Louisiana Window Tinting Laws

Darkest legal tint for Sedans in Louisiana

  • Front Windshield: Non-reflective tint is permitted above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or the top 5 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Up to 40% tint darkness is allowed.
  • Back Side Windows: Tint can be as dark as 12%.
  • Rear Window: Up to 12% tint darkness is permissible.
  • Front Windshield: Non-reflective tint above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Up to 40% tint darkness.
  • Back Side Windows & Rear Window: Any tint darkness can be used.

Louisiana Window Tinting Laws

map of Louisiana with icons of cars

Window tinting, while often seen as a style statement, serves multiple purposes, from UV protection to privacy and heat reduction. However, in Louisiana, as in many states, there are specific regulations governing the darkness and reflectivity of window tints. This guide aims to provide a clear understanding of these laws, ensuring you stay compliant and reap the benefits of window tinting without legal hassles.

Front Windshield

The front windshield is the primary barrier between the driver and the external environment. It provides the most significant field of vision, making it crucial for driving safely.

Regulations:

  • Tinting: Only non-reflective tint is allowed on the front windshield. This ensures that the tint doesn’t have a mirror-like appearance, which could be distracting or reduce visibility.
  • Placement: The tint should be applied above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line. If there’s no visible AS-1 line, the general guideline is to apply the tint only to the top 5 inches of the windshield. This ensures an unobstructed view for the driver.

Front Side Windows

These are the windows adjacent to the driver and the front passenger.

Regulations:

  • Tint Darkness: The tint on the front side windows must allow more than 40% of light to pass through. This ensures adequate visibility for the driver to see pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, especially when making turns or changing lanes.

Back Side Windows

These are the windows adjacent to the rear passengers.

Regulations:

  • Tint Darkness: For the back side windows, the tint should allow more than 25% of light to pass through. This regulation ensures that there’s enough visibility for the driver when looking over their shoulder or using the rearview mirror.

Rear Window

The rear window, or the back windshield, is located at the back of the vehicle.

Regulations:

  • Tint Darkness: The rear window can have a tint that allows more than 12% of light to pass through. This regulation ensures that drivers have a clear view of vehicles behind them, especially when reversing or during lane changes.

Additional Regulations to Consider

  1. Reflectivity: No window on any vehicle registered in Louisiana can be more than 20% reflective.
  2. Tint Colors: All tint colors are permissible except for red and amber.
  3. Certification: Manufacturers and installers must certify that the film they offer adheres to state regulations.
  4. Stickers: A sticker identifying your vehicle window tint as legal must be placed between the film and glass on the driver’s side window.
  5. Medical Exemptions: Louisiana does allow for medical exemptions for tinted windows, but the 40% VLT tint should suffice for most medical conditions related to sunlight sensitivity.

Medical Exemptions for Louisiana Window Tint Rules

car with dark tinted windows parked outside a medical facility in Louisiana

Medical exemptions are provisions in the window tinting laws that allow individuals with specific medical conditions to have darker tints than what’s generally permitted. These exemptions recognize that certain medical conditions make individuals more sensitive to sunlight, necessitating additional protection.

Qualifying Conditions

Based on the information provided, the Louisiana State Police and the Medical Advisory Board recognize specific conditions for medical exemptions:

  • Albinism: A condition characterized by a lack of melanin, making individuals extremely sensitive to sunlight.
  • Lupus: An autoimmune disease that can make the skin more sensitive to UV rays.
  • Porphyria: A group of rare genetic disorders that can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Photophobia: A sensitivity to light. However, for this condition, a detailed explanation is required to justify the exemption. Specifically, the physician must explain why standard sunglasses wouldn’t offer adequate protection and how the exemption won’t affect the individual’s ability to drive at night.

The Application Process

To apply for a medical exemption:

  1. Obtain a written certification (affidavit) from an optometrist or physician indicating the medical necessity for a darker window tint.
  2. The affidavit should detail the specific medical condition and its implications.
  3. The Louisiana State Police may seek the Medical Advisory Board’s opinion on granting the exemption.

Validity and Renewal

  • The medical exemption is valid for three years from the date of issuance.
  • For vehicle owners aged 60 and above, the exemption remains valid for the duration of their ownership of the vehicle.
  • Exemptions are subject to review every three years unless deemed otherwise by the department.

Key Takeaways

While Louisiana’s window tinting laws are stringent, they also consider the genuine medical needs of its residents. If you or a loved one has a medical condition that necessitates darker window tints, it’s essential to understand the exemption process and ensure all documentation is in order. Staying informed and proactive can help you enjoy the benefits of window tinting while remaining compliant with state regulations.

Window Film Certificates and Stickers in Louisiana

The primary reason Louisiana mandates window film certificates and stickers is to ensure that all tinted vehicles on the road adhere to the state’s regulations. These certificates and stickers serve as proof that the window film installed on a vehicle is within the legal limits set by the state.

Window Film Certificates

A window film certificate is a document provided by the manufacturer or installer of the window tint. This certificate attests that the tint installed on a specific vehicle meets Louisiana’s regulations.

Key Points:

  • Issuance: The certificate is typically issued at the time of installation.
  • Details: The certificate should include the vehicle’s make, model, year, VIN, and details about the window film, including its VLT percentage.
  • Validity: The certificate should be kept with the vehicle at all times, especially during inspections or if stopped by law enforcement.

Window Tint Stickers

In addition to the certificate, Louisiana requires a sticker to be placed on tinted vehicles.

Key Points:

  • Placement: The sticker should be affixed between the film and the glass on the driver’s side window.
  • Purpose: The sticker serves as a quick visual indicator for law enforcement to verify that the vehicle’s window tint is compliant with state regulations.
  • Details: The sticker typically includes details about the tint’s VLT percentage and may also have information about the manufacturer or installer.
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Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to have the necessary window film certificate or sticker can result in penalties:

  • First Offense: A fine, typically around $150.
  • Subsequent Offenses: The fines can increase for repeated violations, often reaching up to $350 for third and subsequent offenses.

Penalties or Ticket Cost for Illegal Window Tint in Louisiana

Police officer ticketing for dark tinted windows

Louisiana’s window tinting laws were established to ensure the safety of both drivers and pedestrians. Properly tinted windows can reduce glare, but overly dark or reflective tints can obstruct a driver’s view, leading to potential hazards. As such, the state has set specific guidelines on tint darkness and reflectivity.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

If your vehicle’s window tint does not comply with Louisiana’s regulations, you could face the following penalties:

  • First Offense: A fine of up to $150. This serves as a warning and a reminder to rectify the non-compliance.
  • Second Offense: The fine increases to up to $250. This steeper penalty underscores the importance of adhering to the regulations.
  • Third and Subsequent Offenses: For repeated violations, the fines can reach up to $350. This hefty penalty is a clear indication of the state’s commitment to ensuring road safety.

Additional Consequences

Beyond the financial penalties, there are other potential consequences of non-compliance:

  • Vehicle Inspection Failures: Vehicles with illegal window tint may fail the state’s mandatory vehicle inspections. This could lead to additional costs and the inconvenience of having to remove or replace the tint to pass the inspection.
  • Increased Scrutiny: Vehicles with overly dark or reflective tints might attract more attention from law enforcement, leading to potential stops and inspections.

Staying Informed and Compliant

To avoid these penalties:

  1. Know the Rules: Familiarize yourself with Louisiana’s specific tinting regulations. This includes understanding the allowed Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentages for different windows and the reflectivity rules.
  2. Choose a Reputable Installer: When getting your windows tinted, select a reputable installer who is familiar with Louisiana’s regulations. They should provide you with a certificate indicating the tint’s compliance.
  3. Regular Checks: Over time, window tints can fade or change. It’s a good idea to have them checked periodically to ensure they remain within legal limits.

Conclusion

Window tinting in Louisiana offers numerous benefits, from comfort to privacy. However, it’s essential to be aware of and adhere to the state’s regulations. By staying informed and ensuring your vehicle’s tint is compliant, you can enjoy the perks of tinted windows without any legal concerns.

Info About the State of Louisiana: Small State, Big Character

Ah, Louisiana! A state that dances to the rhythm of jazz, celebrates life with vibrant Mardi Gras parades, and offers a culinary experience like no other. Nestled in the southern region of the United States, Louisiana is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and histories. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the many facets of this captivating state.

A Glimpse into Louisiana’s Geography

Louisiana is uniquely characterized by its wetlands, bayous, and deltas. The mighty Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico, has played a pivotal role in shaping the state’s geography and history. The state is divided into parishes, a throwback to its French and Spanish colonial past, making it the only state in the U.S. to have parishes instead of counties.

A Rich Tapestry of History

Louisiana’s history is as colorful as its festivals. Originally explored by the Spanish and later colonized by the French, it became a melting pot of cultures, including African, Acadian, and Creole. The state was purchased by the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation’s size overnight.

Cultural Extravaganza

From the lively streets of New Orleans to the serene bayous of Acadiana, Louisiana is a cultural treasure trove. The state is the birthplace of jazz, a genre that has influenced music worldwide. Mardi Gras, an iconic festival celebrated with gusto, showcases elaborate costumes, vibrant parades, and a spirit of revelry.

Culinary Delights

Louisiana’s cuisine is a testament to its diverse heritage. Dive into a bowl of gumbo, savor some jambalaya, or indulge in beignets dusted with powdered sugar. The state’s culinary scene is influenced by French, Spanish, African, and Creole traditions, making it a gastronomic paradise.

Economic Landscape

While often celebrated for its cultural contributions, Louisiana is also an economic powerhouse. The state is a major producer of oil and natural gas and boasts one of the largest ports in the world in New Orleans. Additionally, tourism, especially centered around its rich culture and festivals, plays a significant role in its economy.

Notable Cities

  • New Orleans: Known for its jazz, Mardi Gras, and the historic French Quarter.
  • Baton Rouge: The state’s capital and home to numerous museums and landmarks.
  • Shreveport: A cultural hub in the northern part of the state.
  • Lafayette: The heart of Acadiana and a center for Cajun culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the tinting laws different for SUVs and vans in Louisiana?

Yes, while the rules for front side windows and windshields remain the same, SUVs and vans have more leniency for rear windows:
Back Side Windows: Any darkness of window tint can be used.
Rear Window: Any darkness of window tint can be applied.

Are there any color restrictions for window tints in Louisiana?

Yes, window tints in red and amber shades are prohibited in Louisiana.

Do I need a sticker for my window tint in Louisiana?

Yes, a sticker identifying your vehicle window tint as legal must be placed between the window film and glass on the front driver’s side window.

Are there medical exemptions for darker window tints in Louisiana?

No, Louisiana state law does not permit medical exemptions for darker window tint. However, the 40% VLT tint allowed should be sufficient for those extra sensitive to sunlight.

When were the window tint regulations enacted in Louisiana?

Window tint regulations were put in place in Louisiana in 1993 and have undergone several changes since then.

Is reflective tint allowed in Louisiana?

No window on any vehicle registered in Louisiana may be more than 20% reflective.

How do law enforcement officers check the legality of window tint?

Officers can use a portable device to check the visible light transmission (VLT) of window tints at any time.

Can I have tinted windows if I’m from another state but driving in Louisiana?

If you’re driving a vehicle registered in another state through Louisiana, you’re subject to the window tint laws of your home state. However, it’s essential to be aware of Louisiana’s regulations to avoid potential misunderstandings.

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