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Texas Window Tint Laws

As of January 1, 2021, The Texas Department of Transportation has the following requirements all non-exempt motor vehicles;


Tint darkness for sedans:

  • Windshield: 25% Visible Light Tint (VLT) is allowed on the top 5 inches, or above the AS-1 line, and less than 25% reflection tint.

  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 25% of light in.

  • Back Side windows: Any tint darkness can be used.

  • Rear Window: Any tint darkness can be used if the car has outside mirrors, 25% VLT in cars without outside mirrors.

Tint darkness for SUV and vans:

  • Windshield: 25% VLT is allowed on the top 5 inches, or above the AS-1 line, and less than 25% reflection tint.

  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 25% of light in.

  • Back Side windows: Any tint darkness can be used.

  • Rear Window: Any tint darkness can be used if the car has outside mirrors, 25% VLT in cars without outside mirrors.

This law was initially codified in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 1, Rule 21.3 in 2009 and has not been changed to date.





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What are the rules on reflection "mirror" tint in Texas?


Texas law permits a specific window reflection when tinting sedans, SUV, and van windows.

  • Front Side windows: Cannot be more than 25% reflective.

  • Back Side windows: Cannot be more than 25% reflective.

Reflection tint containing metallic elements that add daytime privacy and also act as a two-way mirror when light on the outside is brighter than the light inside. Texas regulates the percentage of light that must be able to penetrate the tinting because mirror tinting film can quickly become opaque.


What tint colors are illegal?


A car in Texas cannot have tint colors of red, blue, or amber. All other colors are allowed. But keep in mind that Texas tinting laws and regulations can also change depending on your county of residence. We always recommend double-checking our information with your local Department of Motor Vehicles or your applicable law enforcement authorities.


Is 5% tint illegal in here in Texas?


The answer is, it depends. It is legal for cars to have 5% tint on the back side windows, and 5% tinting can also be used on rear windows as long as the vehicle also has side mirrors. But, 5% tint cannot be used on the passenger window or front window (any portion). The exemptions for these laws are if the car qualifies for an exemption. Some car that qualify include buses, taxis, limousines, and law enforcement vehicles.


What vehicles are exempt from these requirements?


Government motor vehicles such as secrete service or police autos are exempt from state tinting requirements. Commercial transportation motor vehicles such as buses, taxis and limousines can also qualify for an exemption because passengers pay to travel onboard.


How much is a ticket for illegal tint in Texas?


Both drivers and tint installers can face significant penalties when they violate Texas laws on tinting requirements. The law allows courts assess fines of up to $1,000. If a person purchases a car with illegally tinted windows, the fines will be on the purchaser, not the seller.


Why are there window tinting laws?


The main reason that tinting laws exist are to ensure that drivers maintain good visibility during both daytime and nighttime driving. Tint restrictions protect both the inhabitants of the tinted vehicle, as well as others navigating the roads. Additional reasons for tinting laws include the necessity for law enforcement to, at times, need to see into a vehicle to protect those inside and to protect the public.


Illegal window tint and liability after a car accident


Although breaking Texas window tint laws is a Class B infraction after a traffic ticket, there can be additional legal implications. If the at-fault driver in a car accident has illegal tinting that contributed to their inability to safety operate their vehicle, then they are liable for your causing your injuries and damages. Texas is a fault-based car accident system, meaning the driver that caused the crash will have to pay for your compensation. Proving fault for a car accident, however, may take gathering evidence and required a Texas car accident lawyer experienced in handling these cases.


The injured party (or "potential Plaintiff") must responsible the other driver’s fault for the collision during an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in Texas. The plaintiff can hire a Texas car accident attorney to help with this burden of proof. A lawyer can review the crash, reconstruct it with help from experts, speak to eyewitnesses, take photographs and use other steps to prove that the driver caused the collision from lack of proper visibility due to illegal tint. If the other driver could not reasonably see the road due to their use of any illegal such as tinting, that driver may be held financially responsible for victims’ full extent of injuries and damages. Excessive tinting can cause dangerous roadway crashes and result in serious bodily injuries or death.