Michigan Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Americans spend an excessive amount of time in their vehicles and comfort is of utmost importance. Tinting may be important for you for many reasons but has different rules and regulations across the country. So what does the law say about tinting in Michigan?

Quick Answer

In the state of Michigan, a tint on the top 4 inches of your front windshield is allowed. Visible Light Transmission (or VLT) a common standard for tinting in most states, does not apply in Michigan. Any darkness can be used as long as it’s only on the top 4 inches of your front windshield and front side windows. Rear passenger windows and windshield can be any darkness. These rules apply to sedans as well as SUVs and vans.

Because the tinting laws in Michigan are very specific for Michigan State, we recommend you do careful research before beginning and consult a car detailing company if available.

Window Tinting in Michigan – What Does The Law Say?

The law restricts certain levels of tint in different vehicles. Depending on the state in which your car is registered, there will be rules and regulations around what you can and can’t do.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Michigan?

Windows can be tinted in Michigan as long as you obey the specifications for tinting. These rules are in place so that law enforcement officials can safely respond to emergencies.

You should not forgo tinting if it is necessary for your health or protection. Excessive UV rays that can be damaging to your skin or health, as well as privacy, are two of the main reasons people choose to tint their windows.

If you are ready to tint your windows, be sure to follow the guidelines listed below for window tinting in the state of Michigan.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Michigan

Michigan enacted rules and regulations for tinting your vehicle’s car windows in 2000. The two factors you’ll need to take into consideration when tinting your sedan or SUV are darkness and reflection for the different windows of your vehicle.

Front Windshield A major part of your car’s look and performance is in the front windshield. This is where you will probably have the most trouble if your window tint is not at its most optimal level for your needs. Tint Darkness is based on Visible Light Transmission also known as VLT. Any darkness of tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of your windshield and must not be more than 35% reflective.

Back Windshield Any darkness can be used on the back windshield of your vehicle. This applies to sedans, SUVs and vans. As your back windshield is vital when using your rearview mirror to keep safe distances, make sure to use tint darkness you are comfortable with for the best drive and protection.

Driver Window The driver-side window can be tinted in any darkness as long as it is ONLY on the top 4 inches of the glass. No other part of the window may be tinted. When it comes to reflection regulations, driver-side windows for both sedans and SUVs must not be over 35% reflective.

Passenger and Back Windows For sedans, the front side passenger windows can have any shade of tint darkness as long as it is only on the top 4 inches of the window. No other portion of these windows should be tinted. The back passenger windows can be any shade of darkness and reflection must not be more than 35%. Passenger and back window tint of SUVs and vans and can be any darkness.

Restricted Colors If you are in the market to tint your car windows, you may have come across a variety of colors for tinting. Note that the state of Michigan bans the colors SILVER and GOLD in its current tint laws.

Michigan Window Tint Law Medical Exemption

You may have medical reasons for needing to tint your car windows. If this is the case, you should understand that some but not all states allow tinting that’s darker than standard regulation.

Medical reasons for exemption: There are a few outstanding reasons why you might be exempt from tinting rules in the state of Michigan. These may include conditions such as melanoma, lupus, or a sunlight allergy. Any other condition or disorder that requires an individual to be shielded from the direct rays of the sun that can cause severe photosensitivity may also be exempt. This will have to be verified by a medical professional and presented to the Department of Motor Vehicles upon application.

Medical exemption certification: If you have any of the above-mentioned exemptions, you will need to obtain a certificate. You should go your local Division of Motor Vehicles and apply for a medical exception permit. There you will receive detailed instructions on completing the form as well as where to send it.

Approval and Usage: Certain rules apply when obtaining and using your exemption permits. The signed letter from a medical professional, whether that be a physician or optometrist, that indicates a “medical necessity” for the use of window tinting that is above the standard should be carried with you when you are operating your vehicle. If it is determined that you have obtained a medical exemption letter out of false pretense, you may be subject to fines.

Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan Car Window Tinting Laws

There are a few more questions you may have concerning the tinting of your car windows. Below are some FAQ’s about the rules and regulations regarding tint in Michigan.

What Does VLT Mean According to Michigan State Law? VLT or Visible Light Transmission is the percentage of light that tint film allows to pass through your car windows. With a higher VLT, you can assume more light can pass through. Michigan is strict on VLT so be sure to confirm with the percentages listed in this article. 

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Michigan? The state of Michigan is large and you will find that in different areas and counties and the cost of window tinting will vary. The cost of tinting your windows will also vary depending on what you want to do, the quality of the film, and labor. Expect to spend somewhere in the area of $200 (basic tint) to $500 (higher quality tint) for an average-sized vehicle.

How Dark Can Your Windows Be in Michigan? Referring to the percentages listed above you will be able to decide which darkness is both right for you and within the regulations for Michigan. If you are looking at a 35% VLT, you are looking at a somewhat dark tint that you are still able to see through whereas if your VLT is 5% you would hardly be able to see through it. In Michigan, the VLT is not limited but can only be on the top 4 inches of most of your windows.

Is Reflective or Colored Tint Legal in Michigan? While colors are allowed in Michigan according to the window tinting laws, reflective tints must not be more than 35% and not be the colors SILVER and GOLD. Be sure to check with your local detailing shop for the most up-to-date rules on color and reflection tints.

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Michigan? Law enforcement officials are free to question suspected activities if they choose to do so. Possible illegal VLT window tint is one reason why you may be stopped. If you follow the rules you should not get a ticket but if you disobey the tinting regulations you are looking at fines of around $95. You may also be subject to a two-point fine on your driver’s license as well.

Wrap Up

There are several reasons you might have for needing window tint. Be sure to check Michigan guidelines for more information on how to do this within the regulations of your state.

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