In Virginia, car window tinting laws were enacted in 1999, and are still actively enforced today. Virginia has different tint VLT percentages for different windows and vehicles. To ensure that your tinted windows meet all of the legal requirements and restrictions, check out our handy Virginia State Window Tint Law guide here!
Virginia State Automotive Window Tinting Rules
How dark can window tint be in Virginia?
Tint VLT: Windshield: A non-reflective tint is permitted, as long as it is above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line, or in the top 5 inches of the windshield.
Tint VLT: Front Side Windows: Must allow 50% or more light into the vehicle.
Tint VLT: Back Side Windows: Must allow 35% or more light into the vehicle.
Tint VLT: Rear Window: Must allow 35% or more light into the vehicle.
It should be noted that the rules are different for SUVs and Vans, as for the back side windows and rear windows of SUVs can have any darkness applied. In addition, the front side windows also must allow more than 50% of light in, but the windshield can only have a non-reflective tint above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.
How reflective can window tint be in Virginia?
Tint Reflection: Front Side Windows: Tints cannot be more than 20% reflective.
Tint Reflection: Rear Side Windows: Tints cannot be more than 20% reflective.
In this case, the tint reflection is the same for sedans as it is for SUVs and vans.
Other Virginia automotive window tinting rules & regulations:
There are other restrictions when it comes to window tinting in the state of Virginia.
Restricted Colors: Amber, red and yellow vehicle window tints are not legally permitted.
Side Mirrors: Dual side mirrors are legally required if any window on the vehicle is tinted.
Certificate Requirements: Manufacturers of film do not need to certify the film sold in Virginia.
Sticker Requirements: There are sticker requirements.
Penalties for Non-Compliance: Non-compliance results in a Class 3 misdemeanor for a first offense, but a Class 2 misdemeanor for second or subsequent offenses.
Virginia Tint Law References
Code Of Virginia Section 46.2-1052: Equipping Certain Motor Vehicles With Sun Shading Or Tinting Films or Applications: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter10/section46.2-1052/
Code Of Virginia 46.2-1052: Tinting Films, Signs, Decals And Stickers On Windshields: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter10/section46.2-1052/
Vehicle Sun-Shading and Medical Waivers from Virginia Department Of Motor Vehicles: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#medical/sunshading.asp
Exterior Window VLT Tint
How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost In Virginia State?
The average cost of car window tinting in Virginia does depend where in the state you have this done. The typical cost of tinting a 2 car door in Virginia is about $135 – $150, whereas 4 car doors can range anywhere from $170-$200. As expected, SUVs and other large vehicles can cost upwards of $200-$350 depending on the vehicle itself.
These costs are an estimate and can increase or decrease depending on the vehicle the tint is being installed on, along with the specific tinting materials used. For example, different colored tints, higher grade tinting films and high-performance tints can be more costly, and will also require specialist installation.
How Does Car Window Tinting Work?
Window tinting film uses a specific type of polyester-based film that allows only certain types of sun rays to come through into your vehicle. The film then reflects or absorbs the harmful rays so that they don’t penetrate the glass and cause harm to you, your family, or the interior of your car.
The amount of metal, dye, or ceramic within the film will determine how much light is blocked, which is why there are different levels of tint that you can purchase. The lower the VLT percentage, the less light is allowed into your vehicle.
What Is The Best DIY 50% Tinting Product?
50% window tints are among the most popular and therefore the market is full of high-quality options. However, we have found that the MKBROTHER 50% VLT Professional Window Tint is one of the best you can buy.
Why Is This The Best?
This tint from MKBROTHER is offered in seven different sizes, but they all have the same height of 24 inches. This makes it easier for you to cut out the shapes of your windows without wasting a lot of your film. We find this feature incredibly beneficial for beginners who have never added a window tint to their vehicles before.
The film is 1.5 millimeters thick, made of a premium quality film that is resistant to scratches, peeling, and bubbling. However, the thickness won’t compromise your window mechanisms, meaning that you can still use them effortlessly without damaging your window tint.
You’ll find that this tint blocks 50% of light and heat from getting into your car. However, up to 99% of UV rays are blocked, keeping you and your car safe from even the brightest of days.
How To Apply To Your Car
MKBROTHER offers both instructions on how to apply this film to your windows, as well as illustrations to make it an even simpler process.
Firstly, you’ll need to clean your window as well as you can with a high-quality glass cleaner. Cut the tint to the shape of your window with one inch of allowance all the way around its perimeter. You can also cut the shapes before you begin the application process if you’d prefer.
Apply the adhesive tape to each side of one corner of the tint and pull them apart. This will separate the clear liner backing from your film.
Spray the adhesive side with the spray solution as well as the inside of the window. Place the film onto the window and remove any bubbles with a flat tool, such as a squeegee. Now trim the edges of the film and you’re done with the first window!
Pros & Cons Of DIY vs Professional Fitting
Pros of DIY fitting
- Ability to choose an option to fit your personal situation and budget
- You can purchase pre-cut kits which are easier for DIY installers to use
- Complete the job to your satisfaction
Cons of DIY fitting
- Quite difficult for beginners
- DIY car modifications are illegal in some states
Pros of professional fitting
- More experience from technicians
- Likely to offer warranties and guarantees
- It’s definitely legal and you won’t get into trouble
Cons of professional fitting
- Often comes at a higher cost
- Often is finished to a higher quality
In some states, there may be medical exemptions where you are required to carry proof of your medical condition, and allowance for darker windows. The state of Virginia does have medical exemptions and authorizations for those with medical conditions, who need protection from bright lights or sunlight, but an application would need to be filled and approved. For more information, please visit links below:
Virginia DMV – Vehicle Sun-Shading Medical Authorization: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#medical/sunshading.asp
Virginia Sun Shading Medical Authorization Application: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/med20.pdf