Anderson Injury Lawyers | April 19, 2023 | Texas Law
People tint their vehicle windows for a variety of reasons. For one, it tends to amplify the vehicle’s aesthetic value. Tinting the windows also allows for more privacy inside the vehicle, as the driver and their passengers will not be as visible to the outside world as they would be without a tint.
From a practical standpoint, window tinting can also increase a driver’s visibility on the road. That’s because it can help to prevent glare and other visual disturbances that regular windshields cannot defend against.
However, all drivers wanting to customize their vehicle’s tint must understand and adhere to the laws governing window tints. Failure to do so can put the driver, their passengers, and other drivers on the road at risk of car accidents and may also come with steep fines.
What Are Texas’s Window Tint Laws?
In Texas, you can locate the window tinting regulations in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 1, Rule 21.3. In a departure from most of the country, the Texas Department of Public Safety refers to window tinting as a “sunscreening device” defined as “[a] glazing, film material, or device for reducing the effects of visible sunlight and/or preventing observation.”
However, it’s easy to get confused when you are reading over the statute language. Here is a brief overview of what those statutes govern and how to properly adhere to them.
Windshield Regulations in Texas
If the vehicle has an AS-1 line on the windshield, the sunscreening device must be installed above that line. If it does not have an AS-1 line, the sunscreening device must terminate five inches below the top of the windshield. Additionally, the tint must be measured alongside the original glass and have light transmittance exceeding 25%.
In addition to measuring the sunscreening device along the windshield, you must also ensure that the luminous reflectance value, combined with the original windshield tint, does not exceed 25%. If you only want to install a clear UV film on your front windshield, Texas permits you to do so without requiring a medical exemption.
Regarding tint colors, Texas law does not allow for the use of red, amber, or blue tints. So if you put these colors on your car, the subsequent fines mean that your tint could cost you much more than expected.
Front Side Window Regulations in Texas
The front side windows of a vehicle are the windows that are to the immediate left and right of the driver.
Texas law permits front-side window screening devices as long as two specific conditions are adhered to. First, the sunscreening device and original glass must have a combined light transmittance value in excess of 25%.
Similarly, the tint film and original glass must have a combined luminous reflective value of less than 25%.
Back Side Window Regulations in Texas
The state of Texas does not have regulations for tinting the rear side windows of a vehicle, which means you can have any level of tint you want.
Rear Window Regulations in Texas
Rear window tinting is allowed as long as the vehicle has mirrors on each side that enable the driver to see 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, the tint and the original glass must have a light transmittance value of 25% or more and a luminous reflectance value below 25%.
Is Your Window Tint in Compliance With Texas Law?
Now that you know a little more about Texas’s window tint laws, you should be able to evaluate whether your latest tint job is in compliance with state law.