tinted windows

Are Window Tints Legal in NY?

Can You Get Pulled Over for Tinted Windows in NY?

You probably know someone who has tinted windows on their vehicles, or you may have window tints yourself. Considering how common window tints are in the US, it’s easy to assume that anyone can get their car windows tinted, no matter the darkness. Well, that’s not true, and the numbers below prove it.

Between 2012 and 2017, police officers have issued about 710,000 tickets for violations in New York. As you can see, law enforcement does not mess around with window tints. After all, the state’s window tint laws were created for the purpose of protecting law enforcement, although officers also believe this law protects drivers and passengers as well.

All states have window tint percentage laws, including New York. So if you are caught with unlawful window tints in the Empire State, you could get fined $150.

Reasons People Tint Their Car Windows

Why do people get their windows tinted? If you think about it, you probably see window tints on vehicles every day, whether it be on your way to work, school, appointments, or the like. With this in mind, you may be curious as to why people tint their windows in the first place. Common reasons include:

  • Reduces glare
  • Protects from UV rays
  • Protects car upholstery
  • Keeps car cool
  • Privacy
  • Safety
  • Appearance

New York Tinted Windows Law

Effective January 1, 2017, New York law prohibits dark windshields and front side windows. Specifically, drivers cannot get tints that block more than 30% of the light coming through windshield and front side windows. So, drivers may get their windshields and front windows tinted as long as 70% or more of the outside light passes through. This law also applied to rear windows unless the vehicle has rear-view mirrors on both sides.

What about rear side windows?

The same law applies. Rear side windows cannot block more than 30% of the outside light, meaning 70% of outside light must pass through the rear side windows if the vehicle is classified as a:

  • Station wagon
  • Sedan
  • Hardtop
  • Coupe
  • Hatchback
  • Convertible

Keep in mind that it is also illegal to sell, offer for sale, or install glass that doesn’t comply with the laws above. Accordingly, you cannot drive a vehicle with illegal window tints in NY, or you may get pulled over and fined.

Window Tints & Vehicle Inspections

Another key element of New York’s window tint law is that window tint testing is required during annual motor inspections. This means that as of January 1, 2017, your typical annual car inspection includes window tint testing to ensure your vehicle windows align with state law. Your vehicle will fail the annual inspection if it has illegal window tints, requiring you to address the issue before the expiration date on your sticker, as long as the sticker is still valid.

How Do I Get a Window Tint Exemption in NY?

Certain individuals with qualifying medical conditions may get an exemption from the tinting limits we discussed above. As such, if you have one of the following medical conditions that require you to have tinted windows exceeding 30%, fill out the NY Application for Tinted Window Exemption here.

  • Albinism
  • Chronic actinic dermatitis/actinic reticuloid
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Porphyria
  • Xeroderma (pigmentosa) pigmentosum
  • Severe drug photosensitivity, provided that the course of treatment causing the photosensitivity is expected to be of prolonged duration
  • Photophobia associated with an ophthalmic or neurological disorder
  • Any other condition or disorder causing severe photosensitivity in which a person is required to be shielded from sun rays for medical reasons

Did you get a ticket for illegal window tints? It’s an inconvenience, but with the help of our attorney, we may be able to fight your ticket so you can move forward. Learn more when you contact us at (212) 235-1525!

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