North Carolina Window Tinting Laws

Darkest legal tint for Sedans in North Carolina

  • Windshield: The tint on a windshield cannot extend more than 5 inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever is longer.
  • Front Side windows: Tinted windows cannot measure darker than 32 percent.
  • Back Side windows: Tinted windows cannot measure darker than 32 percent.
  • Rear window: Tinted windows cannot measure darker than 32 percent.

Darkest legal tint for SUV and Vans in North Carolina

  • Windshield: The tint on a windshield cannot extend more than 5 inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever is longer.
  • Front Side windows: Tinted windows cannot measure darker than 32 percent.
  • Back Side windows: There are no specific restrictions mentioned for the back side windows of multipurpose vehicles (e.g., SUV, mini-van) as long as the window is behind the driver and the vehicle is designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers.
  • Rear window: Similarly, there are no specific restrictions mentioned for the rear window of multipurpose vehicles, but it’s always a good idea to check with local regulations or the North Carolina DMV for any specific requirements.

North Carolina Tinting Regulations

Before we delve into the specifics, you might wonder, “Why does North Carolina even have window tinting laws?” Well, it’s all about safety and ensuring that law enforcement can see inside vehicles during traffic stops. While window tints can offer privacy, reduce glare, and protect against harmful UV rays, they shouldn’t compromise safety.

The Specifics for Different Vehicles

Sedans:

  • Windshield: Only the top 5 inches can be tinted, or up to the AS1 line, whichever comes first.
  • Front Side Windows: The tint must allow more than 32% of light in.
  • Back Side and Rear Windows: The tint must allow more than 32% of light in.

SUVs and Vans:

  • Windshield: The rules remain the same as sedans; only the top 5 inches can be tinted or up to the AS1 line.
  • Front Side Windows: Again, the tint must allow more than 32% of light in.
  • Back Side and Rear Windows: For these multipurpose vehicles, there aren’t specific restrictions for the windows behind the driver, but it’s always wise to ensure visibility remains clear.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Absolutely! North Carolina understands that there are genuine reasons some individuals might need darker tints. For instance, if you have a medical condition that makes you photosensitive, you can apply for a medical exception permit. This permit, issued by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ Medical Review Program, can be valid for up to five years. But remember, you can’t have more than two of these permits at once.

Medical Exemptions for North Carolina Tint Laws

Medical Exemptions for North Carolina Window Tint Rules
Photo of a doctor in a white coat holding a clipboard with a document titled ‘Medical Exemption’

Imagine being photosensitive, where exposure to sunlight or even bright light can cause severe discomfort or health issues. For individuals with such conditions, darker window tints are more than just a luxury; they’re a requirement for their well-being. Recognizing this, North Carolina has provisions for medical exemptions to the standard window tinting rules.

How to Obtain a Medical Exemption

If you or someone you know has a medical condition that necessitates darker window tints, here’s the process to obtain an exemption:

  1. Application: Individuals can apply for a medical exception permit with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ Medical Review Program.
  2. Validity: Once approved, these permits are valid for up to five years. It’s a relief for those who need it, ensuring they don’t have to reapply every year.
  3. Limitations: An individual can have no more than two medical permits at the same time. This rule ensures that the exemptions are not misused.
  4. Display: Once you have the permit, a medical exception sticker must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window. This sticker indicates to law enforcement that the vehicle has an exemption. And a word of caution: failing to display the sticker correctly can result in a $200 fine.

Conditions That Might Qualify

While the specific list of conditions can vary and might be subject to updates, generally, conditions that cause photosensitivity or other severe reactions to light might qualify for an exemption. It’s always best to consult with a medical professional and check the latest guidelines from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

Window Film Certificates and Stickers In North Carolina

At first glance, it might seem like just another piece of paperwork or a mere sticker. However, these certificates and stickers serve as proof that your vehicle’s window tint complies with state regulations. They’re a testament to the legitimacy and legality of your window film, ensuring that law enforcement officers can quickly verify your compliance during routine checks or inspections.

The Window Film Certificate: Your Ticket to Compliance

If you’ve had your vehicle’s windows tinted in North Carolina, you should receive a window film certificate from the installer. This certificate:

  1. Verifies Authenticity: It confirms that the tinting on your vehicle’s windows is within the state’s legal limits.
  2. Contains Vital Information: The certificate typically includes details like the vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN, along with the name and address of the installer.
  3. Is Essential During Inspections: If you’re stopped by law enforcement or during vehicle inspections, having this certificate handy can save you from potential fines or penalties.

The Sticker: A Visible Badge of Honor

In addition to the certificate, vehicles with a medical exemption for darker tints must display a specific sticker:

  1. Placement Matters: This sticker should be prominently displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window.
  2. Proof of Exemption: The sticker indicates to law enforcement officers that the vehicle has a valid medical exemption for its window tint.
  3. Avoiding Penalties: Failing to display the sticker correctly can result in fines, even if you have a valid medical exemption. So, it’s not just about having the exemption; it’s about showcasing it right!

Staying Informed and Compliant

While the allure of tinted windows is undeniable, it’s essential to remember the administrative side of things:

  • Always Ask: When getting your windows tinted, ensure that the installer provides you with the necessary certificate.
  • Safe Storage: Keep the window film certificate in your vehicle at all times, preferably with other essential documents like your registration and insurance.
  • Check for Updates: Regulations can change, so it’s a good idea to periodically check for any updates to North Carolina’s window tinting rules.

Penalties or Ticket Cost for Illegal Window Tint in North Carolina

Photo of a North Carolina police officer holding a ticket pad
Photo of a North Carolina police officer holding a ticket pad

First, let’s understand the rationale. North Carolina, like many states, has window tinting laws to ensure the safety of both drivers and law enforcement officers. Tinted windows can reduce visibility, especially at night, and can also prevent officers from seeing inside a vehicle during a traffic stop. So, while you might crave that added privacy or protection from the sun, it’s essential to stay within the legal limits.

People Also Read:  Texas Window Tinting Laws

The Costly Consequences

If your vehicle’s window tint doesn’t comply with North Carolina’s regulations, you could be in for a surprise the next time you’re pulled over:

  1. Initial Fines: Getting ticketed for illegal window tint can be a costly affair. While the exact amount can vary based on the discretion of the ticketing officer and the degree of the violation, fines can range significantly. It’s not uncommon for drivers to face penalties of $100 or more for a single violation.
  2. Inspection Woes: Vehicles with after-factory window tinting must be checked during a North Carolina safety inspection. If your tint is found to be too dark, not only will you fail the inspection, but you’ll also be slapped with an additional charge. This means you’ll have to remove or replace the illegal tint and then pay for another inspection.
  3. Potential Court Costs: If you decide to contest a window tint ticket in court and lose, you could be on the hook for court costs in addition to the original fine. These costs can add up quickly, making that stylish tint a lot more expensive than you bargained for.

Avoiding the Penalties

The best way to avoid these penalties? Stay informed and proactive:

  • Know the Limits: Familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s window tinting laws. For most vehicles, the front side windows and rear windows must allow more than 32% of light in. The windshield can only have tint on the top 5 inches or up to the AS1 line.
  • Get a Professional Installation: If you’re getting your windows tinted, choose a reputable installer familiar with North Carolina’s regulations. They can guide you on the best tint level to ensure you remain compliant.
  • Medical Exemptions: If you have a medical condition that requires darker tints, make sure you have the necessary permits and display the required stickers to avoid unnecessary fines.

Conclusion

Window tinting can give your vehicle a sleek look, protect your interiors, and even keep it cooler during those hot North Carolina summers. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your tinting is within the state’s legal limits. Not only will this keep you on the right side of the law, but it’ll also ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

So, the next time you think about getting that cool shade for your car windows, remember the rules, and enjoy a ride that’s both stylish and compliant!

State of North Carolina Info

North Carolina! Nestled in the southeastern region of the United States, this state is a blend of bustling cities, serene beaches, majestic mountains, and a rich tapestry of history and culture. Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or just someone curious about the Tar Heel State, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the gems that make North Carolina truly unique.

Geographical Wonders

Mountains to Sea: From the Great Smoky Mountains in the west to the pristine beaches of the Outer Banks in the east, North Carolina offers a diverse landscape. The Blue Ridge Parkway, often dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” offers breathtaking views, especially during the fall when the leaves change colors.

Coastal Beauty: The state boasts a vast coastline with popular spots like Cape Hatteras, Wrightsville Beach, and the historic town of Bath. The Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands, is a haven for beach lovers and history buffs alike.

Historical Highlights

First in Flight: Did you know the Wright brothers made their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina? That’s right! This monumental event in 1903 marked the state’s significant contribution to aviation history.

Colonial Roots: Historic Bath and New Bern give glimpses into the state’s colonial past. The Tryon Palace in New Bern, once the capital of North Carolina, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Cultural Vibrancy

Music and Dance: From bluegrass to beach music, North Carolina has a rich musical heritage. The state is also home to the clogging dance, a type of folk dance with roots in the Appalachian Mountains.

Culinary Delights: North Carolina is famous for its distinct barbecue styles, with the eastern and western parts of the state having their own flavors and methods. And let’s not forget the Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soft drink that originated in Salisbury.

Economic Powerhouse

Research and Development: The Research Triangle Park, located between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, is one of the largest research parks globally, housing over 300 companies and fostering innovation.

Agriculture: North Carolina is a leading producer of tobacco, poultry, and pork. The state’s fertile land and favorable climate make it a hub for various agricultural activities.

Education and Institutions

Higher Learning: With renowned institutions like Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University, the state is a hub for higher education and research.

Cultural Institutions: Museums like the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offer insights into the state’s art, history, and indigenous cultures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any exceptions to the window tinting regulations in North Carolina?

Yes, certain vehicles like ambulances, limousines, law enforcement vehicles, and vehicles with a medical exception issued by NCDMV are exempt from some of these requirements.

How can individuals with photosensitivity to light get an exception for darker window tints?

Individuals can apply for a medical exception permit with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ Medical Review Program. These permits are valid for up to five years, and an individual can have no more than two at the same time.

Where should the medical exception sticker be displayed on the vehicle?

The medical exception sticker must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window. Not displaying the sticker properly can result in a $200 fine.

Is there an additional charge for checking vehicles with after-factory window tinting during a North Carolina safety inspection?

Yes, there’s an additional charge of $10 during a North Carolina safety inspection for vehicles with after-factory window tinting.

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