Window Tinting Laws In North Carolina

North Carolina implemented its car window tinting laws in 2001, which provide guidelines on the darkness and reflectivity of tint that is permissible for vehicles. It’s crucial to possess all the required information and documentation regarding your car’s window tint, including the allowable tint levels in the state. North Carolina also enforces other regulations on car window tinting, so it’s wise to be aware of them to evade any potential fines. To avoid any legal troubles, take the time to read about the car window tinting rules and regulations in North Carolina below.

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Visible Light Transmission (VLT) and Visible Light Reflection (VLR) are two most critical concepts to consider for auto window tinting. In this discussion, we’ll explore both concepts, beginning with VLT.

1. Window Tint Darkness in North Carolina (VLT)

Window Tint Darkness or Visible light transmission (VLT) is a measurement of the amount of light that passes through a film. It’s measured in percentages and can go anywhere from 0% to 100%. The higher the percentage, the more visible light is transmitted through the film.  

Every state has a distinctive legal limitations. Therefore, North Carolina’s tinting laws differ from those of other states, particularly regarding the amount of light that can penetrate tinted glass. These laws also vary between passenger vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles. As a result, it’s crucial to carefully review North Carolina’s tinting regulations to ensure that your vehicle complies. By doing so, you can avoid any potential legal complications and ensure that your car’s tint meets the state’s guidelines.

Tint darkness laws for passenger vehicles (sedans) in North Carolina:

Windshield: You can use non-reflective tint on the AS- 1 line or top 5 inches of the windshield. 

Front Side windows: You can use maximum up to 35% tint darkness.

Back Side windows: You can use a maximum 35% tint darkness for backside windows.

Rear Window: You can use maximum 35% tint darkness for rear windows.

Tint darkness laws for multi-purpose vehicles (SUVs and vans) in North Carolina:

Windshield: You can use non-reflective tint on the AS- 1 line or top 5 inches of the windshield. 

Front Side windows: You can use up to 35% tint darkness for front side windows.

Back Side windows: You can use any darkness for backside windows.

Rear Window: You can use any darkness for rear windows.

2. Window Tint Reflection in North Carolina (VLR)

Window Tint Reflection or Visible light reflection (VLR) is the amount of light that a car window film reflects. Window tint reflection levels are expressed in percentages, ranging from 0% to 100%. The VLR percentage, or visible light reflection, is a crucial factor to consider when applying tint to your windows in North Carolina. The lower the VLR percentage, the less visible light will reflect into your vehicle, resulting in more sunlight being blocked. Be sure to note the permissible VLR percentage as outlined in North Carolina’s window tinting laws to avoid any legal repercussions. Paying attention to this detail will ensure that you remain in compliance with the state’s regulations.

Tint reflection laws for passenger vehicles (sedans) in North Carolina:

Front Side windows: Window tint installed on the front side windows of a passenger vehicle must not be more than 20% reflective.

Back Side windows: Window tint installed on the back side windows of a passenger vehicle must not be more than 20% reflective.

Tint reflection laws for multi-purpose vehicles (SUVs and Vans) in North Carolina:

Front Side windows: Window tint installed on the front side windows of a multipurpose vehicle must not be more than 20% reflective.

Back Side windows: Window tint installed on the backside windows of a multipurpose vehicle must not be more than 20% reflective.

Other North Carolina Window Tint Rules and Regulations:

North Carolina takes the matter of vehicle window tinting very seriously and has implemented several stringent rules and regulations that drivers must follow. In addition to adhering to the permissible levels of darkness and glare on each window, there are other guidelines you need to comply with as well. These are:

Side Mirrors: If the back window of a vehicle is tinted, it is required by law to have dual side mirrors. This is to ensure that the driver has adequate visibility while driving.

Restricted Colors: In North Carolina, certain colors of window tint are not permitted. These colors include RED, AMBER, and YELLOW. This is to ensure that the tint does not impede the visibility of the driver, and also to maintain a consistent aesthetic on the roads.

Tint Variance: The state of North Carolina allows a 3% variance in the visible light transmission (VLT) level of window tint. This means that the VLT level of the tint can be up to 32%. This is to allow for some flexibility in the type of tint used, while still ensuring that the driver has adequate visibility.

Certificates: Film manufacturers are not required to certify the film they sell in North Carolina. This means that the buyer should be aware of the VLT level and color of the tint they are purchasing, and ensure that it complies with the state’s laws.

Stickers: No sticker is required to identify legal tinting in North Carolina. However, if a person has a medical exemption, they are required to have a sticker identifying this exemption on their vehicle. For more details about the specific terms of the medical exemption, consult your state’s laws.

Medical Exceptions: North Carolina allows for medical exemptions for special tint. This means that individuals with certain medical conditions may be able to use a darker tint than what is normally allowed by the state laws. For more details about the specific terms of the exemption, consult your state’s laws.

Penalties: If a person is found to be in violation of the state’s laws regarding window tint, they may be subject to a fine of $200. It is important to ensure that the tint on your vehicle complies with the state’s laws to avoid any penalties.

Infographic showing car window tinting law in North Carolina

Conclusion

In North Carolina, passenger vehicles (sedans) are permitted to use a maximum 35% tint darkness on the front and back side windows, and the rear window. Non-reflective tint is allowed on the AS-1 line or top 5 inches of the windshield. For multi-purpose vehicles (SUVs and vans), a maximum 35% tint darkness is allowed for front side windows. However, there is no limit for the darkness of the tint on the back side windows and rear window. Additionally, non-reflective tint is allowed on the AS-1 line or top 5 inches of the windshield. It’s important to note that colors like red, amber, and yellow are not permitted.

Disclaimer 

The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. No user of this site, or any other person or entity that may have received this information, shall rely upon the information contained ‌as creating an attorney-client relationship between such user and Car Glass Advisor. The rules and regulations pertaining to car window tint in North Carolina may change at any time. Therefore, please contact a local lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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