South Dakota Window Tinting Laws

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s essential to understand what VLT or Visible Light Transmission means. VLT is the percentage of visible light that a window tint allows to pass through from the outside to the inside of a vehicle. So, if a window tint has a VLT of 35%, it means the tint allows 35% of the light to pass through, blocking the remaining 65%.

South Dakota Window Tinting Laws

Interestingly, the laws for SUVs and vans mirror those for sedans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is permissible above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.
  • Front Side Windows: These should allow more than 35% of light inside.
  • Back Side and Rear Windows: The requirement remains the same, with more than 20% of light needing to pass through.

Reflection and Appearance

South Dakota is pretty straightforward when it comes to the reflective properties of window tints. Both sedans and SUVs/vans should not have tints with a metallic or mirrored appearance on any window. This rule ensures that the tint doesn’t cause unnecessary glare, which could be hazardous for other drivers.

Other Noteworthy Regulations

  • Side Mirrors: Good news! There are no specific restrictions on side mirrors in South Dakota.
  • Tint Colors: South Dakota is quite lenient here. No colors of tint are explicitly restricted. So, whether you fancy a charcoal, blue, or amber shade, you’re good to go!
  • Certifications: Manufacturers need to certify the film they sell in South Dakota. If you’re getting your windows tinted, it might be a good idea to check with your dealer about the certification of the film they’re using.
  • Stickers: A sticker identifying legal tinting is mandatory. It should be placed between the film and glass on each tinted window.
  • Medical Exemptions: Some states allow window tinting beyond the usual regulations for medical reasons. However, South Dakota doesn’t grant any such medical exemptions.
  • Penalties: If you’re thinking of bypassing these regulations, think again! Violating the window tinting laws in South Dakota is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Medical Exemptions for South Dakota Tint Laws

Medical Exemptions for South Dakota Window Tint
Medical Exemptions for South Dakota Window Tint

There are several medical conditions that can make individuals sensitive to sunlight. These include:

  • Photosensitivity: A condition where individuals have an increased sensitivity to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
  • Melanoma: Patients with this type of skin cancer are often advised to limit their exposure to sunlight.
  • Lupus: A chronic autoimmune disease that can make the skin extremely sensitive to UV rays.
  • Other Skin Disorders: Conditions like vitiligo or albinism can also make individuals more susceptible to sunburns and other complications from sun exposure.

For individuals with these conditions, even a short drive in the sun can lead to discomfort or more severe health complications.

South Dakota’s Stance on Medical Exemptions

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: Does South Dakota allow medical exemptions for window tinting?

The straightforward answer is no. South Dakota law does not provide any medical exemptions that would allow individuals to use special car window tints beyond the standard regulations. This means that regardless of your medical condition, you are expected to adhere to the same window tinting rules as everyone else in the state.

Why Doesn’t South Dakota Allow Medical Exemptions?

While the specific reasons aren’t explicitly stated in the law, one can speculate that the decision might be based on:

  • Safety Concerns: Darker tints can reduce visibility, especially at night, potentially leading to accidents.
  • Enforcement Difficulties: Allowing medical exemptions could make it challenging for law enforcement officers to determine which vehicles are compliant and which aren’t without checking medical documentation.

What Can You Do?

If you have a medical condition that requires reduced exposure to sunlight, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • UV Blocking Clear Films: There are clear window films available that can block out harmful UV rays without darkening the windows. These can be a great alternative to tinted windows.
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Consider wearing long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses when driving to reduce sun exposure.
  • Limit Driving During Peak Sun Hours: If possible, try to schedule your drives during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense.

Window Film Certificates and Stickers In South Dakota

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s essential to understand the rationale behind these requirements. Window tinting, while offering numerous benefits like UV protection, privacy, and reduced glare, can also pose safety risks if overdone. To strike a balance, South Dakota has set specific regulations, and the certificates and stickers play a crucial role in ensuring compliance.

Window Film Certificates in South Dakota

In South Dakota, film manufacturers need to certify the window film they sell within the state. But why is this necessary?

  • Quality Assurance: Certification ensures that the films meet specific quality standards, offering the benefits they claim without compromising safety.
  • Regulation Compliance: Certified films are guaranteed to comply with the state’s Visible Light Transmission (VLT) requirements, ensuring that vehicle owners don’t inadvertently break the law.

If you’re considering getting your vehicle’s windows tinted, it’s a good idea to ask your dealer about the certification of the film they’re using. This not only ensures that you’re getting a quality product but also that you’re staying on the right side of the law.

Stickers: The Badge of Compliance

In South Dakota, a sticker identifying legal tinting is required. But where should it be placed? The sticker should be positioned between the film and glass on each tinted window. Here’s why this sticker is essential:

  • Easy Verification: For law enforcement officers, these stickers make it easy to identify vehicles with legally compliant window tints. This speeds up routine checks and ensures that only those not adhering to the rules are flagged.
  • Peace of Mind for Vehicle Owners: With the sticker in place, vehicle owners can drive with confidence, knowing they won’t face unnecessary stops or fines related to window tinting.

What If I Don’t Have a Sticker or Certificate?

If your window film isn’t certified or if you don’t have the required sticker on your tinted windows, you could be in violation of South Dakota’s window tinting laws. This could lead to:

  • Fines: Non-compliance can result in monetary penalties.
  • Mandatory Removal: In some cases, you might be required to remove the non-compliant window film from your vehicle.
People Also Read:  Maine Window Tinting Laws

Penalties or Ticket Cost for Illegal Window Tint in South Dakota

Ticket Cost for Illegal Window Tint

First things first, why does South Dakota even have rules about window tint? The primary reasons are:

  • Safety: Overly dark windows can reduce a driver’s visibility, especially at night, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Law Enforcement: Dark windows can make it challenging for law enforcement officers to see inside a vehicle, which can be a safety concern during traffic stops.

The Cost of Non-Compliance

In South Dakota, violating window tinting laws is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. But what does that mean in terms of dollars and cents?

  • Base Fine: The exact amount can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the discretion of the court. However, fines for a Class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota can range up to $500.
  • Court Costs: On top of the base fine, you might also be responsible for court costs, which can add to the overall amount you owe.
  • Potential Additional Costs: If you’re ticketed for illegal window tint, you might be required to remove the tint from your windows. This removal can come at an additional cost, especially if you choose to have it done professionally.

Avoiding the Ticket

The best way to avoid a ticket for illegal window tint in South Dakota is, of course, to ensure your tint complies with state regulations. Here are some quick tips:

  • Know the Limits: Familiarize yourself with South Dakota’s window tinting regulations. For instance, front side windows must allow more than 35% of light in, while back side and rear windows should let in more than 20% of light.
  • Ask for Certification: When getting your windows tinted, ask the installer about the certification of the film they’re using. This ensures that the product complies with state regulations.
  • Check for Stickers: South Dakota requires a sticker identifying legal tinting to be placed between the film and glass on each tinted window. This sticker can be a quick way for law enforcement to verify that your tint is legal.


South Dakota’s window tinting laws are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. While they allow vehicle owners to enjoy the benefits of window tinting, such as reduced glare, privacy, and interior protection, they also ensure that safety isn’t compromised. So, the next time you’re cruising through the beautiful landscapes of South Dakota, you can be confident that your tinted windows are not just stylish but also compliant with the law!

State of South Dakota Info

South Dakota! A state that often evokes images of vast prairies, the iconic Mount Rushmore, and a rich tapestry of history and culture. But there’s so much more to this Midwestern gem than meets the eye. Let’s embark on a journey through South Dakota and uncover the many facets that make it truly unique.

A Brief Overview

Located in the Midwestern region of the United States, South Dakota is a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes, the state offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of the indigenous peoples of the region.

Geographical Wonders

South Dakota is the 17th most extensive state, but here’s a fun fact: it’s the 5th least populous and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. This means there’s plenty of open space to explore!

  • Black Hills: A small mountain range that rises from the Great Plains, it’s home to the famous Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.
  • Badlands National Park: Known for its striking landscapes, this park boasts a mix of pinnacles, buttes, and spires, making it a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Historical Significance

South Dakota has been a witness to many pivotal moments in American history:

  • Becoming a State: Once the southern portion of the Dakota Territory, South Dakota achieved statehood on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Talk about sibling rivalry!
  • The Gold Rush: The Black Hills Gold Rush in the 1870s brought a wave of settlers, forever changing the demographic and economic landscape of the region.

Modern-Day South Dakota

  • Capital & Major Cities: Pierre serves as the state capital, while Sioux Falls, with a population of around 159,000, holds the title of South Dakota’s largest city. Other notable cities include Rapid City, Deadwood, and Brookings.
  • Economy: Agriculture has traditionally been a significant driver, with the state being a major producer of oats, sunflower seeds, and soybeans. However, in recent years, sectors like finance, healthcare, and tourism have gained prominence.

Culture and Festivities

South Dakota is a melting pot of cultures, and this is evident in its many festivals and events:

  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: An annual gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts in the city of Sturgis, it’s one of the largest of its kind in the world.
  • Sioux Falls JazzFest: A musical extravaganza that celebrates the best of jazz, attracting artists and fans from all over.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a metallic or mirrored appearance on my window tint in South Dakota?

No, South Dakota window tint laws do not allow metallic or mirrored appearance for both sedans and SUVs/vans.

Are there any color restrictions for window tints in South Dakota?

No specific colors of tint are explicitly restricted in South Dakota.

Do film manufacturers need to certify their products in South Dakota?

Yes, film manufacturers need to certify the film they sell in the state. It’s recommended to check with your dealer if they are using certified film.

Are there any medical exemptions for window tinting in South Dakota?

South Dakota law does not allow any medical exemptions that would allow using special car window tint.

What are the penalties for violating window tinting laws in South Dakota?

Violations are considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.

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