Tinting Laws

New York Window Tinting Laws

The state of New York has very specific laws regarding window tinting on your car. Every state in the United States has its own percentage of darkness and reflection that your car windows are allowed to have, as well as other specific regulations you may need to know about.  Below we’ll list all relevant information pertaining to tinted windows in New York.

Window tint darkness

The amount of light that can pass through your car windows is measured in percentages (called VLT), so make sure your tinting film is up to these standards! In New York there are different regulations for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles, so ensure you read the laws carefully and check which apply to your vehicle.

  • Windshield must pass through more than 70% of light. Any darkness can be used only on top 6 inches.
  • Front side windows must pass through more than 70% of light inside your car (70% VLT).
  • Back side windows must allow over 70% of light through on sedans. MPV (multi-purpose vehicles, such as vans or SUVs) can have any darkness on back side windows.
  • Rear window can have any darkness.

Quick info: VLT stands for Visible Light Transmittance. 70% VLT means 70% of total light must pass through windows, or no more than 30% of total light may be blocked.

Window tint reflection

Some tinting film can reflect incoming light, therefore further reducing glare and heat. New York does not allow using tinting film with any mirrored or metallic appearance.

Side mirrors

If your car’s rear window is tinted, you must have dual side mirrors on your vehicle. In case you do not have dual exterior rear view mirrors you may only tint up to 70% VLT.

Restricted tint colors

In state of New York there are no color restrictions for window film. However, we strongly suggest avoiding any shades of red or blue especially in front of the vehicle.

Medical exemptions

Some US states allow different window tint percentages due to certain medical conditions. In case of medical conditions such as porphyria, xeroderma pigmentosa, or severe drug photosensitivity, you can submit an application to use darker window film.

Window film certificate

Drivers are required to have a certificate signed by the tint installing company or from the film manufacturer stating the VLT percentage clearly, and it must display tint film manufacturer’s name and address. Manufacturers are also required to certify the film in this state before they are allowed to sell it.

Vehicle type: Passenger or MPV

New York has different window tint regulations for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles. These vehicle types are based on federal classification. If you’re unsure which vehicle type you have, inspect a Federal ID label located on front door panel/frame next to driver.

Passenger vehicles include: station wagon, sedan, hardtop, coupe, hatchback, and convertible. MPV includes SUV vehicles, vans and similar.

Vehicle Inspections

Since January 2017 New York law requires window tint inspection during motor vehicle inspections. We strongly suggest not using illegal window tint darkness as you risk your vehicle failing your inspection.

Some towns or counties in California may have their own special regulations about window tinting, so if you’re in doubt about anything be sure to check with your local law enforcement or DMV offices!

This article about New York Window Tinting Laws was last updated in 2020. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!