Car window tint has benefits, but too dark is illegal

Car window tint has benefits, but too dark is illegal

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Whether it's because car owners it looks cool or because they're trying to keep the summer heat out of their vehicle, many motorists turn to window tinting.

There are rules and regulations when it comes to tinting your car's window, however.

"We see an increase in installations during the summer time," said Sgt. James Anderson, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop D.

Vehicles must meet certain standards.

  • Front side windows must allow more than 40 percent of light in.
  • Back side windows must allow more than 25 percent of light in.
  • Rear windows must allow more than 12 percent of light in.
  • The windshield is allowed non-reflective tint above the manufacturer's AS-1 line which is about five inches.

And having the right amount of tint for every window is key because if caught with tint too dark, drivers could be fined.

"Anyone who operates a motor vehicle registered in this state in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than one hundred fifty dollars for a first offense, not more than two hundred fifty dollars for a second offense, and not more than three hundred fifty dollars for a third or subsequent offense," the state statute reads.

And, that's just for the state; the costs vary from parish to parish and are added to your grand total.

  • Allen
    • $227
  • Beauregard
    • $197
  • Calcasieu
    • 1st offense: $192
    • 2nd offense: $292
    • 3rd or subsequent offense: $392
  • Cameron
    • $146.50
  • Jeff Davis 
    • $177.75
  • Vernon
    • $239.50

So, if you're driving down the road and your car's window tint seems too dark, you may get pulled over.

This is for safety not only of the driver but of law enforcement officer as well, Anderson said.

"This is a driving safety issue because if the tint is too dark, it can be hard to drive at night," Anderson said. "It's also an officer safety issue, we in law enforcement don't know what we are encountering when we pull somebody over for a traffic violation and if someone has very dark window tint we don't know what weapons they may have in the vehicle, we don't know what kind of threat they potentially pose. Hopefully, there is not a threat at all but we can't see that if the tint is too dark," Sgt. James Anderson said with Louisiana State Police Troop D.

The rules apply to installers as well. If caught installing tint that's too dark, installers could face a list of hefty fines and potentially lose their business. Anderson said they have individuals who check up on the installers to make sure they are following the law.

If you are concerned that your vehicle's window tint may be "illegal" LSP said drivers can stop by the headquarters and ask to have them checked.

There is a window tint medical exemption form for drivers who are 60 or older that they can fill out but of course, it must be approved by the state and if approved will last for three years.

For more information click HERE or visit www.legis.la.gov and look up  RS 32:361.1

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