Indiana Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Tinting your vehicle windows is a perfect way to avoid the worst effects of the sun.  In Indiana, as with the rest of the United States, tinting is dependent on what rules the state has chosen.  Let’s take a look at Indiana’s window tinting laws.

Quick Answer

A non-reflective tint is allowed above the AS-1 line.  This is a small etching in the front windshield on the passenger’s side about six inches from the top.  The other windows on a regular car can be tinted to let more than 30% of light through.  On vans and SUVs, any darkness can be used up to several inches from the top.  Any reflective tint must not be more than 25% reflective.

But there are more questions to answer.  Is it possible to get around these laws with a medical exemption?  And what about colored tint?  Well, read on for the answers.


Window Tinting in Indiana – What Does The Law Say?

The first thing to do when tinting your car windows is your research.  Look at not only what Indiana’s law says about tinting, but the local laws too.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Indiana?

The good news is that you can get your car windows tinted in Indiana, but you probably want to leave the job to the professionals.  Here’s a brief look at some of the most common tint types.

Dyed: The cheapest, easiest method of tinting your car windows is made by layers of dye put one on top of another until the right darkness is reached.

Metallic: Not as cheap as dyed tints, but more effective about blocking UV rays.  Metallic tints have small pieces of metal in them and can be hybridized with dyes for a more effective tint.

Carbon: Carbon tints are, again, more expensive, but more effective than metallic or dyed.  It’s a good insulator and will keep your car cooler.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Indiana?

Your car windows tend to come in four different categories.  They are the front windshield, the front side windows, the back side windows, and the rear window or rear windshield.  Here is what Indiana’s laws have to say about each of them.

Front Windshield: You can get your front windshield tinted from the top down to the AS-1 line.  This is a small etching around six inches down the windshield that tends to be on the passenger’s side.  If you don’t see it, assume it’s there.  The tinting cannot be reflective, so it won’t distract other drivers.

Front Side Windows: The driver’s and front passenger’s windows can be tinted, but must allow more than 30% of light in.  This goes for sedans, vans, and SUVs.  The tint can be reflective, but not more than 25% reflective.  You do not need a sticker on the window to identify legal tinting.

Back Side Windows: If you want to tint the back side windows, how much you can do depends on whether you own a sedan or an SUV/van.  A sedan’s windows can be tinted but should let more than 30% of light in.  Also, a van or an SUV can have any darkness around an unspecified “several inches” from the top.  The tint must not be more than 25% reflective.

Rear Window: Like the back side windows, the rear window must let more than 30% of light in.  If you have a sedan, that’s the lowest it can go.  If you have a van or an SUV, you can also have any darkness “several inches” from the top.  The tint should not be more than 25% reflective.

Restricted Colors: Indiana has no restrictions on specific colors.  But you might want to avoid colors like red, yellow, or amber to avoid confusion with emergency vehicles.

Indiana Window Tint Law Medical Exemption

Some conditions make it hard to drive with a normal tint.  Lupus, cataracts, or skin cancer are several examples.  Indiana permits medical exemptions to the state tinting laws.

Your doctor needs to attest to your condition: If your doctor or eye doctor has a license to practice in Indiana and believes that you need an exemption to the tinting, they need to attest to your condition.

Carry a certificate in your vehicle: Once you receive the exemption, you must get a certification of your condition from your doctor and keep it in the car at all times.  Keeping it in the glove compartment is a good idea.

Renewing your certificate: Your certificate will not last forever; it must be renewed once a year.  Make sure to make an appointment with your doctor or eye doctor before the old certificate expires.

Checking it out: If you feel that you need an exemption, talk to your doctor.  Make sure that you look into any local laws before you take the plunge.

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana’s Car Window Tinting Laws

Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about car window tinting and Indiana’s laws.

What Does VLT Mean According to Indiana State Law

Visible Light Transmission, or VLT for short, is a way to measure how much light is getting through a piece of glass.  A lighter tint means that more light will get through the glass, so a tint of 90% will let a lot of light through.  Similarly, darker tints have lower percentages.

How Long Will My Car Window Tint Last?

How long your window tint will last depends on what is used to create it.  Dyed tints have a tendency to become lighter over time and will fade out in around five years.  Metal and ceramic tints last longer and can last up to ten years.  There are different factors involved in wearing out a tint, such as exposure to heat and light.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Indiana?

The cost of getting your window tinted depends on what type of tint you’re getting and what kind of vehicle you’re tinting.  For example, an SUV has larger windows than a sedan and will cost more.  The estimated cost for tinting your car windows starts at just under $200 and goes up from there.

How Dark Can Your Windows Be in Indiana

A window’s darkness depends on which window you’re tinting.  In Indiana, the side and rear doors can’t go under 30% dark.  But if you’re tinting an SUV or van, you can also use any shade of darkness for the top several inches of the front and back side doors and back window.

Is Reflective or Colored Tint Legal in Indiana?

Yes, reflective and colored tint is legal in Indiana.  The tint must not be more than 25% reflective, and the reflective tint can’t be used on the front windshield.  Indiana also doesn’t have restrictions on any colors.

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Indiana?

Having tinted windows that are too dark in Indiana, and not having an exemption certificate, is treated as a Class A or Class C infraction.  Class C can get you a fine of up to $500, while Class A can go all the way up to $10,000.  If you get a ticket for having your windows tinted too low, get the tint lightened or removed and keep the receipt.

Wrap Up

Getting your car tinted is a big project.  Researching both the tinting and the laws involved both local and state-wide makes the process easier.  And if you know what you’re doing, you can save a lot of time, money, and stress.

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