability to reduce the amount of heat that builds up in a parked car.
However, adding an aftermarket tint to a car’s windows is closely regulated in most states, Florida included. If you want your windows tinted in Florida, here’s what you need to know about the state’s window tint laws.
Tinted Windows Come With Drawbacks
Despite the many benefits of tinted windows, they can pose safety concerns.
A tint increases the amount of glare that reflects off a car’s windows. This effect can seriously impact visibility for other drivers on the road, leading to an increased risk of an accident.
Window tint is also a safety issue for law enforcement and other first responders. They are unable to see what’s happening inside a vehicle when the tint is too dark.
Understanding How Florida Measures Window Tint
Window tint is a type of film that covers the windows of a car. The tint is regulated according to its visible light transmission, often abbreviated as VLT. VLT measures how much light can pass through the window tint film.
Visible light transmission is measured in percentages. A high VLT percentage indicates a low tint that allows in lots of visible light. Inversely, a low percentage indicates low light transmission and a darker tint.
How Does Florida Limit Window Tint?
Florida laws dictate the VLT levels of a car’s window tint based on the type of window.
A car’s windshield can’t be tinted much. The law allows only a non-reflective tint, and even that can only be applied along the top four inches of the windshield.
All other windows on a car can legally have a window tint as long as the visible light transmission percentage is within the legal range.
For drivers in Florida, the window tint guidelines are:
- 28% or higher VLT for front side windows
- 15% or more VLT for back side windows
- 15% or more VLT for rear windows
In addition to VLT, window tint is also regulated by reflectivity, or how much light reflects off the tint. Florida limits tint reflectivity to 25% or less.
Can You Get a Ticket for Having Tinted Windows in Florida?
Yes, overly tinted windows in Florida can leave you with a fine for the violation. An overly tinted window is considered to be a non-moving violation.
Some drivers in Florida may choose to tint their windows beyond the legal level. In these cases, they often hope to avoid a ticket, or they choose to pay should they get pulled over for having an illegal tint.
However, most people try to abide by the law and want to avoid paying unnecessary legal fines. If you’ve received a ticket for the tint on your windows and you did not know that you were breaking the law, you have options.
Protecting Yourself from Window Tint Legal Issues in Florida
You should always save receipts for any vehicle services, including window tinting services. The auto service that tinted your windows is also legally required to place a sticker indicating the level of tint on the inside of the driver’s door. This can help to place responsibility on the company that completed the tint job.
Window tint can have far-reaching consequences, especially if a car with overly tinted windows is involved in an accident. Tinted windows can complicate the question of fault in a car accident and even lead to reduced compensation.
For specific questions about window tint tickets and liability for a ticket or a crash, you can always consult a Florida car accident lawyer.
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