Virginia Window Tinting Guidelines for Cars, Trucks & SUVs


car window tinting

If you are considering getting car window tinting in Fairfax or elsewhere in Virginia, make sure you understand the current laws so you won’t get  into trouble with the authorities.

Virginia imposes specific restrictions regarding the light transmissibility of car tint and window film. To ensure you aren’t wasting your time and money on illegal window tinting take your vehicle to a trusted and respected window tint expert.

To help you understand Virginia’s car tint laws, the experts at Automotive Protection Services have put together this information for you. It’s important to remember that the laws change regularly, so always check for the most current standards before proceeding with any window film installation.

Why Does Virginia Regulate Car Window Tinting?

Although they differ from state to state, all 50 US states have laws that restrict the type and degree of window tint film you can have on a passenger vehicle.

The primary purpose for the Virginia window tint laws is to ensure that all motorists have an unobstructed view when driving on the roadways. This helps ensure drivers can see all the way around their vehicles and minimize collisions that could result from reduced visibility.

The laws in Virginia vary somewhat between passenger cars and larger vehicles, such as SUVs and passenger vans. These laws also change frequently, so it’s important to verify what the current laws are for the type of vehicle you drive.

Care Tint Limitations in Virginia

For any regular passenger vehicle, all light reducing window tint is prohibited unless your vehicle has side mirrors that provide a view of 200’ to the rear of your vehicle.

Except with a  DMV medical authorization, motor vehicles cannot have tint on the windshield\ below the manufacturer’s AS-1 line. The AS-1 line is the line that extends from the letters “AS-1,” which are found on most motor vehicle windshields. This line runs parallel to the top of the windshield and is generally 5” or less below the top of the windshield. You can apply tint film to this area only as a replacement for what was originally installed by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Front side vehicle windows cannot have any tint that reduces total light transmittance to less than 50%.

Rear windows and rear side windows cannot have any tint that reduces total light transmittance to less than 35%.

The law also prohibits driving with any window tint that has a light reflectance of more than 20% or that produces a holographic or prism effect. This means that, for reflective film, you cannot have any reflectivity on the windshield. For side windows (front and back), reflectivity cannot exceed 20%.

What Are the Penalties for Violating Virginia Window Film Laws?

The Virginia Code enforces penalties based on the type of violation committed. The least serious infraction can earn you a traffic ticket. A more serious violation could bring charges of a Class 3 misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 2 misdemeanor for a second offense. If you are charged for a second time within a one-year period, the court can compel you to remove any illegal tinting on your vehicle.

Even knowing what the laws are for car window tinting in Fairfax and throughout Virginia, you might not know whether what you’re getting is legal – unless you visit a professional Fairfax tint shop that you can trust.

Automotive Protection Services provides a full range of state-of-the-art tinting services, including the highly sought-after 3M™ Obsidian, and Ceramic IR Series products. Our services are highly affordable and we stand behind everything we do.

Contact us now to learn why our customers call us the best source for car window tinting in Fairfax.