Ohio Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Tinting rules are in place so that law enforcement can safely react to emergency situations. The rules vary from State to State. If you live in Ohio and you want to know if you can tint your windows, keep reading.

Quick Answer

In the state of Ohio, non-reflective tint is only allowed on the top 5 inches of your car’s front windshield. Visible Light Transmission also known as VLT can be at 50% for front side windows and for back windows and rear windshield any darkness is allowed. Ohio has the same visible light transmission rules for tinting for both sedans, SUV’s and vans.

Because the tinting laws in Ohio may differ for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles, we recommend you do your research before beginning.

Window Tinting in Ohio – 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 Ohio?

Windows can be tinted in Ohio 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 Ohio.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Ohio?

The two factors you’ll need to take into consideration when tinting your sedan 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. In Ohio, your car is allowed to have a non-reflective tint on the top 5 inches of your windshield.

Back Windshield If you need to tint your back windshield, rules state rear windows can be any darkness you deem necessary for your needs. As your back windshield is vital when using your rearview mirror to keep safe distances, make sure your tint’s visibility allows for the best drive and protection without compromise.

Driver Window The driver side window must allow at least 50% of light through. Because window tints can also be reflective, taking steps to reduce glare and heat may be necessary. Your driver-side window should be non-reflective. The same reflection standards apply for SUV’s and vans for driver side windows.

Passenger and Back Windows For sedans, the front side window tint should be 50% VLT. Rear side windows and the rear window follow the same rules for sedans, SUV’s and vans which is that any darkness can be used. As with all the windows of your car, these tints must be non-reflective for all passenger and back windows in both sedans and SUV’s.

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 in the state of Ohio, no color tints are explicitly banned.

Ohio 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 several states across America. These include albinism, vitiligo, lupus, dermatomyositis, xeroderma pigmetosum, and other autoimmune diseases or medical conditions. Excessive light can be damaging to those individuals who have been diagnosed with these conditions that limited exposure to light.

Medical exemption certification: In many states, if you have any of the above-mentioned exemptions, you will need to obtain a certificate through your local Department of Motor Vehicles as well as with your doctor which will cost a fee as well as a certified examination to assess the medical reason for exemption. You will be asked to provide proof of medical condition (medical documents) as well as the details of your vehicle when applying. The certificate is non-transferable and will become void once you sell the vehicle it is registered with. That said, you should note that as of Ohio’s enacting of tinting laws in 2004, there has been no medical exemption allowed for tinting your car. This is important to note if you are moving your vehicle from one state to another and have an existing exemption.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ohio 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 Ohio.

According to Ohio State Law, What Does VLT Mean? 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. Ohio is strict on VLT so be sure to confirm with the percentages listed in this article. 

How Much DoesTinting Car Windows Cost in Ohio? While the cost of tinting your windows will vary depending on what you want to do, the quality of the film, and labor, you will spend somewhere in the area of $99 (basic tint) to $400 (higher quality tint) for an average-sized vehicle. 

How Dark Can Your Windows Be in Ohio? Referring to the percentages listed above you will be able to decide which darkness is both right for you and within the regulations for Ohio. 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 Ohio 50% VLT on front side windows means a middle range darkness. 

Is Reflective or Colored Tint Legal in Ohio? While only non-reflective tints are allowed (see above for specifics), there are no bans on colored tints in Ohio. Be sure to check with your local detailing shop for the most up-to-date rules on color tints. 

Can You Get a Ticket for Tinted Windows in Ohio? 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 $120 per ticket. 

Wrap Up

There are a number of reasons that may require window tinting. Be sure to check Ohio guidelines for more information on how to do this within the regulations of your state.

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