Missouri Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Anyone who has been to Missouri can tell you that it’s mostly a hot, humid state.  Keeping cool is one of the reasons that people use tinting on their car windows.  Tinting is regulated by the states rather than federally, so what are Missouri’s rules for tinting their windows?

Quick Answer

Missouri allows a non-reflective tint above the AS-1 line on the front windshield.  The front side windows should allow more than 35% of light in.  The back side and rear windows can be any darkness if the vehicle has a rear-view mirror on each side.  All windows except the front windshield can have a reflective tint that must not be more than 35% reflective.

Tinting windows, whether in Missouri or in any other state, is not a decision to be made lightly.  There are many considerations to be made before you take the plunge.


Window Tinting in Missouri – What Does The Law Say?

The best thing to do when tinting car windows is research.  Look at the benefits and drawbacks of tinting, the local and state laws, and what you want in a tint.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Missouri?

Car window tinting is legal in Missouri.  The easier, if more expensive way, is to bring your vehicle to an auto shop and have professionals do the work.  Here’s a look at some of the available options.

Dyed: The cheapest form of tinting, where several layers of dye are put together to make a dark film.  Dyes tend to fade after a few years.

Metallic: Metallic tints are better at blocking heat and UV rays than dyed ones.  They’re often combined with dyed tints for more protection.  Metallic tints are also reflective, which can give the windows a reflected glare.

Carbon: A more expensive tint than either of the others, carbon tinting puts a layer of carbon fibers into the tint.  This is better for keeping your car cool on a hot day.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Missouri?

Car windows tend to come in four categories when it comes to tinting laws.  The front windshield, the front side window, the back side windows, and the rear window or rear windshield.  Let’s take a look at each category.

Front Windshield: The front windshield can only get a non-reflective tint from the top of the windshield down to the AS-1 line.  The AS-1 line is a small etching usually found on the passenger’s side of the windshield around six inches down, and if you can’t find it, assume it’s there.

Front Side Windows: The driver’s and front passenger’s seat windows must allow more than 35% of light in.  A reflective tint is also legal, but it should not be more than 35% reflective.  This goes for sedans, or regular cars, as well as vans and SUVs.

Back Side Windows: Unlike the front windows, the back side windows of sedans, SUVs, and vans can have any amount of darkness in their tints.  The tint must not be more than 35% reflective.

Rear Window: Finally, the rear window can be tinted any amount of darkness that’s under 35% reflective.  There is another rule about it, however: if you tint the rear window, you must have a rear-view mirror on either side.  This means you’ll be less likely to miss seeing something, which could mean stopping potential accidents.

Restricted Colors: Missouri doesn’t have any restrictions on colored tints, but certain colors could be confused for emergency vehicles.  You might want to stay away from red, yellow, and amber tints.

Missouri Window Tint Law Medical Exemption

If you have a condition that makes it hard to drive even with a legal tint, it’s possible to get an exemption to the law.  Here’s what you need to know about medical exemptions.

You need a prescription from your doctor: Your doctor is the first one who decides that you qualify for an exemption.  If you do, they’ll write a prescription for darker windows for you.  The prescription will include a recommended level of darkness for the front side windows.

The Highway Patrol takes the next step: If the prescription is written within a year before the day you send it in, you can bring your vehicle to the Missouri Highway Patrol.  They will give you a permit to tint your windows darker.  You’ll also receive a sticker on your vehicle’s windshield, and a decal for the rear window or your vehicle’s bumper.

Don’t lose your permit!  You must have your tinting permit in your vehicle at all times.  Storing it in the glove compartment is a good idea.

Can anyone else drive an exempt vehicle?  Anyone in the person who applied for the permit’s immediate family can drive the vehicle, if they have a driver’s license, of course.  If the permit, sticker, and decal are in place, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Missouri’s Car Window Tinting Laws

Here are the answers to some other questions you may have about car window tinting in Missouri.

What Does the Missouri Tinting Law Say About Trucks?

As far as I can tell, trucks can be tinted.  That includes commercially owned trucks, but most state laws seem to not specifically mention trucks.  When it comes to the level of darkness, trucks are usually in the same category as vans and SUVs.

What Does VLT Mean According to Missouri State Law?

Visible light transmission, or VLT for short, is how light passing through a transparent object is measured.  It’s measured in percentage, so 100% VLT means there is nothing between the light and the window.  Lower VLT means the window will appear darker.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Missouri?

The cost of tinting car windows depends on two things: what kind of car you’re tinting, and what kind of tint you’re using.  If you’re using dyed tint on a regular sedan, expect a price of around $200.  The price goes up for an SUV or van since they have bigger windows than a sedan.

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Missouri?

If your car is slightly darker than Missouri’s laws specify, you will be okay.  The laws allow for a 3% variance, but it’s still a good idea to stick to the legal limit.  Having a window that’s too dark is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which has a maximum of 15 days in jail and a $750 fine.

What Do I Do if I’m Crossing State Lines?

You can get pulled over for crossing state lines with a tint that’s legal in one state but not in another.  However, whether you get a ticket depends on multiple factors.  Where your car is registered, or what the police in the new state are like, for example.

Are There Any Other Things to Know About Missouri’s Tinting Laws?

The main things that I haven’t explained yet are Missouri’s laws on tint certification.  The manufacturers of the tint don’t have to have their film certified.  Also, you don’t need to have a sticker on your window to identify legal tinting.

Wrap Up

Missouri’s laws aren’t set in stone.  While their car tinting laws are accurate as of this writing, they could easily change in the future.  Do your research on the laws and make sure that you’re up to date.  It might save you some legal trouble.

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