Washington DC Window Tint Law [December 2021]

There are quite some rules and regulations related to the automotive window tint in Washington D.C. Being aware of what the Washington D.C. window tinting laws cover will help you avoid headaches and potential legal troubles. 

The Washington D.C. Window Tinting laws were brought into existence in 1994. Since then they have been strict regarding the laws they have built for their people. 

In this article, we have tried to do justice to this topic by providing you with all the possible information you need to be aware of before buying a car with tinted windows or before you decide to tint your car windows. Information like how reflective or dark the tint should be, and the other various rules and regulations are mentioned too. Keep reading…

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What does VLT mean?

VLT(Visible Light Transmission) is the light percentage allowed by the window tint film to travel through your car windows. Each and every state has dissimilar allowable terms for it. In Washington D.C., the proportion of light allowed to pass through passenger vehicle window films and multi-purpose vehicle window films are different.

  • HIGH VLT= MORE AMOUNTS OF LIGHT TO PASS THROUGH YOUR WINDOW TINT FILMS.
  • LOW VLT= LESS AMOUNTS OF LIGHT TO PASS THROUGH YOUR WINDOW TINT FILMS.

For instance, a 83% tint will allow only 83% of light to pass through whereas a 10% tint will allow only 10% of light to travel through the window tint film. 

Legal tint limit: Passenger Vehicles

  • Windshield: non-reflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturers AS-1 line or top 5”
  • Front side windows: should allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back side windows: should allow more than 50% of light in.
  • Rear window: should allow more than 50% of light in. 

Legal tint limit: multi-purpose Vehicles 

  • Windshields: Jon-reflective tint is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturers AS-1 line or top 5”
  • Front side windows: should allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back side windows: should allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear window: must allow more than 35% of light in. 

The light percentage allowed through your window film and glass in Washington D.C. is very strict and specific. The tint limits vary for Passenger vehicles and mufti-purpose vehicles.

Tint reflection 

The one main reason for having window tints is so that it helps reflect light which then further in the process reduces glare as well as heat. Depending on the vehicle type as well as the type of tint the Washington D.C. law allows only a certain level of reflection with a tint.

Tint reflection: Passenger Vehicles 

  • Front side windows: no reference in current laws.
  • Back side windows: no reference in current laws.

Tint reflection: Multi-purpose Vehicles 

  • Front side windows: no reference in current laws.
  • Back side windows: no reference in current laws.

Other Window tint laws and regulations in Washington D.C.

Besides the basic laws that you have come across already, there are some other rules and regulations that you need to pay good attention to, in order to avoid any form of negative situations. It is important to consider the laws as well as these particular rules and regulations altogether before you decide to get your car windows tinted. These rules and regulations may vary for other states. 

  • Do I have to have side mirrors in Washington D.C.? There are no restrictions when it comes to side mirrors.
  • Are there any restricted tint colors in Washington D.C.? No. All tint colors are allowed. 
  • What are window tint certification rules in Washington D.C.? There is no need for tint certificates required in the District of Columbia.
  • Do I need to have a certified sticker from the company installing my window tint in Washington D.C.? Sticker to identify legal tinting is not required in Washington D.C.
  • Are there medical exemptions in Washington D.C. for window tint? Waivers are permitted. You should consult your local DMV for more information.
  • What are the penalties like? $50 citation. And upto $1000 fine if you’re not in compliance after five days. 
  • Some other rules to be followed: 1)no person shall install window tinting on a motor vehicle which is not exempt pursuant to subsection(2) of this section, in the District of Columbia which would cause the motor vehicle to violate. 2) this section shall not apply to: limousines, ambulances, buses and hearses meeting the requirements of 18 DCMR 413.10; church owned vehicles, government officials vehicles, vehicles with tinted windows installed by the manufacturer prior to purchase or vehicles that are exempted by the director of the departing motor vehicles because the owner of the vehicle has a medical condition requiring windows which allows less light than permitted pursuant. 

It is our duty to let you know that the interpretation of tinting laws as well as rules and regulations can be done differently in your residential area. And for these reasons we are suggesting you to double check the information we provide you with. Where should you check the information? You can check the information through your local DMV. You can also check the information by contacting the law enforcement authorities in your own state.

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