North Carolina Window Tint Law

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The North Carolina window tint law permits you to tint the top five inches of your windshield and up to 35% tint darkness on your front seat side windows. The back seat side windows and rear window also have a 35% limit.
Having tinted windows improves privacy, the appearance of your vehicle, and may even increase visibility while driving. 
Most states have instituted laws limiting how much tint you can get, and for your own protection. Windows with tints that are too dark may impair vision and lead to an accident.
To help you remain compliant with the law, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is breaking down everything you need to know about North Carolina window tint laws.

What is the visible light transmission percentage?

The visible light transmission (VLT) is the percentage of natural light that passes through your window. Each state has set limits on the VLT allowed with tinted windows. 
A higher VLT allows more light to penetrate the film of a tint. For example, a 65% VLT will let 65% of the light through. A lower VLT, like the “limo tint” of 5%, only lets five percent of light through.
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What is the North Carolina window tint law?

North Carolina enacted window tint laws in 2001 to limit the extent to which you can tint your windows. North Carolina has specific laws for sedans versus SUVs and vans.
The limits for sedans are as follows:
  • Front windshields can have non-reflective tint above the manufacturer's AS-1 line or top five inches.
  • Front seat side windows must allow more than 35% of light in. 
  • Back seat side windows must allow more than 35% of light in. 
  • Rear windows must allow more than 35% of light in. 
The limits for SUVs and sedans, on the other hand, are:
  • Front windshields can have non-reflective tint on the top six inches of the windshield and must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Front seat side windows must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back seat side windows have no limit.
  • Rear windows have no limit.
You are not allowed to tint your windows red, amber, or yellow.
Additionally, film manufacturers do not need to certify the film they tint your windows with. You also do not need to have any special stickers identifying that your tint is legal, as with some other states.

Medical exemptions

North Carolina offers exemptions to the aforementioned window tint laws if you have a medical condition that causes the driver to be photosensitive to visible light.
To obtain a permit, drivers must apply to the Drivers Medical Evaluation Program and have their doctor complete a medical evaluation. 
This permit is valid for five years and a sticker on the vehicle is required to identify a medical exemption.

Penalties for violating the window tint law

If you’re pulled over for violating the window tint law in North Carolina, you can be charged with a fine of up to $50 and might have to go to court.
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Tinting your car windows will cost you between $150 and $500 on average. Prices vary based on your car and the auto shop doing the work.

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