Shining light on Virginia’s window tint laws

Virginia began regulating car window tinting in 1999 out of concern for driver safety and law enforcement visibility. In the years since, the Virginia Code has changed to allow for modern practices and trends.

Virginia tint laws regulate in two ways:

  1. which windows can be tinted, and
  2. how much light they must allow.

tinted window regulations in Virginia

Legal tint in Virginia

The law regulates the amount of light that individuals must allow into the vehicle by percentage per type of window. For instance, regular passenger vehicles may tint their rear side windows to allow no less than 35% of the light, but the front side windows must allow no less than 50% of the light.

In other words, your rear side windows can block 65% of the light, but your front windows must block no more than 50%. This is to account for the need for law enforcement and other drivers to see and/or identify the driver for safety reasons. Because it is less important for law enforcement and other drivers to see backseat passengers, the law permits more tinting on those windows.

sportscar windows tinted

The percentage of light allowed is different for those with medical conditions that require protection from sunlight or bright artificial light. Those drivers must receive pre-approved authorization from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Once approved, they may tint their front side windows to block 65% of the sunlight, as opposed to only 50% for those without medical conditions.

Additionally, drivers with medical authorization can tint their windshields. Windshields for those drivers may be tinted to allow 35% of the light for the upper 5 inches or to the AS-1 line. Alternatively, the windshield can be tinted in its entirety to allow 70% of the light (blocking only up to 30%). Drivers without medical authorization cannot tint their windshield at all. The below tables from the Virginia DMV show the light allowances for each respective driver:

Window tinting regulations in Virginia

If you have been injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.