The Shades of California Window Tint Law: Guidelines and Regulations

California Window Tint Law

California Window Tint Law is a popular aftermarket modification for vehicles, offering benefits such as privacy, UV protection, and reduced glare. However, each state has its regulations regarding the legality of window tinting. This article will focus on California window tint law, including guidelines, regulations, and penalties for non-compliance.

California Window Tint Law Guidelines:

California law allows a specific level of window tinting on vehicles, which is measured in terms of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. VLT refers to the amount of visible light that passes through the window, and the lower the percentage, the darker the tint. California’s guidelines for VLT percentages are as follows:

Windshield: The front windshield must allow at least 70% of visible light to pass through.

Front side windows: The front side windows must allow at least 70% of visible light to pass through.

Back side windows: The back side windows can be tinted to any degree, as long as the vehicle has side mirrors that provide a view behind the car.

Rear window: The rear window can also be tinted to any degree, as long as the vehicle has side mirrors that provide a view behind the car, and the tint does not result in a VLT percentage below 70%.

California Window Tint Law Regulations:

In addition to the above guidelines, California law also includes regulations for the reflectivity of the window tint and the use of red or blue tinting. These regulations are as follows:

  1. Reflectivity: The front and back side windows must not be more than 88% reflective.
  2. Red or Blue Tinting: The use of red or blue tinting on any window is prohibited.

Penalties for Non-Compliance:

The penalties for non-compliance with California window tint law can vary depending on the degree of violation. They are as follows:

  1. Fix-It Ticket: A fix-it ticket is issued if a vehicle is found to be in violation of California window tint law. This ticket allows the driver to fix the issue and provide proof of correction within a specified period.
  2. Fines: If a fix-it ticket is not corrected within the specified time, fines can be imposed.
  3. Inspection: If a vehicle is cited for window tinting violations multiple times, it may be required to undergo a state inspection, and the tint may need to be removed.


In conclusion, California window tint law is designed to ensure that drivers and passengers have a clear view of the road and surrounding areas while still allowing some degree of tinting for privacy, UV protection, and reduced glare. Vehicle owners need to understand the guidelines and regulations for window tinting in California to avoid penalties for non-compliance. By following these guidelines, drivers can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while staying in compliance with the law.

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