California Window Tinting Laws

Car window tinting laws in California were enacted in 1999. We have provided all the necessary information about your car's window tint, including how dark or reflective the tint is allowed in your state. There are also additional car window tinting rules and regulations in California so make sure you read all about it below.

Window tint darkness in California

The percent of visible light allowed through your car windows is called VLT: Visible Light Transmission. The percentage of light allowed through your film and glass in California is very specific and different for sedan cars and SUV cars or vans.

Tint darkness for sedans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 88% 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: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 88% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Window tint reflection in California

Window tint can reflect incoming light and reduce glare and heat. California window tint law permits a certain window reflection when using a tint so make sure you pay attention to this as well.

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 window tint rules and regulations:

California does have several other important laws, rules and regulations pertaining to window tinting. They 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.
  • Certificates: 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.
  • Stickers: State law does require a certificate or a sticker from the installing company and the manufacturer's name and address.
  • Medical Exceptions: California law doesn't allow any medical exemptions that would allow you use special tint.
Keep in mind that California tinting laws and regulations may be interpreted differently in your county or place of residence and we always recommend you double-check our information with your local law enforcement authorities.
Our information about window tint laws in California was last updated in 2014. Tinting laws in California were enacted in 1999. In case any of our info provided is not up to date or correct be sure to contact us so we can fix it. Thanks!

State of California Info

california

California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the most populous U.S. state, home to 1 out of 8 Americans, and is the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second and fifth largest census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation's 50 most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.

Capital: Sacramento

Population: 38,041,430

Area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)

Cities ▼

Cities in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Mountain View, Pasadena, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Monterey, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Hollister, Malibu, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palo Alto, Big Sur, Calabasas, Irvine, Newport Beach, Cupertino, Huntington Beach, Napa, Temecula, Modesto, Torrance, Santa Cruz, Laguna Beach, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Sunnyvale, Stockton, Pleasanton, Ontario, Ventura, Fremont, Menlo Park, Orange, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Burbank, Santa Rosa, Solvang, Eureka

Counties ▼

Counties in California: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba

Wikipedia

State website


Tint law references:

California Vehicle Code section 26708: Material Obstructing or Reducing Driver's View

California Vehicle Code section 26708.5: Transparent Materials