Virginia Car Window Tint Laws (Updated)

Keeping your car cool in the heat of summer in Virginia is a task that requires help from all angles. If tinting your windows is the best way to protect your car and passengers from heat and UV rays, then keep reading.

Quick Answer

In the state of Virginia, windshield tint is allowed above the AS-1 line or the top 5 inches of your car’s windshield. Visible Light Transmission also known as VLT can be at 50% for front side windows and 35% VLT for back windows. The rear window must allow 35% of light to pass through. If you own an SUV or van, the back, side windows and rear window can have any shade of darkness.

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

Window Tinting in Virginia – What Does The Law Say?

The law restricts certain levels of tint for 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 Virginia?

Windows can be tinted in Virginia 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 Virginia.

What Windows Can Be Tinted in Virginia?

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. In Virginia, your car’s windshield is allowed to have a 20% reflective tint and must be above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or on the top 5 inches of the glass.

Back Windshield If you need to tint your back windshield rules state rear windows can be any shade of darkness. You are required, however, to have dual side mirrors if you are tinting your rear window. As your back windshield is vital when using your rearview mirror to keep safe distances, this tint 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 not be more than 20% reflective. The same reflection standards apply to SUVs and vans.

Passenger and Back Windows For sedans, the front side windows must allow at least 35% of light through. The same goes for the back, side windows, 35% VLT. The numbers for these windows are slightly different for vans and SUVs. These numbers are 50% and any darkness for front side and back, side windows respectively. Tint reflection cannot be more than 20% reflective.

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 Virginia, color tinting is not prohibited but must not be red, yellow, or amber.

Virginia 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 Virginia. Some conditions include but are not limited to albinism, vitiligo, lupus, dermatomyositis, xeroderma pigmetosum, and other autoimmune diseases or medical conditions. Included in your registration will be the vehicle information and a formal letter from a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, ophthalmologist, or optometrist that certifies the necessity for sun shading.

Medical exemption certification: Medical authorization for tinting in Virginia is required by the individual with the medical condition. The Sun-Shading Medical Authorization Application (MD-20) form should be submitted to the DMV with the required supplemental materials. Upon approval, you will receive a registration card. This will serve as verification that the vehicle is authorized to have tinting for medical purposes.

Approval: The vehicle owner will receive a new registration card upon approval. The words “sun shading” will be printed in the Special Conditions space. Certain rules still apply for tinting after you have obtained your exemption permits. The windshield can have a 70% Visible Light Transmission and the top 5 inches can be 35% VLT. the front side windows must be under 35% VLT.

Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia 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 Virginia.

What Does VLT Mean According to Virginia 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. Virginia is strict on VLT so be sure to confirm with the percentages listed in this article.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Virginia? 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 $135 (basic tint) to $150 (higher quality tint) for 2 door vehicles. For a 4 door sedan or SUV, you are looking at $160 to $190.

How Dark Can Your Windows Be in Virginia? Referring to the percentages listed above you will be able to decide which darkness is both right for you and within the regulations for Virginia. 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 Virginia, 50% and 35% are the two main shades of VLT’s for tinting. These are fairly dark but easy to see through.

Is Reflective or Colored Tint Legal in Virginia? Reflective tint is allowed as long as it is not above 20% reflective and colored tints are allowed with the exception of red, yellow, and amber. 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 Virginia? 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 a class 3 misdemeanor for a first offense. Subsequent offenses will be classified as class 2 misdemeanors.

Wrap Up

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

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