Washington Window Tint Law

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The Washington window tint law allows you to tint the top six inches of your windshield and up to 24% tint darkness on your front seat side windows, back seat side windows, and rear windows.
While tinting your windows improves your privacy and the look of your car, you’ll need to be mindful of the tint darkness permitted by state tint laws. Many states set limits on window tint darkness to ensure that visibility isn’t impaired. This can help reduce the risk of accidents.
To help you ensure that your vehicle is tinted within legal limits, the car insurance comparison and broker app, Jerry, has compiled what you need to know for tinted window laws in Washington.

What is the visible light transmission percentage?

The visible light transmission (VLT) percentage is the amount of light the window tint film will allow through the car windows. The legal limits can be different from state to state. 
A higher VLT percentage means a lighter tint and more light will pass through the film. For example, a 75% tint is much lighter and will let 75% of light through, whereas a 5% tint (also known as a “limo tint”) will only allow 5% of light through.

What is the Washington window tint law?

The Washington window tint law was enacted in 2011 to impose a limit on how dark window tints can be. The limits for passenger vehicles are as follows:
  • Front windshield: Non-reflective tint on the top six inches
  • Front seat side windows: Must allow more than 24% light transmission
  • Back seat side windows: Must allow more than 24% light transmission
  • Rear window: Must allow more than 24% light transmission
For SUVs and vans:
  • Front windshield: Non-reflective tint on the top six inches
  • Front seat side windows: Must allow more than 24% light transmission
  • Back seat side windows: Any darkness
  • Rear window: Any darkness
All vehicles must have dual side mirrors if the back windows are tinted. There is also a 35% reflectivity limit, and red and amber tints are not permitted.
Tint film manufacturers are required to certify the film they are selling in Washington and you will need to have a sticker to identify legal tinting between the film and glass on the driver’s side window.
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Medical exemptions

Washington law allows medical exemptions if the driver or passenger has written verification from a licensed physician that states they must be protected from sun exposure. This letter should be kept with your vehicle at all times.
You will be permitted to have a darker tint along the top of the windshield up to the AS-1 line or you can extend more than six inches from the top. 

Penalties for violating the window tint law

If you are caught with window tinting that is darker than the legal limits, you can be charged with a traffic infraction. You will also be given a ticket with a $124 fine and you will be required to remove or replace the tint.
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Window tinting can cost between $150 and $500 on average. These prices will vary depending on the different tint options available, your vehicle model, and where you get the tint job done. 

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