Is 5 Percent Tint Legal in Arizona?

In Arizona, a 5% tint, known as “limo tint,” is not legal for the front side windows of vehicles. The law requires these windows to allow more than 33% of light in. However, Arizona allows any darkness for the back side and rear windows, giving some flexibility. Always check the latest regulations to ensure compliance.

Curious about Arizona’s stance on ultra dark car windows? The state has specific rules for window tint darkness, making 5% tint a favorite for maximum privacy, quite a topic of discussion. Arizona’s regulations are designed to balance safety and style, but does this include the nearly opaque 5% tint? Let’s dive into what’s allowed and what’s not in the Grand Canyon State.

Understanding 5 Percent Tint: A Deep Dive into Window Tinting Terminology

Window tinting is a subject that combines aspects of automotive customization with legal considerations, particularly when discussing the specifics of tint percentages like the 5 percent tint. To fully appreciate the nuances of this topic, it’s essential to understand what “5 percent tint” means in the context of window tinting and how it translates into the broader conversation about vehicle modifications and legal compliance in Arizona.

What Does 5 Percent Tint Mean?

In window tinting terminology, the percentage associated with a tint refers to the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) level. VLT is a measure of how much light a tint film allows to pass through your car’s windows. A 5 percent tint, therefore, permits only 5 percent of the visible light to penetrate the glass, making it one of the darkest tints available on the market. Due to its low VLT, a 5 percent tint dramatically reduces the amount of sunlight and glare entering the vehicle, offering a high degree of privacy and sun protection.

The Appeal of 5 Percent Tint

The primary allure of a 5 percent tint lies in its ability to provide maximum privacy and protection. With such a dark tint, it’s nearly impossible for outsiders to see into the vehicle, making it a popular choice for celebrities, business executives, and those seeking the utmost in privacy while driving. The significant reduction in sunlight entering the vehicle helps to keep the interior cooler, protect passengers from harmful UV rays, and preserve the condition of the car’s upholstery and dashboard.

The legal stance on window tinting, particularly tints with low VLT like 5 percent, is governed by a desire to balance privacy and protection with safety and law enforcement considerations. Visibility from both inside and outside the vehicle is a key factor in these regulations, as it affects the driver’s ability to see their surroundings and the ability of law enforcement to assess situations inside a vehicle during traffic stops.

Navigating Arizona’s Window Tint Laws: The Legality of 5 Percent Tint

Arizona’s approach to window tinting laws is designed to balance the benefits of tinted windows such as reduced glare, enhanced privacy, and interior protection against the sun with the necessity for driver visibility and safety on the road. Understanding the state’s specific regulations is crucial for any driver considering applying a 5 percent tint to their vehicle windows.

Arizona’s Window Tinting Regulations Explained

Arizona law specifies allowable tint darkness for various windows on a vehicle, which is measured by the percentage of Visible Light Transmission (VLT):

  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 33% of light to enter the vehicle. This regulation means that a 5 percent tint, which only permits 5% of light to pass through, is not legal for front side windows in Arizona.
  • Back Side Windows and Rear Window: The state offers more leniency for these windows, allowing any darkness of tint. This flexibility means that a 5 percent tint can legally be applied to the rear side windows and the back window, provided the vehicle has side mirrors on both sides.
  • Windshield: Tinting on the windshield is permitted only on the top 6 inches, and it must be non-reflective. The purpose of this rule is to minimize the obstruction of the driver’s view while still offering some protection from sunlight.

Safety and Enforcement

The primary concern behind these regulations is safety. Dark tints can significantly reduce a driver’s visibility, particularly in low-light conditions, increasing the risk of accidents. Moreover, for law enforcement officers, the ability to see inside a vehicle during a traffic stop is crucial for their safety. Thus, Arizona’s tinting laws strive to find a middle ground that respects individual preferences for privacy and sun protection while prioritizing public safety and law enforcement needs.

Compliance and Considerations

For Arizona residents, or those planning to drive through the state, considering a 5 percent tint on any window other than the back side or rear windows requires a careful review of these regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines and the requirement to remove the non-compliant tint, which could add unnecessary expense and inconvenience.

It’s also worth considering the impact of such a dark tint on your own visibility as a driver. While a 5 percent tint might offer superior privacy and interior protection, it can make driving in low-light conditions more challenging, potentially compromising safety.

Practical Advice for Drivers

Before deciding on a window tint, consider the following practical tips:

  • Review the latest regulations: Laws can change, so it’s important to review the most current information on Arizona’s window tinting laws.
  • Consult with professionals: When choosing a tint, consult with a professional installer who is familiar with Arizona’s regulations. They can provide advice on what’s legal and what’s not, ensuring that your vehicle remains compliant.
  • Consider your driving needs: Reflect on your typical driving conditions and whether the benefits of a 5 percent tint outweigh the potential drawbacks in terms of visibility and safety.
Legal Tint Percentage in Arizona

In Arizona, the legal window tint percentage for the front side windows must allow more than 33% of light to pass through. The regulations for the back side and rear windows are more lenient, allowing for darker tints. Windshield tinting is permitted only on the top strip. Always verify with local laws for the most current regulations.

Can you have a 5% tint in Arizona?

In Arizona, a 5% tint, often referred to as “limo tint,” is not permitted on the front side windows, where the law requires over 33% light transmission. However, for the back side and rear windows, Arizona law is more lenient, potentially allowing a 5% tint. It’s crucial to consult the most current state regulations or the Arizona Department of Transportation for accurate and updated legal guidelines.

In Oklahoma, a 5% tint, also known as “limo tint,” is not legal for the front side windows, which must have a minimum of 25% light transmission. The rear side and back windows can have any level of darkness, including 5% tint. It’s important to adhere to these regulations to avoid penalties and ensure visibility and safety. Always check the most current laws to stay compliant.

Enforcement and Penalties

In Oklahoma, enforcement of window tint laws is taken seriously, with violations considered misdemeanors. Penalties for non-compliance can include fines, which may vary based on the offense, and potentially vehicle impoundment for repeated offenses. The initial fine for a window tint violation typically ranges from around $100 to $200. 

Oklahoma requires dual side mirrors if the back window is tinted and prohibits the use of color-altering materials. Tint film used must be certified by manufacturers, though no sticker is required to indicate legal tinting. Medical exemptions are available for those requiring darker tints due to medical conditions, with proper documentation submitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission​​​​.

How much is a tint ticket in Arizona?

In Arizona, the cost for a window tint ticket can be around $250 each time you’re cited for a violation related to window tint darkness being under the legal limit​​. It’s important to comply with the state’s window tinting laws to avoid these penalties. The laws specify that the front side windows must allow more than 33% of light in, with no restrictions on the darkness for the back side and rear windows, and non-reflective tint is allowed on the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line​​.

Do cops in Arizona actually enforce car window tinting laws?

Yes, police in Arizona actively enforce car window tinting laws. These laws, which have been strictly enforced since their enactment in 1994, aim to maintain safety and visibility on the roads. The state has specific regulations regarding the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage, meaning how much light the tint on your windows allows to pass through. Arizona requires front side windows to allow more than 33% of light in, with no specified darkness limit for back side and rear windows. Additionally, the reflection for both sedans and SUVs/vans on front and back side windows must not be more than 35% reflective​​.

Arizona Window Tinting Laws

Arizona’s window tinting laws are designed to ensure driver safety and visibility, while also allowing for personal preference and medical necessities. The laws specify the maximum darkness and reflectivity allowed for window tints on vehicles, differentiating between sedans and SUVs/vans. Here’s a summary in table format based on the information from sources like the Arizona Department of Transportation and legal resources:

Vehicle TypeWindowAllowed Tint DarknessAllowed Tint Reflectivity
SedansFront SideMust allow more than 33% of lightMust not be more than 35%
Back SideAny darknessMust not be more than 35%
RearAny darknessNot specified
WindshieldNon-reflective tint above the AS-1 lineNot specified
SUVs/VansFront SideMust allow more than 33% of lightMust not be more than 35%
Back SideAny darknessMust not be more than 35%
RearAny darknessNot specified
WindshieldNon-reflective tint above the AS-1 lineNot specified

Tint Darkness Specifications

In Arizona, window tint darkness is regulated with specific requirements for various parts of a vehicle. For sedans, SUVs, and vans, the front side windows must allow more than 33% of light in. There’s more flexibility for back side and rear windows, which can have any level of darkness.

The windshield can have a non-reflective tint above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line. These regulations ensure driver visibility and safety while allowing for personalization and protection from the sun​​​​. For the latest and most accurate information, please refer to the Arizona Department of Transportation or local law enforcement guidelines.


What is a 5% tint?

It’s a very dark tint allowing only 5% of light through the windows.

Typically, such dark tints are restricted to rear windows, depending on state laws.

Can I use 5% tint on my car’s front side windows?

Most states, including Arizona, have specific regulations that usually prohibit very dark tints on front side windows for safety reasons.

Are there exceptions to tint laws for medical reasons?

Yes, many states offer medical exemptions for individuals who require darker tints due to medical conditions.

How do I apply for a medical exemption for window tint in Arizona?

Contact the Arizona Department of Transportation or local DMV for the application process and requirements.

Does the rear window tint law differ from the front window in Arizona?

Yes, rear windows often have more lenient tinting laws compared to front side windows.

What happens if I violate the window tint laws in Arizona?

Violations can result in fines, required removal of the tint, and possibly other penalties.

How is window tint measured?

Window tint is measured by its Visible Light Transmission (VLT%) the percentage of light that passes through.

Yes, you must comply with the local laws of the states you are driving in.

Are there any color restrictions for window tints in Arizona?

Some states restrict the use of certain colored tints; it’s best to check local regulations.

Consult with a professional window tinting service familiar with Arizona’s tint laws.

Do I need to carry any certification for my window tint in Arizona?

Some states require certification or a sticker proving the tint meets legal standards.

Can law enforcement test my window tint on the spot?

Yes, officers can use a tint meter to measure VLT% during a traffic stop.

If my window tint is found to be illegal, how long do I have to remove it?

The timeframe can vary, but law enforcement or court documents typically specify it.

Where can I find more information about window tint laws in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s website or local DMV can provide up-to-date information.


Exploring the legality of 5% window tint in Arizona reveals a nuanced understanding between automotive customization and state regulations. A 5% tint, also known as limo tint, allows only 5% of visible light to pass through, making it one of the darkest options available. While appealing for privacy and sun protection, Arizona law mandates more than 33% light transmission for front side windows, restricting such dark tints to rear windows for safety and visibility. It’s essential to stay informed on current laws to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

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