Rhode Island Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Car tint laws vary from state to state, and Rhode Island is no different. If you’re planning to tint your windows in this state, you may be wondering what the car tint laws are?

Quick Answer

Window tint laws in Rhode Island are as follows:

  • Front Windshield – Tint strip permitted in the uppermost six inches of the windshield. This strip must not encroach on the driver’s view area.
  • All other windows – Must allow at least 70% light transmittance.
  • If windows are tinted, the car must be equipped with two outside mirrors.

Rhode Island’s car tint laws are a little unusual. Below we’ll break down each window and explain how dark your tint can be.

Window Tinting in Rhode Island – What Does the Law Say?

Can windows be tinted in Rhode Island? Which ones? Let’s take a closer look and give you the exact numbers so you can stay within the law.

Can Windows Be Tinted in Rhode Island?

Like most states, window tint is allowed in Rhode Island but must allow certain degrees of light transmittance.

Front windshield cannot be tinted: The front windshield must be clear and transparent. It cannot be reflective. Tint exceptions are limited to the uppermost six inches of the windshield, as long as it doesn’t impair the driver’s view.

Other windows can be tinted: All other windows of the vehicle can be tinted to a certain degree. In Rhode Island, the law is simple. All windows must allow 70% or more light transmittance to remain legal.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Rhode Island?

In the state of Rhode Island, all windows except the front windshield can be tinted. Even then, a strip of tint is allowed in the uppermost six inches of the front windshield. The front side windows, rear side windows, and rear windshield are all able to be tinted to a certain degree of light transmittance.

Front Windshield: The front windshield must be nonreflective, clear, and transparent. It cannot be tinted except in the uppermost six inches of the windshield. Even then, it cannot encroach on the driver’s ability to see through the windshield. So, if you are a particularly tall driver, you may have to lessen that. If sunscreen material is installed on other parts of the vehicle, a label with the installer’s name and percentage of light transmittance must be affixed to the lower-left corner of the windshield.

Back Windshield: The rear windshield of the vehicle can be tinted. The tint must allow 70% or more light transmittance to be legal. All window tint installations must be certified with a label from the business installing the sunscreen material that shows the installer’s name and the percentage of light transmittance.

Driver and Passenger Windows: The windows located immediately left and right of the driver are allowed to be tinted. The light transmission is the same as the rear windshield, allowing 70% or more light transmittance to be legal. Again, a label must be affixed to the vehicle if the windows are tinted.

Back Side Windows: The windows located to the rear of the driver and passenger are allowed to be tinted. Just like the back windshield and the driver and passenger windows, the back side windows may be tinted to allow 70% or more light transmittance. With all tint, two outside mirrors are required.

Restricted Colors: According to Title 31 of the Rhode Island state legislature, there are no specific restrictions on colored tint.

Rhode Island Window Tint Law Medical Exemption

If you, or someone you are a legal guardian of, has a medical condition that causes sensitivity to the sun, you may be exempt from the window tint laws in Rhode Island. Medical conditions typically involve sensitivity to sunlight, autoimmune conditions, or allergic reactions to sunlight. In these cases, keep the following in mind:

Must have signed affidavit: To qualify for a medical exemption to Rhode Island’s car tint laws, you’ll need an affidavit signed by a physician or optometrist who is licensed to practice in Rhode Island. The affidavit must state that the person has a physical condition making it necessary to have sunscreening material that exceeds the federal standards.

Submit an application to DMV: Once you obtain the signed affidavit, you must submit an application, including the affidavit, to the DMV. This can be found on the DMV website for Rhode Island.

Affix Sticker: Once the DMV has reviewed and approved your application, you’ll be issued a sticker to certify that you are medically exempt from the window tint laws of the state. This sticker should be affixed to the driver’s side window to properly identify the exemption to law enforcement personnel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island Car Window Tinting Laws

Here are some of the most common questions about car window tint laws in Rhode Island.

What does VLT mean according to Rhode Island state law? In Rhode Island, they define VLT as “the ratio of the amount of total light, expressed in a percentage, which is allowed to pass through the product or material, including glazing, to the amount of total light falling on the product or material and the glazing.”

How much does car window tinting cost in Rhode Island? In Rhode Island, the average cost to tint a four-door sedan is around $274. This will vary depending on where you live, the amount of tint needed, and how professional your tint installation is. Typically, the price ranges anywhere from $250-298.

How dark can your windows be in Rhode Island? Rhode island’s laws make it one of the least lenient states in terms of car window tint. The darkest your window can be is 70% or more light transmittance. If you drive a truck, van, limo, or multipurpose vehicle, your tint can be darker.

Is reflective or colored tint legal in Rhode Island? Chapter 31 of the Rhode Island law discusses nontransparent windshields and windows. In this specific chapter, it does not discuss restrictions on reflective tint for any window except the windshield, which cannot have reflective tint. Similarly, restrictions on colored tint are not discussed.

Can you get a ticket for tinted windows in Rhode Island? If you have illegally installed tint that does not meet the requirements under Rhode Island state law, you can be issued a fine of not more than $250. The same can be said for any business that installs tint outside the legal limits.

Wrap Up

Avoid big fines and a bigger headache by knowing your state’s window tint laws. Rhode Island’s is pretty simple: Keep it at 70% or above light transmittance.

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