Sign In

Considering Window Tinting? Keep it Legal with this Guide to California's Tinting Law

Last updated 6 years ago

One of the most exciting aspects of car ownership is customization of your vehicle. Window tinting is a popular way to do this, but certain states like California have restrictions placed on the type and amount of tint that can be used. This short overview of California’s tint laws can help you make the right decisions when it comes time to darken your vehicle’s glass.

The Percentage System

Like most other states, California uses a percentage system to determine the amount of tint allowable by law. The percentage amount measures the transmission of visible light through the glass and into the vehicle, with a higher percentage letting in more light than a lower percentage. Different windows and windshields are susceptible to different VLT percentage restrictions, and knowing the law can keep you out of trouble with the highway patrol.


The front windshield of a vehicle can have tinting on the top four inches of the windshield, as long as it is non-reflective. A windshield that is completely tinted will definitely draw attention from local law enforcement, so avoid tickets by complying with the legal tinting level restrictions.

Driver-Side Window

For a driver-side window to comply with California tint code, it must allow 70% of outside light into the cabin of the vehicle. Tint which is darker than 70% makes it too difficult for authorities to determine if a driver is wearing a seatbelt, complying with hands-free cellphone laws, or driving in a distracted fashion.

Passenger and Rear Windows

The passenger-side and rear windows of a vehicle can be tinted as heavily as an owner chooses. If the rear windows of a car are tinted, side-view mirrors are required for street-legal operation.

Glass on the Move is the Oakland and San Francisco area’s number-one automotive glass repair shop, and has been for the past thirty years. Come take advantage of our extensive experience and compassionate customer service by visiting our East 12th street location. Call us at (510) 338-4791 or visit our website for additional details. 



  • Loading comments... Spinner
Do you like Auto Glass on the Move?

Auto Glass Mobile Service Repair


  • Recent Posts
    • Loading posts... Spinner
  • View All
  • Recent Comments
    • Loading comments... Spinner
  • Related Links
  • Popular Tags
    • Loading tags... Spinner