What Is The Darkest Legal Tint In Illinois?

In Illinois, the darkest legal tint for car windows allows 35% of the light to pass through. This rule applies to the front side windows. The back side and rear windows can have any darkness of tint. This law ensures drivers can see well while also allowing some privacy and sun protection.

Navigating Illinois’ Window Tint Regulations

Illinois’ approach to regulating window tinting on vehicles is a reflection of a broader commitment to road safety while acknowledging the benefits that tinting provides to vehicle owners. This section dives deeper into the specifics of the state’s tinting laws, the reasoning behind these regulations, and how vehicle owners can comply while enjoying the advantages of window tinting.

The state of Illinois specifies legal tint limits by the percentage of light that must pass through the windows, known as the Visible Light Transmission (VLT%). For passenger vehicles, the laws are as follows:

  • Windshield: The top 6 inches of the windshield may have non-reflective tint.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light into the vehicle.
  • Back Side Windows: Any level of tint darkness can be used if the vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides.
  • Rear Window: Any level of tint darkness can be used if the vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

For multipurpose vehicles, such as SUVs and vans, the back side windows and rear window can have any level of tint darkness, irrespective of the front side windows and windshield regulations.

Safety Considerations

The primary concern driving these regulations is safety. Adequate visibility is crucial for safe driving, especially under adverse weather conditions or during nighttime. Tints that are too dark can significantly impair a driver’s ability to see pedestrians, other vehicles, and road hazards. This is particularly true for the front side windows and windshield, which play a critical role in a driver’s field of vision. Illinois’ laws are designed to ensure that tinting does not compromise the driver’s visibility and, by extension, road safety.

Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance with Illinois’ window tint laws is not only a matter of legal obligation but also a contribution to the collective safety of all road users. Law enforcement officers are authorized to use tint meters to measure the VLT% of vehicle windows during traffic stops or inspections.

Non-compliance can result in fines, and repeat offenders may be required to remove the non-compliant tint. Vehicle owners considering window tinting should ensure that their chosen tint meets state regulations and should keep documentation from the installer that certifies compliance with Illinois’ VLT% requirements.

Despite these restrictions, legally compliant window tinting offers several benefits. Tinting can block up to 99% of harmful UV rays, protecting occupants from skin damage and reducing vehicle interior fading. It also helps maintain cooler vehicle temperatures during hot weather, enhances privacy, and can improve the overall look of the vehicle. By choosing tints within legal limits, vehicle owners can enjoy these benefits without sacrificing safety or risking penalties.

In Illinois, a 35% tint is legal for the front side windows of vehicles, meaning the tint must allow more than 35% of the light in. This regulation ensures that visibility is maintained for the driver’s safety. However, for the back side windows and rear window, Illinois law permits any darkness if the vehicle has outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

Illinois tint exemption

In Illinois, there are exemptions to the standard window tinting laws for individuals with certain medical conditions that necessitate protection from the sun’s UV rays. To qualify for a medical exemption, an individual must obtain documentation from a licensed physician or optometrist that certifies the person requires a special window tint due to a medical condition.

This documentation must be carried in the vehicle at all times and presented to law enforcement upon request. The medical exemption allows for window tint that is darker or otherwise non-compliant with the state’s standard regulations. The specifics of the exemption, such as the allowed darkness of the tint or which windows it applies to, can vary and should be detailed in the medical certification.

It’s important for individuals seeking a medical exemption to ensure their window tint is accurately installed according to the specifications outlined by their medical documentation to avoid legal issues. It’s advisable to check the most current Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles guidelines or consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and updates regarding window tint medical exemptions.

In Illinois, the legal limits for window tint darkness and reflection are quite specific and vary depending on the type of vehicle. For sedans, the Illinois tint laws for 2024 are as follows:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 6 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear Window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.

For SUVs and vans, the rules slightly differ:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 6 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Reflection for window tint is regulated to ensure that the tint is not reflective, although the state law does not specify what constitutes as non-reflective specifically. This applies to both sedans and SUVs/vans for the front and back side windows.

Additional regulations include the requirement for dual side mirrors if the back window is tinted, no restrictions on tint colors, and a 5% tolerance in tint variance. Illinois does not require tint manufacturers to certify the film they sell in the state, nor is there a requirement for a sticker to identify legal tinting. 

However, medical exemptions are available for those who require special tint due to medical conditions.Penalties for non-compliance with tint laws can range from a petty offense with a $50-$500 fine for the first offense, to a class C misdemeanor with a $100-$500 fine for subsequent violations.

Is 30% tint darker than 50%?

Yes, a 30% tint is darker than a 50% tint. In terms of window tinting, the percentage refers to the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) level, which indicates the amount of visible light that can pass through the window film. A lower VLT percentage means that the tint is darker because it allows less light to pass through. Therefore, a 30% tint allows less light to pass through than a 50% tint, making it darker.

Is 20% tint illegal in Illinois?

Yes, a 20% tint is illegal for the front side windows of vehicles in Illinois. According to the 2024 Illinois window tint laws, for sedans, the front side windows must allow more than 35% of light in. For SUVs and vans, the front side windows must allow more than 50% of light in. Therefore, any tint that allows less than 35% of light to pass through (which would include a 20% tint) is not legal for the front side windows of any vehicle type in Illinois.

Yes, a 35% tint is legal in Illinois for certain windows of vehicles. For sedans, the law requires that the front side windows, back side windows, and rear window must allow more than 35% of light in. This means a 35% tint, which allows 35% of the light to pass through, meets the minimum legal requirement for these windows in sedans.

For SUVs and vans, the front side windows must allow more than 50% of light in, so a 35% tint would not be legal for the front side windows of these vehicles. However, for the back side windows and rear window of SUVs and vans, any darkness can be used, making a 35% tint legal for these windows​​​​​​.

In Illinois, a 30% window tint is not legal for the front side windows. According to the state law, the front side windows must allow more than 50% of light in. This means that the minimum allowable Visible Light Transmission (VLT) for front side windows is greater than 50%​​.

FAQs

Can I be fined for non-compliant window tint in Illinois?

Yes, if your window tint does not meet Illinois’ VLT% requirements, you can be fined and required to remove the non-compliant tint.

Choose a reputable installer who is familiar with Illinois’ tint laws and ask for a certification that your tint complies with state regulations.

Are there exemptions to Illinois’ tint laws?

Illinois law does provide exemptions for certain medical conditions that require protection from sunlight. Vehicle owners must carry documentation to prove their eligibility for an exemption.

Can I use reflective or mirrored tint in Illinois?

Illinois restricts the reflectivity of window tints to reduce glare and ensure safety. It’s best to choose tints that meet the state’s reflectivity requirements.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In Illinois, vehicle window tint regulations strike a balance between ensuring road safety and offering privacy and protection from the sun. The state mandates that front side windows must allow over 35% of light in, while back side windows and the rear window can have any level of darkness if the vehicle is equipped with outside rearview mirrors on both sides. 

These laws are driven by the need for visibility for safe driving, highlighting the importance of not compromising driver visibility. There are also medical exemptions available for those requiring special tints due to health conditions. 

Compliance is enforced through fines and potential removal of non-compliant tint. Despite restrictions, legal tinting provides benefits such as UV protection and interior temperature control, underlining the importance of adhering to legal standards for safety and comfort.

See more: Is 5 Percent Tint Legal in Arizona?

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