Is 30 Tint Legal In Pa?

In Pennsylvania, a 30% window tint is not legally allowed on the front side windows and windshield of vehicles. The state law requires these windows to let in more than 70% of light, which means only tints lighter than 30% are permissible. However, for rear side and back windows, there’s more flexibility, and any level of tint darkness is allowed. 

It’s important for vehicle owners to adhere to these regulations to ensure safety and legal compliance. When it comes to customizing your vehicle in Pennsylvania, one of the first questions many car owners have is: Is 30% tint legal? In this state, the laws are specific about window tint darkness, especially for the front side windows and windshield.

What tint is illegal in pa?

In Pennsylvania, the legal limit for window tint varies depending on the window. For the front side windows and the front windshield, a minimum of 70% light transmission is required, meaning the tint must allow at least 70% of light to pass through. The front windshield may only have a strip of non-reflective tint along the top, which cannot extend more than 3 inches down or below the AS-1 line, whichever is longer. 

The back side windows and rear window can have any level of darkness if the vehicle is equipped with both left and right side rearview mirrors. Reflective tint is not allowed on any windows. These laws are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the most current regulations.

Window Tint Percentage Explained

The percentage associated with window tint refers to the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. This is a measure of how much visible light can pass through the tint film and the window. Essentially, it indicates the darkness of the tint. For example, a 30% tint permits 30% of the visible light to pass through the window, blocking 70% of the light.

Differentiating Between Tint Shades

  • Higher VLT Percentage: A higher VLT percentage, such as 70%, means the tint is lighter, allowing more light to pass through. These tints are typically easier to see through from both inside and outside the vehicle.
  • Lower VLT Percentage: Conversely, a lower VLT percentage, like 30%, indicates a darker tint. These tints allow less light to pass through, creating a darker appearance and increased privacy, but can also reduce visibility, particularly in low-light conditions.

Relevance to Safety and Regulations

Understanding VLT is not just about aesthetics; it’s closely tied to safety and legal compliance. Darker tints can reduce a driver’s visibility, particularly at night or in adverse weather conditions. This is a key reason why states regulate window tint percentages. Furthermore, law enforcement officers need to be able to see inside a vehicle for safety reasons, which also influences the legal limits set for window tint percentages.

Comprehensive Overview: Pennsylvania’s Stance on 30% Window Tint

Having established a clear understanding of what a 30% window tint means, it’s time to delve into the heart of our topic: the legality of this tint level in the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s vehicle code sets specific guidelines for window tinting, which are crucial for both driver safety and legal compliance.

Front Side Windows and Windshield Regulations

  • In Pennsylvania, the law requires that the front side windows and the windshield of a vehicle must allow at least 70% of light to pass through. This means that a 30% tint, which only allows 30% of light to penetrate, does not meet the legal threshold for these windows.
  • The windshield can only have a strip of non-reflective tint along the top, which must not extend below the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.

Rear Windows and Back Side Windows

  • More leniency is given for the rear window and the back side windows. These windows can have any level of tinting, which is particularly beneficial for privacy and UV protection.

Safety and Visibility Concerns

The rationale behind these regulations is grounded in safety. While darker tints can offer privacy and aesthetic appeal, they also pose risks.

  • Reduced Visibility: Darker tints, especially under 30% VLT, can significantly reduce the driver’s visibility, particularly at night or in poor weather conditions.
  • Law Enforcement Safety: For the safety of law enforcement officers during traffic stops, it’s crucial that they can see inside a vehicle.

Drivers who choose to install window tints that do not comply with Pennsylvania’s regulations may face certain consequences.

  • Fines and Penalties: Non-compliance can result in fines and the requirement to remove the non-compliant tint.
  • Vehicle Inspection Failures: Non-compliant window tints can also lead to failure during vehicle inspections.
WindowLegal Tint LimitAdditional Notes
Front Side WindowsMinimum 70% VLTTint must allow over 70% of light in.
Back Side WindowsAny tint levelNo specified limit on darkness.
Rear WindowAny tint levelNo specified limit on darkness.
WindshieldTop 3 inchesNon-reflective tint is allowed on the top 3 inches.
Reflective TintNot AllowedReflective and mirrored tints are generally prohibited.
Medical ExemptionVariedRequires documentation; allows darker tints for health reasons.

In Pennsylvania, the darkest legal tint for the front side windows and the windshield is one that allows at least 70% of the light to pass through, which effectively means a 30% tint is not legal for these windows. For the rear window and back side windows, Pennsylvania law permits any darkness of tint, allowing for much darker options. It’s important to remember that while the rear windows can have very dark tints, the front side windows and windshield must remain much lighter to ensure visibility and safety. Why Choose 20% Tint for Your Car?

Window tint darkness in Pennsylvania

Window tint darkness in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, window tint darkness is regulated with specific guidelines to ensure both driver visibility and safety. Here’s a summary of the legal limits for window tint darkness in Pennsylvania.

  1. Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in (70% VLT). This means that the tint on these windows should not be darker than 30%.
  2. Back Side Windows: There are no restrictions on the darkness of the tint for the back side windows. You can use any darkness of tint.
  3. Rear Window: Like the back side windows, the rear window can also have any darkness of tint.
  4. Windshield: Only the top three inches of the windshield may be tinted, and it should be non-reflective. The rest of the windshield must not be tinted.

Window tint reflection in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the regulations for window tint reflection are specific to ensure safety and compliance with state laws. According to the latest information available, Pennsylvania law dictates the following for window tint reflection.

  • For both sedans and SUVs/vans, the front side windows must not have a mirrored or metallic appearance.
  • Similarly, the back side windows of both sedans and SUVs/vans are also not allowed to have a mirrored or metallic appearance.

These rules are part of Pennsylvania’s broader window tint laws, which also include restrictions on tint darkness and other requirements. The restriction on mirrored or metallic tints is likely due to concerns about visibility and distraction for both the driver and other road users.

In California, a 30% tint is not legal for the front side windows of a vehicle. California law requires that the front side windows must allow more than 70% of light in, which means a tint darker than 70% VLT (30% tint) is not permitted. However, for rear side and back windows, any darkness can be used, as long as the vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides. The windshield can only have a non-reflective tint on the top 4 inches. These regulations are designed to ensure driver visibility and safety.

Medical Exemptions and Special Conditions

In Pennsylvania, there are provisions for medical exemptions related to window tint laws. These exemptions are designed to accommodate individuals who have specific medical conditions that necessitate the use of darker window tints than what is generally allowed under state law. Here’s an overview of the process and conditions for medical exemptions.

Eligibility for Medical Exemptions

Individuals suffering from certain medical conditions that require protection from sunlight or have specific light sensitivity issues may be eligible for a medical exemption. These conditions are determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in consultation with the Medical Advisory Board.

Application Process

To apply for a medical exemption, you need to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Medical Unit. They will guide you through the application process, which typically involves getting a certification from a licensed physician or medical professional.

Exemption Specifications

The Pennsylvania law allows only colorless materials for medically exempted window tints. This means the tint can filter ultraviolet (UV) rays but will not have a colored appearance.

Carrying the Exemption Certificate

Once granted, it’s important to keep the medical exemption certificate in the vehicle at all times. This certificate is required to be presented if questioned by law enforcement to verify the legality of the window tint.


Can I have 30% tint on my rear windows in Pennsylvania?

Yes, Pennsylvania law allows any tint level for the rear and back side windows.

What happens if I’m caught with illegal tint in Pennsylvania?

You may face fines, be required to remove the tint, and potentially fail vehicle inspections.

Are there exceptions to the tint laws in Pennsylvania?

Yes, medical exemptions are available for those who require darker tints for health reasons. Proper documentation must be carried in the vehicle.

You can use a VLT meter to measure the light transmission or consult with a professional tint installer who is familiar with Pennsylvania’s regulations.

Does tint color matter in Pennsylvania’s tint laws?

The law primarily focuses on the VLT percentage. However, reflective and mirrored tints are generally not allowed.

Final Thoughts on Pennsylvania Tint Laws

In Pennsylvania, understanding window tint laws is crucial for vehicle owners. While a 30% tint is too dark for front side windows and the windshield, which must allow over 70% light in, rear windows have no such restrictions. This regulation aims to ensure safety and visibility, particularly for driver visibility and law enforcement. Mirrored or metallic tints are also not allowed, to avoid distraction and visibility issues. Medical exemptions are available for those with specific health conditions requiring darker tints. It’s important to stay informed and compliant with these laws for safety and legal reasons. 

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