Kentucky Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Tinting car windows is regulated by laws that vary from state to state.  But what are the laws like for Kentucky?  Read on and find out.

Quick Answer

Kentucky allows a non-reflective tint on the front windshield above the AS-1 line.  The front side windows must let over 35% of light in.  The back side and rear windows depend on if you own a sedan or a van/SUV.  On a sedan, those windows can legally allow over 18% of light through.  If you tint a van or an SUV, your back side and rear windows must let more than 8% of light in.

If you want to tint your car, the best thing to do is research.  There are lots of questions to ask about tinting your car, and answers to be found.

Window Tinting in Kentucky – What Does The Law Say?

Why do people tint their car windows?  Privacy is a major reason.  A tinted window also protects your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays and glare.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Kentucky?

Did you know that there are many different types of tints?  It’s the first thing you need to decide when tinting your car windows.  Let’s take a look at some.

Dyed: The cheapest and most commonly used tint is better at privacy than blocking the sun’s rays.  Dyed tints also fade out after a few years.

Metallic: Metallic tints are more effective than, and sometimes hybridized with dyed tints.  The metal used can interfere with GPS and cell phone signals.

Carbon: If you want to use carbon tints, they’re more expensive than metallic and dyed tints.  Carbon has the advantage of being not only better for blocking out UV rays but won’t interfere with phone or GPS signals.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Kentucky?

Different windows have different laws when it comes to tinting.  Windows are usually divided into categories for these purposes.

Front Windshield: The front windshield can have a non-reflective tint from the top down to the AS-1 line.  The AS-1 line is a manufacturer’s mark around six inches down the windshield, usually found on the passenger’s side.  The rule goes for both sedans and multi-purpose vehicles such as vans and SUVs.

Front Side Windows: If you want to tint your driver’s and passenger’s side windows, Kentucky’s laws say that the tint can’t go lower than 35% tinted.  This rule applies to both sedans and multi-purpose vehicles.  This tint must not be more than 25% reflective, and there must be a sticker to identify legal tinting in the driver’s side doorjamb.

Back Side Windows: On a sedan, the back side windows can be tinted to letting 18% of light through.  If you’re tinting a van or an SUV the tint can allow 8% of light over most of the window, but the top eight inches can be any level of darkness.  Keep the tint’s reflectiveness under 25% and you’re good.

Rear Window: As with the back side windows, the rear window can get a legal tint to let 18% of light in on a sedan.  A multi-purpose vehicle can be tinted any darkness for the top eight inches, while the rest of the window shouldn’t let less than 8% of light in.  The window’s reflectivity needs to be under 25%.

Restricted Colors: Kentucky doesn’t have any restrictions on colors, but certain colors can easily be confused with rescue vehicles from a distance.  Be careful about using red, yellow, or amber tints on your car windows.

Kentucky Window Tint Law Medical Exemption

Kentucky unfortunately does not allow medical exemptions to their tinting laws.  While this makes driving more inconvenient for people who have eye or skin problems, there are ways to improve your drive.

Sunscreen for long trips: Believe it or not, you can get sunburned on long car trips, especially if you’re stuck in traffic or driving on a sunny day.   Broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best for protecting sensitive skin from UV rays and sunburns.

Use Sunglasses if you can: Sunglasses are great for protecting your eyes from bright sun and glare.  Some states and local towns have laws against drivers wearing too-thick sunglasses, so make sure you do your research before you use them.

Don’t forget the sun visor: While a car’s sun visor doesn’t offer a lot of protection, it’s not only a solid sun blocker but adjustable as well.  You can also wear a broad-brimmed hat, like a baseball hat, to shield your eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky’s Car Window Tinting Laws

Here are some questions that haven’t been covered so far, and answers to go with them.

What Does VLT Mean According to Kentucky State Law?

Visible Light Transmission, also known as VLT, is how we measure darkness in a tint.  It’s measured in percentage, with the lower percentages indicating a darker tint.  So, 100% VLT means there is no tint while 0% VLT is fully tinted.

Does Kentucky Allow Truck Windows To Be Tinted?

Yes, trucks are considered Multi-Purpose Vehicles.  They’re in the same category as vans and SUVs, so the back side and rear windows can be tinted darker than they would be on a sedan.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Kentucky?

The price of tinting depends on what kind of vehicle you’re tinting, what kind of tint you’re using, and where you get your tint.  If you get a basic dyed tint on a sedan, it will cost around $200 to put the tint on.  Bigger vehicles will cost more since they have bigger windows.

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Kentucky?

Kentucky considers illegal tints a Class B misdemeanor, which means you could wind up in jail for up to 90 days.  You’ll also find yourself facing a fine of up to $250.  Police have instruments that measure the VLT of a window, so make sure your window tint is legal.

Does Kentucky Require Tinting Film To Be Certified?

Yes, Kentucky’s laws state that any film used to tint windows must be certified.  Basically, it means that the tint comes with a certificate to prove it’s legal.  Keep it in the glove compartment where you’ll be able to find it easily.

Wrap Up

While Kentucky’s car window tinting laws are accurate when this was written, the laws can easily change.  Always research the laws, both state-wide and local, because it could save you a lot of time and trouble.

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