California 2017 Window Tint Laws

Car window tint laws in California were enacted in 1999. These California window tint laws are valid for 2017, and regulate how dark and reflective your car tint may be, but also specify other rules and regulations you need to know about.

How dark can your window tint be in California?

Window tint darkness is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). In California this refers to the percent of visible light allowed in through both the film and the glass. You can find out exactly how much VLT is allowed on your auto window tint in California (CA), categorized by sedans and SUVs and vans.

Tint darkness for sedans:

  • Windshield: No window tint is allowed.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Tint darkness for SUV and vans:

  • Windshield: No window tint is allowed.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

How reflective can your window tint be in California?

Similar to lenses on your sunglasses, tinting film may contain metallic elements which help in reflecting incoming light, thus reducing glare and heat generated by visible light. Below you can find out how much reflection is permitted on your car window tint by law in California.

Tint reflection for sedans:

  • Front Side windows: Must not be more reflective than a standard window.
  • Back Side windows: Must not be more reflective than a standard window.

Tint reflection for SUV and vans:

  • Front Side windows: Must not be more reflective than a standard window.
  • Back Side windows: Must not be more reflective than a standard window.

Other California tinting rules and regulations:

Other laws, rules and regulations in California include the following:

  • Side Mirrors: Dual side mirrors are required if the rear window is tinted.
  • Restricted Colors: California tint laws do not permit using red, amber or blue tint colors.
  • Certificate Requirements: Manufacturers of film do need to certify the film they sell in the state and the driver is required to have the certificate in his/her possession.
  • Sticker Requirements: State law does require a certificate or a sticker from the installing company and the manufacturer's name and address.
  • Medical Exemption: California law doesn't allow any medical exemptions that would allow you use special tint.
Remember that state tint laws may be differently interpreted by your local law authorities and we always recommend to check with them as well to make sure you are within 2017 California window tinting law, rules and regulations.