Tinted windows are common in Arizona. With temperatures regularly climbing over 100 degrees in the summer months, window tint can offer respite from the sun. It can keep the interior temperature of a vehicle cooler and protect the seats and dashboard from sun-related wear. If a driver breaks the law by tinting the windows too darkly, however, he or she may be unable to see the road. All drivers must know and obey Arizona’s window tint laws for everyone’s safety. To help out, our Phoenix car accident lawyers have put together this article to guide you through the most important window tint laws in Arizona.
What Percent Window Tint Is Legal in Arizona?
The law describes window tint in terms of darkness and reflectivity. It also refers to visible light transmission (VLT), or the percentage of light the tint allows into the vehicle. In Arizona, the law restricts what percentage of VLT is legal according to different windows and vehicles. Arizona Revised Statute 28-959.01 lays out the rules a driver must follow if tinting his or her vehicle if it is a sedan, SUV or van.
- Front side windows must have a VLT of more than 33%.
- Backside windows and rear windows can be any darkness.
- If the back windshield has tint, the law requires dual side mirrors.
- Front and backside windows must not be more than 35% reflective (plus or minus 3% or less).
- The front windshield may only have non-reflective tint, above the AS-1 line.
It is against the law to use amber or red tint colors in Arizona. Only with a valid medical exemption may someone use a special type of tint, such as a different color or darker grade. Vehicle owners do not need stickers to identify legal tinting. Since some room for interpretation exists with the state’s window tint laws, separate police officers may enforce them differently. Additionally, Arizona allows medical exceptions for special tint in some cases.
Should a police officer stop you on the road for dark tinting, they have the right to issue you a citation after using a tint meter to determine if you’ve broken the law.
Can You Have Limo Tint in AZ?
Limo tint is the darkest grade of tint available. In most places, limo tent is 5% VLT, meaning it only allows 5% visible light transmission into the vehicle.
It is illegal to use limo tint on the front side windows and the windshield of a sedan, SUV or van in Arizona.
These windows must have tint with more than 33% VLT. A driver could, however, use limo tint on the rear side windows and the back windshield, if desired. Although technically a driver can use any tint darkness on the back and backside windows, if an officer believes the tint is dark enough to obstruct the driver’s view, the officer could still issue a ticket.
Can You Legally Tint Your Front Windshield?
You can legally tint your front windshield in Arizona, but only according to specific regulations. The tint may only cover the topmost portion of the windshield, above the AS-1 line the manufacturer placed on the vehicle. The bottom edge of the tint must be at least 29 inches above the driver’s seat in its rearmost and lowest position when measured from five inches in front of the bottom of the seat’s backrest. The material of the tint cannot be amber or red. It is illegal for a driver to have any stickers or materials affixed to or blocking the windshield that obstructs or reduce the driver’s clear view of the road.
If a driver violated Arizona’s window tint laws at the time of an accident, a victim may be able to use this as proof of fault or negligence in a car accident claim in Phoenix. If the front side tint was too dark, for example, and this contributed to the driver not seeing a pedestrian using a crosswalk, the injured pedestrian could have a case against the driver for breaking the tint laws. The same is true if the driver has any materials unlawfully obstructing his or her view out of the front windshield. Improper window tint could be proof of negligence in a car accident injury claim in Arizona.