Illinois State Window Tint Law

We’ve located all the necessary legal information surrounding window tinting in Illinois and have compiled it together here. Illinois State imposed window tinting laws for the first time in 2009, making them the 48th State in America to create these laws. So, if you are considering window tinting, read this to find out how to fully cooperate with the law. 

Illinois State Automotive Window Tinting Rules 

How dark can window tint be in Illinois?

Tint VLT: Windshield: A non-reflective tint is allowed. But only on the top 6 inches of your windshield. 

Tint VLT: Front Side Windows: It is illegal to have a tint applied to either of your front side windows. 

Tint VLT: Back Side Windows: A tint of any darkness can be used. 

Tint VLT: Rear Window: A tint of any darkness can be used. 

How reflective can window tint be in Illinois?

Tint Reflection: Front Side Windows: The tint applied must be ‘non-reflective’. However, State law is unclear about exactly what this means. 

Tint Reflection: Rear Side Windows: Again, the tint applied must be ‘non-reflective’. 

Other Illinois automotive window tinting rules & regulations:

Restricted Colors: There are no laws banning any specific colors of tint. 

Side Mirrors: If your back window is tinted, then your car must have dual side mirrors fitted. 

Certificate Requirements: No legal requirement for manufacturers to certify their window tint. 

Sticker Requirements: No legal requirement for a sticker. 

Penalties for Non-Compliance: A fine of $50-$500 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will result in a class C misdemeanor.

Illinois Tint Law Reference 

Illinois Vehicle Code Chapter 12, Article V – Glass, Windshields, and Mirrors

Illinois Tinted Window Medical Certification Form (.pdf file)

Exterior Window VLT Tint

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost in Illinois State

The cost of window tinting varies greatly depending on the area of Illinois that you are based in. This cost is also hugely impacted by the amount of work that you want to have done to your vehicle. Generally, it can cost anywhere between $50 to $600 to have a standard non-reflective tint film applied to your windows. 

However, if you want a sleeker look, and would prefer a metallic or ceramic film, you should expect to pay between $100 and $800 to get the work done.

How Does Car Window Tinting Work?

When you tint a window, a lightweight film is applied to the inside pane of the glass. It is not applied to the outside of the glass. This is to protect the tinting from wear and tear, flying debris, and harsh sunlight. 

The first layer will be a strong polyester laminate which should improve the performance of the windows. The polyester is a transparent film. 

The next film will have tinting agents like metals and dyes, which create the shading effect. This is the layer that blocks UV rays to protect your skin from overexposure to harsh sunlight.

What Is The Best DIY 35% Tinting Product?

With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to find a tint that will actually work well on your car, especially if you buy it online. We have done a lot of research to figure out the best tinting product to apply to your vehicle yourself, and we recommend using the MKBROTHER.

Why Is This The Best?

We praise MKBROTHER so highly because of their easy-to-apply directions, their 99% UV blocking, and their scratch-resistant materials.

The MKBROTHER has a strong tint which allows in visible light but rejects the heat of the sun and the UV rays up to 99% while still sticking to the 35% restriction. This blocking doesn’t create a glare which means you won’t be distracted by the moving sunlight. The lack of glare also means that your vehicle’s interior won’t be affected by the sun rays, allowing it to stay showroom-ready for longer.

As the film is not made from metal fragments, you don’t have to worry about the tinting blocking any of your technology which normally relies on signaling.

How To Apply To Your Car

The tint is made of an adhesive film, which means all you need to do is apply the tint to the car’s window, with no special equipment on hand. 

First, you need to clean the glass on your car to remove any impurities. Next, you want to cut the film to match your car’s window size. We would advise that you check their sizing section before buying, as you will want more than enough to cover your window.

After that, you can pull one corner of the tint’s protective layers to expose the adhesive. You will be given a spray solution. Spray this solution onto the adhesive side of the film and onto the inside of the window you are planning on tinting.  At this point, depending on your state, you would apply the legalization sticker.

Lastly, you should place the film onto the window with the adhesive sides connecting. Then flatten out any bubbles which may have occurred in the process. If you have left any film on the edge of the window, you can cut it off with an extractor knife. 

Pros & Cons Of DIY vs Professional Fitting

There is an obvious reason for doing a DIY fitting instead of hiring a professional, and that’s the price. DIY tinting is so much cheaper that it is definitely worth considering. This can help you either save money or allow you to buy better quality film without the higher charge that the professional will ask for.

However, there is a reason why professionals charge these higher prices. It’s because creating a seamless installation isn’t always easy. If you put the tinting on incorrectly, it won’t last as long, nor will it protect you as much as it should. 

Medical Exemption 

Illinois State Law does allow medical exemptions for window tinting. To obtain these exemptions, you must obtain a letter or certificate from your licensed physician. This certificate must be renewed every 4 years. 

There are lots of different conditions included under the medical exemption in Illinois, including albinism and discoid lupus erythematosus. But they are not given if sunglasses or other protective forms of eyewear could provide sufficient protection. A copy of the certification must be kept by the person/company that installed the window tint.