New York Tint Laws

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By Tint Legality

New York tint laws were enacted in 1991 and later amended in 2016, focusing on the amount of light transmitted through the windows of vehicles.

These laws differ for various types of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and vans, so it’s essential to know the specifics to maintain compliance and keep on the right side of the law.

Regulations Regarding Window Tint in New York

Understanding New York window tint laws requires familiarity with the term Visible Light Transmission (VLT).

The VLT percentage refers to the amount of light a window tint film allows to pass through. Regulations in New York vary based on the type of vehicle and window.

Car Window PartRegulation
WindshieldMust allow more than 70% of light in; Non-reflective tint allowed on top 6 inches of the windshield
Front Side WindowsMust allow more than 70% of light in
Back Side Windows (Sedan)Must allow more than 70% of light in
Back Side Windows (SUVs and Vans)No restriction
Rear Window (Sedan)Must allow more than 70% of light in
Rear Window (SUVs and Vans)No restriction if the vehicle has dual side mirrors
ReflectionMirrored or metallic appearances not allowed
Medical ExemptionsAllowed with proper documentation and submission of form MV-80W
Color RestrictionsNo specific color restrictions
Side MirrorsRequired if back side windows or rear window are tinted below 70% VLT


Whether you drive a sedan or an SUV, New York laws stipulate that your windshield must allow at least 70% of light to penetrate.

This rule applies to all vehicles in the state, with an exception for a non-reflective tint along the top 6 inches of the windshield.

Front Side Windows

The same 70% light requirement also applies to the front side windows for all vehicle types.

Again, this ensures safety on the road by allowing drivers to have a clear, unobstructed view.

Back Side Windows

New York tint laws allow more flexibility for back-side windows.

For sedans, these windows must still allow 70% of light in.

However, for SUVs and vans, the laws do not stipulate a specific minimum VLT, allowing darker tints.

Rear Window

The rear window tint rules align with the back side windows.

Sedans must allow 70% light, but SUVs and vans have no specified VLT requirements, provided the vehicle has dual side mirrors for visibility.


Additional Regulations

Aside from the VLT requirements, there are other crucial regulations in the New York window tint laws.

These regulations pertain to tint colors, reflectiveness, labels, and exemptions.


The New York window tint law permits certain levels of reflection. Tints may be used to reflect incoming light and reduce heat and glare.

However, mirrored or metallic appearances are not allowed.

Medical Exemptions

New York recognizes that some individuals may require darker tints for medical reasons.

Special tints are permitted with proper documentation and submission of form MV-80W.

Color Restrictions

While some states have restrictions on the colors of window tints, New York is not one of them. There are no explicitly banned tint colors under New York tint laws.

Side Mirrors

If the rear window or back side windows are tinted below the 70% VLT, dual side mirrors are required for safety.

Exceptions to Legal Limits

New York state allows exceptions to legal limits for medical reasons. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires form MV-80W to be filled out and submitted for these cases.

Penalties for Breaking the Law

Ignoring or breaking New York’s tint laws can result in penalties. These penalties vary depending on the frequency of infractions.


Fines for non-compliance with New York’s tint laws escalate with each conviction.

For the first conviction, the fine can range between $50 to $100.

A second conviction within 18 months can result in a fine between $50 to $250.

A third conviction within 18 months can lead to a fine between $100 to $250.

Other Penalties

Aside from fines, other penalties for non-compliance include potential mandatory participation in a driver retraining program, suspension of your driver’s license, or even a possible jail term, especially for repeated infractions.

New York’s window tint laws are aimed at ensuring safety on the roads.

It’s essential for drivers in New York to stay updated on these laws and remain compliant, not only to avoid penalties but to ensure a safe driving experience.

The law emphasizes maintaining a clear and unobstructed view, which is paramount in ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.


Why are dark tints illegal in NY?

Dark tints are illegal in NY due to safety concerns, mainly reduced visibility for the driver and law enforcement.

Will 30 tint pass inspection in NY?

A 30% tint likely won’t pass inspection in NY because it doesn’t meet the required 70% Visible Light Transmission.

How dark can you tint your back windows in NY?

In NY, back windows on sedans must allow 70% light; SUVs/Vans have no specific restriction.

How do I get permission to tint in New York?

To get tint permission in NY, apply for a medical exemption with form MV-80W.

Is 70% tint legal in NY?

Yes, a 70% tint is legal in NY on all windows except the windshield’s top 6 inches.

How much is a tint ticket in NY?

A tint ticket in NY can range from $50 to $1000, depending on the number of offenses.

Does NY inspection check tint?

Yes, NY inspection does include a check for illegal window tint.