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Your Guide to Car Window Tint and the Law in California

Last updated 6 years ago

Tinting your windows can provide your car with more privacy, block harmful UV rays, lower its interior temperature, and reduce glare from headlights, not to mention its sleek and stylish appearance. However, window tinting significantly reduces visibility into the car, which can impede the efforts of law enforcement officials. As a result, window tinting is subject to various restrictions under California law. Before installing new auto glass in your car, be aware of car window tint restrictions in California with this brief overview:

  • Windshield
    According to VC Section 26708 from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, windshield tinting is only permitted on its topmost border (usually four inches, though this may vary between specific makes and models). This portion is known as the visor, and it is the only tinting allowed on the windshield.  The visor cannot be red or amber in color, nor can it reflect incoming light into the eyes of the occupants.
  • Front Windows
    Tinting is also prohibited on front windows, though state legislation does allow the installation of a colorless, transparent coating for the purpose of reducing glare and harmful UV rays. This material must fall within accepted visible light transmission standards as established by VC Section 26708—that is, it must allow at least 70 percent light transmittance after installation on the window.
  • Back and Rear Windows
    Although there is no restriction on tint opacity for back and rear windows, the tinting cannot increase window reflectivity.  The tinting also cannot be colored red, blue, or amber. Over time, extended exposure to the sun may result in bubbling and tearing, after which it is legally required to be removed or replaced.

Our specialists here at Glass on the Move have more than 33 years of experience in car window installation and repair in the Bay Area, and we can help you maintain your car’s appearance quickly, easily, and affordably. Our auto glass is D.O.T.-approved and all workmanship by our certified auto glass installers comes with a lifetime warranty. Call (510) 338-4791 today to receive a quote.


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