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Auto Window Tint: How Dark Is Too Dark?

As Wilmington’s most trusted window tinting professionals, we understand and appreciate the benefits of automotive widow tint. It helps you stay cool in the summer, gives you privacy while driving, makes your windows less likely to shatter in an accident, and helps deter thieves. There is, however, too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to window tint in the state of North Carolina. If you tint your windows darker than the legal limit, you could be pulled over, issued a ticket, or fail an inspection.

So, what are the window tinting requirements in North Carolina? It depends.

Tinting Your Windows  

The darkness of a tint is measured by the visible light that can pass through it. On sedans, coupes and wagons tint must allow at least 35% of the light in. SUVs, trucks and vans are a bit more lenient—the front windows must allow at least 35% of light in, but the back-seat windows and rear windshield can be any level of darkness. On all vehicles, the front windshield can have a visor strip down to the AS1 line or 5″ and the light transmission needs to be at least 35%. However, a clear untinted film can be applied to the entire front windshield to reduce harmful UV rays.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some cases where a driver can obtain a waiver that allows them to tint their windows darker than the legal limit. These waivers are granted under special circumstances, such as when a driver has a medical condition that results in photosensitivity to visible light. Some conditions that might qualify for this exception include lupus, sunlight allergies, and melanoma, among others.  If you suffer from a condition like this, you’ll need to download a form from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, ask your physician to complete it, and return it to the NC Division of Motor Vehicles.

When in Doubt, Ask a Pro

As you can see, tinting windows is an art, one which should be handled by experienced professionals who can keep your car beautiful and its inhabitants safe. To ensure that your window tint follows the law and looks great, be sure to work with professionals such as Coastal Glass Tinting. We know the North Carolina laws, we know the products, and we know how to take your vehicle to the next level. Make an appointment or contact us today for a free quote.