Colorado Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Colorado is best known for snow, mountains, and nature.  With that in mind, you’d think that their car tinting laws would be relaxed compared to other states, but are they?  Let’s take a look.

Quick Answer

Colorado’s tinting laws are stricter than some states.  The front windshield allows a 70% tint on the top four inches, while the other windows should normally let in at least 27% of light.  If your front side windows and windshield allow 70% or more light in, the back side windows and rear window can have any amount of darkness.  Reflective and metallic tints are not allowed.

Here’s a handy guide to getting your car windows tinted in Colorado.  This includes answering your questions about the tinting process and avoiding any trouble.

Window Tinting in Colorado – What Does The Law Say?

You may wonder why states make such a big deal out of tinting?  It’s because darkening your car window affects your ability to see through it, increasing the potential for accidents.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Colorado?

Window tinting is legal in Colorado, but before you rush out and do it, you need to know what kind of tint works the best for you.

Dyed: The cheapest, most common way of tinting.  Dyed tints are better for privacy than any other type.  They also fade away after a few years.

Carbon: Carbon window tints are more expensive than dyes, but they’re better at keeping UV rays and heat out.

Ceramic: One of the most expensive options, ceramic tints are also the best for reducing glare.  They won’t interfere with your cell phone or radio signals, either.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Colorado?

Car windows are usually put into different categories, not only for tinting but for inspections.  Sometimes the tinting rules change depending on the window.  Let’s break it down.

Front Windshield: The front windshield can have a tint that allows 70% of light in.  This tint can only go four inches from the top down.  This is so the tint won’t interfere with looking outside the windshield.  The tint must be non-reflective.

Front Side Windows: If you tint the driver’s and passenger’s side windows, they must allow more than 27% of light in.  This rule applies to sedans as well as vans and SUVs.

Back Side Windows: Normally the back side windows must let over 27% of light through.  If your front side windows allow more than 70% of light through, your back side windows can be any amount of darkness.

Rear Window: The rear window should let more than 27% of light through.  As with the back side windows, there is an exception.  If your front side windows let more than 70% of light through, the rear windows can be any amount of darkness.  If you tint your rear window, your car must have a working rear-view mirror on each side to cover any potential blind spots.

Restricted Colors: Colorado has restrictions on certain colors where it’s illegal to tint your car red or amber.  While yellow isn’t a restricted color, it’s easily confused with emergency vehicles from a certain distance, so you might want to stay away from it.

Does Colorado offer Medical Exemptions?

There are certain skin and eye conditions that make it hard to drive in bright light.  Some states have medical exemptions that allow a darker window tint than normal for people with these problems, but Colorado isn’t one of them.  While Colorado doesn’t allow any exemptions, there are some alternatives.

Keeping the sun visor down: The sun visor might not offer a lot of protection, but it’s a practical adaption that’s opaque and found in every car.

Use sunscreen on long trips: Sunscreen protects the skin from sunburns and UV rays.  It’s good for long drives when you know you’re going to be in the sun for hours.  Broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best for keeping your skin healthy.

Don’t forget the sunglasses: If you have sensitive eyes, then sunglasses might be the solution.  Make sure the glasses aren’t too thick because some states have laws against wearing thicker sunglasses while driving.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado’s Car Window Tinting Laws

Here are the answers to any questions you might have about tinting your car in Colorado.

What Does VLT Mean According to Colorado State Law?

VLT is how we measure window tinting.  More specifically, Visible Light Transmission measures the amount of light that goes through a lens or a piece of glass.  100% VLT means that there is no tinting on the glass and all light can get through, while 0% is as dark as it’s going to get.

Can A Truck Have Tinted Windows in Colorado?

Yes, a truck can have its windows tinted.  Tinting on a truck generally follows the same rules as vans and SUVs, all of which are sometimes called Multi-Purpose Vehicles or MPVs for short.  Commercial trucks can also be tinted, but the tinting is limited to the side and back windows.  The side windows must have 70% VLT at least and any darkness on the back ones.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Colorado?

It depends.  A bigger window means more tint, so a regular sedan would cost less than getting a van or an SUV tinted.  The type of tint you’re using is also a major factor in how expensive you’re going to get.  A basic sedan using a dyed tint costs around $220 on average, and the price goes up from there.

How Much Does Tint Removal Cost in Colorado?

If your window tint is too dark, it’s possible to get it taken off.  If you get it done professionally, it’s around $125 total for an average sedan, but the cost will vary depending on the vehicle.  It will also take time.  There are also do-it-yourself methods that can be found online.  These are cheaper, but mean more work for you.

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Colorado?

Colorado treats illegal tinting as a Class B traffic infraction or misdemeanor.  This means that if you get caught with an illegal window tinting, the fine ranges from $500 to $5000.  The police have a way to measure how dark your window is, so make sure your tinting is legal.

Wrap Up

While Colorado’s car window tinting laws are accurate as of the time of writing, they may change over time.  Always make sure to do your research and check up on the current laws just in case.

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