Maryland Window Tint Law

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The Maryland window tint law permits tint on the top 5 inches of your windshield and up to 35% tint darkness on your front-seat side windows, back-seat side windows, and rear windshield—for most vehicles. 
Tinted windows can be great for style, privacy, and—in some cases—visibility of your vehicle. But each state has limits to how much tint you can add to a vehicle. Having windows with too dark a tint can impair visibility and be a danger to you and other drivers.
To help you comply with the law, the car insurance comparison super-app Jerry has broken down what you need to know about Maryland window tint laws—so you can enjoy everything the world’s crab cake capital has to offer in style.

What is the visible light transmission percentage?

The visible light transmission (VLT) percentage refers to the amount of light a window tint film lets pass through your vehicle's windows. Each state has its legal limit on this percentage—and Maryland is no exception.
With a higher VLT, more light can pass through the film. A 35% VLT means 35% of the light can pass through your tint. A 5% VLT, on the other hand, allows 5% of the light to pass through—and is common for limo drivers.

What is the Maryland window tint law?

The Maryland window tint law limits how much you can tint your windows and functions differently depending on what you drive. For sedans, the limits are as follows:
  • Front windshield: Non-reflective (or metallic) tint on the top 5 inches of the windshield
  • Front-seat side windows: Up to 35% VLT
  • Back seat side windows: Up to 35% VLT
  • Rear window: Up to 35% VLT
The limits differ slightly for SUVs and sedans:
  • Front windshield: Non-reflective tint on the top 5 inches of the windshield
  • Front-seat side windows: Up to 35% VLT
  • Back seat side windows: Any darkness can be used
  • Rear window: Any darkness can be used
You are not allowed to tint your windows red, yellow, or amber—and you may only use certified film, which your dealer can confirm. Certification must include both the name and address of yourself and the tint manufacturer.
Maryland doesn’t require a sticker to identify your car as legally tinted. But, if you can bear this cosmetic addition, you won’t have to worry about being pulled over for any reason regarding your tint—if your tint is up to legal standards.
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Medical exemptions

Maryland allows for additional tints (higher VLTs) to be granted on medical grounds, via a licensed physician, for those determined to be light or photosensitive
Filing for an exemption means having your physician send a signed application to the Maryland Medical Advisory Board. If accepted, your tint will be coupled with a large exemption sticker that must be placed on the driver side window, directly adjacent to the operator.

Penalties for violating the window tint law

Being pulled over with tint in violation of Maryland law means a traffic offense—which can stay on your record for up to three years.
You’ll also be given an SERO, or a Safety Equipment Repair Certificate, which requires you have your vehicle tint looked at by an inspection station. 
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While prices vary, most auto shops will charge between $150 and $500 for compliant window tint.
In short, no. Maryland law requires that no brake light, even on the back windshield, be covered by tint. Tint can be applied around the brake light on certain vehicles.

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