Tint Laws in California

California Window Tinting Laws

Understanding the California Window Tinting Basics

Window Tinting Shades

California law states that front passenger windows can be no darker than 70%, but you can go as dark as you’d like on rear side and back windows.

Window tint laws vary slightly depending on which state you live in. As a California resident, the most important thing you need to know when it comes to automotive window tinting laws is that your front two windows (driver and passenger side) cannot be tinted with any film darker than 70%. This means that the film on the front two windows must allow 70% or more light to pass through. However, you can go as dark as you’d like on all rear side and back windows to achieve the look you’re going for.

The rear windows and back window are allowed to be much darker, which adds greater potential for privacy and stylistic modifications to your car, truck, van or SUV. Also, the small strip of tint at the top of your windshield, often referred to as an “eyebrow” or “eyebrow strip” is allowed as long as it meets the specs set by the vehicle manufacturer. The strip must rest above what is known as the “AS-1 line”. If you do not know where the AS-1 line falls on your vehicle’s windshield, just know that Texas State law requires that the strip extend to no more than 4 inches below the top of your windshield.

Film laid on the front two windows of your car, truck van or SUV must allow at least 70% of light to pas through the window and ANY tint darkness is allowed on the back window and two rear windows. Naturally, this ensures that the driver has maximum visibility when navigating through traffic. Film on the rear side windows or back windshield can be as dark as you want, meaning you are allowed to have the ultra dark “limo tint” film on these windows if you’d like.

California prohibits window film from being any more reflective than a normal, untinted window. So, some special types of reflective metallic films are not allowed.

One recommendation we make to our customers to compensate for the tighter rules and still get the heat protection and high profile look many of them desire is to upgrade to a premium film. Premium gloss films can block more heat, last longer and have a slightly classier appearance than cheaper basic films without using prohibited metallic materials or super dark coloration.

It is very important to respect and adhere to these laws in order to ensure the safety of both yourself and fellow motorists. However, as with all rules, there are exceptions to California state law when it comes to window tinting. These exceptions apply specifically to patients with documented medical needs and to special professional vehicles, i.e limousines (hence the term “limo tint”), taxis, and busses as well as law enforcement vehicles. Ask your doctor if you think you are a candidate for a window tinting exemption or contact us for a custom quote for your personal or commercial vehicle today.

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