Car window tinting in Houston is a popular aftermarket change people make to their cars. You might consider tinting to help keep your car cooler, block out harmful UV rays, or even just because it looks good. However, it’s important to keep in mind there are laws around what you can and can’t do with your car’s tint. In this article, we will go over some of the regulations for window tinting in Houston.
What Does the Law Say About Car Window Tinting in Houston?
When it comes to tinting your car’s windows, Texas has some standards you need to follow. If you break these laws, there may be serious consequences. For instance, your car may fail the annual inspection. You can also face fines and tickets if you violate these laws.
So, what exactly does the law say about car window tinting in Houston? In Texas, your vehicle can’t use red, blue, or amber colored tints. There are also restrictions on where and what kind of tint you can use on your auto glass. Here are some of the basics:
- Windshield: You can apply car window tint to the top portion of your windshield. The tint can’t be lower than the AS-1 line (the area of the windshield with the markings AS-1), or five inches from the top of the windshield, whichever comes first. Also, tint must have a visible light transmission (VLT) rate of more than 25% and a reflection value of 25% or less.
- Front Side Windows: Your side windows in the front of your car must also have a VLT of 25% or more with a reflection value of 25% or less.
- Back Side Windows: Side windows for the back seats don’t have any tint restrictions according to the Texas Department of Public Safety
- Rear Window: The rear window, also known as the rear windshield, also faces some restrictions. If you have two side mirrors on the outside of your car that allow you to see at least 200 feet behind you, then there are no restrictions. Most cars today meet this standard. However, if you don’t have exterior mirrors that fit this description, then your rear window must have a VLT of 25% or more and a reflectance value of 25% or less.
Are there Exceptions to the Rules about Window Tinting in Houston?
There are some exceptions to these Texas auto glass tinting rules. For instance, law enforcement vehicles are generally exempt from these rules. Also, some transportation vehicles are exempt, such as buses, limousines, and taxis. It’s unclear if your vehicle fits this exemption if you drive for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. You should reach out to the Texas Department of Public Safety any time you have a question about your specific circumstances.
Another exemption includes a medical exemption. In some cases, you might suffer from a health condition where you need a darker tint on your car windows. Typically these are medical conditions where you suffer from photosensitivity (extra sensitivity to light). For instance, you might qualify for a medical exemption to car tint levels if you suffer from lupus, albinism, or sun allergy. As of 2019, you no longer need to apply for an exemption certificate to have darker car window tinting in Houston for a medical reason. Instead, you need a signed statement from your doctor or ophthalmologist. Keep this letter in your car. You may need to show this statement to police during traffic stops and during your vehicle inspections.
Affordable Auto Glass – Your Source for Auto Glass Repair, Replacement, and Tinting
When you need quality auto glass solutions, choose our team at Affordable Auto Glass. Our certified technicians use industry-leading materials and methods to help you take care of your auto glass. Whether you’re looking for tinting services, glass replacement, or windshield chip repair in Houston, we have affordable, convenient options for you. Get in touch now for a free quote from our experts!