Window tint laws in California and Arizona

Window tint laws in California and Arizona

Posted: Updated:

Desert Southwest, June 15 -- If you have any doubt summer is here go sit in your car for a few minutes.  It's scorching.  Window tinting sounds like a great idea, but there are some restrictions you need to know about first.

Body shops all over the Desert Southwest have people lined up to get their windows tinted now that summer is here.  When it's placed on the windows of a car, the tint will block various kinds of light from entering the vehicle, either by absorption or reflection.  A car that is not tinted will allow 90 percent of natural light in to a vehicle.  But some state laws prohibit you from keeping cool.

In California you're not allowed to have window tint on the front windows or the windshield of the vehicle. But that's not the case in Arizona.  There are no regulations in either state about  having you're rear windows tinted.

Arizona Window Tint Law

Arizona Tint Law Enacted: 1994

HOW DARK CAN WINDOW TINT BE IN ARIZONA?

Darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). In Arizona, this percentage refers to percentage of visible light allowed in through the combination of film and the window.
Windshield Non-reflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer's AS-1 line.
Front Side Windows Must allow more than 33% of light in.
Back Side Windows Any darkness can be used.
Rear Window Any darkness can be used.
 
HOW REFLECTIVE CAN THE TINT BE IN ARIZONA?

Similar to sunglass lenses, some tinting film contain metallic elements that help in reflecting incoming light and reducing the glare and heat generated by visible light.
Front Side Windows Must not be more than 35% reflective.
Back Side Windows Must not be more than 35% reflective.
 
OTHER ARIZONA RULES AND REGULATIONS
Restricted Colors The tint color(s) of RED AMBER are not legal by state law.
Side Mirrors Dual side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
Certificate Requirements Manufacturers of film do NOT need to certify the film they sell in the state.
Sticker Requirements No sticker to identify legal tinting is required.
Medical Exemption State allows medical exemptions for special tint. For more details about the specific terms of the exemption, consult your state law.

 

California Window Tint Law

California Tint Law Enacted: 1999

HOW DARK CAN WINDOW TINT BE IN CALIFORNIA?

Darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). In California, this percentage refers to percentage of visible light allowed in through the combination of film and the window.
Windshield Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
Front Side Windows Must allow more than 70% of light in.
Back Side Windows Any darkness can be used.
Rear Window Any darkness can be used.
 
HOW REFLECTIVE CAN THE TINT BE IN CALIFORNIA?

Similar to sunglass lenses, some tinting film contain metallic elements that help in reflecting incoming light and reducing the glare and heat generated by visible light.
Front Side Windows Must not be more reflective than a standard window.
Back Side Windows Must not be more reflective than a standard window.
 
OTHER CALIFORNIA RULES AND REGULATIONS
Restricted Colors The tint color(s) of RED AMBER BLUE are not legal by state law.
Side Mirrors Dual side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
Certificate Requirements Manufacturers of film do NOT need to certify the film they sell in the state.
Sticker Requirements No sticker to identify legal tinting is required.
Medical Exemption State law does NOT allow medical exemptions that would allow you use special tint.