Window tinting is popular in Colorado, and it’s perfectly legal for many drivers to have their windows tinted to an extent. However, Colorado enforces strict laws pertaining to window tint designed to ensure driver safety and limit the risk of accidents from poor visibility. Whatever reasons you may have for wanting tinted windows, you should know Colorado’s window tinting laws and how to interpret the various terms pertaining to window tinting. If you do not abide by Colorado’s window tinting laws, you risk fines and mandatory modifications to bring your vehicle into compliance.
Tinted windows can offer privacy and comfort, but they can also be dangerous when they violate Colorado’s window tinting laws. A driver can cause a serious car accident if they have improperly tinted windows that are too dark to ensure appropriate visibility. Colorado drivers must understand the state’s window tinting laws and abide by them at all times.
Understanding Vehicle Window Tint
Tinting is the process of darkening a windowpane to prevent light from entering the vehicle. Tinting also makes it difficult for people to see inside of a vehicle. Tinting potentially offers several advantages beyond privacy, however. Properly applied window tint can reduce glare and improve visibility. However, it can also be dangerous, especially when driving at night. For example, a driver may fail to notice a pedestrian in the road if their windows are tinted too darkly.
Colorado’s window tinting laws use a measurement system to determine acceptable levels of tinting. Window tint is measured in Visible Light Transmission (VLT). Every window has a VLT rating based on how much outside light can pass through the window. For example, a window with 70 VLT allows 70% of outside light into the vehicle, while a window with 20 VLT only allows 20% of outside light into the vehicle.
You may have purchased a vehicle that already has tinted windows, or perhaps you’re considering having your vehicle windows tinted after purchase. Whatever the case may be, you need to know Colorado’s laws pertaining to VLT. Additionally, remember that you cannot have reflective or mirrored windows. A vehicle with this type of window tinting will pose a serious visibility risk to other drivers due to glare during daylight hours, which can temporarily blind another driver.
Colorado VLT Laws
Colorado’s VLT laws apply to most passenger vehicles, including sedans, coupes, vans, and SUVs. All front windshields are only allowed to have tinting on the top four inches of the glass, and the tint may only be nonreflective 70VLT. The four inches of tinting at the top of the glass can help reduce visibility interference from direct sunlight without inhibiting the driver’s vision.
The front and rear side windows of all vehicles must allow at least 27% of outside light through the windows. The same applies to a vehicle’s rear windows. However, if the vehicle has more than 70 VLT on the front side windows, the rear side windows and rear window may have any level of window tinting. If the vehicle’s rear window is tinted at all, the vehicle must have dual side mirrors, and drivers may not tint their vehicle windows amber or red.
If you decide to have your windows tinted to any level, it’s a good idea to have legal tinting identification stickers placed somewhere you can reference. You’ll want to have access to this in the event the police pull you over for suspected window tint violations. It’s also important to remember that Colorado does not recognize medical exemption for window tinting laws. If you violate Colorado’s window tinting law, you could face a Class B traffic infraction or a misdemeanor traffic offense that carries a $500 to $5,000 fine.
Most vehicle customization businesses in Colorado will not install window tinting that does not follow state law, but it is possible to face a citation for violating window tint laws inadvertently. If you’re stopped by police for suspected violation of Colorado window tinting law and determine your window tint is out of compliance, they will ticket you and require you to have your window tinting altered within a specific time limit.
Q: Can I Have 20 Tint on My Vehicle’s Windows in Colorado?
A: 20 VLT window tint would only allow 20% of outside light through the window. Under Colorado’s window tinting laws, this type of window tint is too dark in most cases. However, as long as the vehicle’s front side windows have more than 70 VLT, the rear windows could have 20 VLT or even darker tint.
Q: Can You Be Pulled Over for Window Tint in Colorado?
A: Yes, a police officer can conduct a traffic stop if they suspect a driver’s window tint is out of compliance with state law. If you prefer to have dark window tint and have ensured your windows’ VLT percentages are within acceptable parameters, have stickers placed somewhere easily visible so police can quickly verify your window tint is legal.
Q: How Much Is the Penalty for Illegal Window Tint in Colorado?
A: It’s possible to face a fine of $500 to $5,000 for window tint violations in Colorado. However, the amount you must pay depends on the severity of the window tint infraction, whether you have already been cited for violating Colorado window tint laws, and whether you committed any other violations that led to the traffic stop.
Q: What Are the Benefits of Legal Window Tinting?
A: The most obvious benefit of tinted windows is reduced sunlight through your vehicle’s windows. Tinting your windows can also improve your comfort and visibility. Window tinting can also reduce heat from the sun from accumulating inside your vehicle, improving comfort when you need to drive for a long time in direct sunshine.
Legal Help for Window Tinting in Colorado
It’s possible for illegal window tinting to cause an accident in Colorado. If you believe that another driver’s violation of Colorado’s vehicle window tinting law directly caused your recent accident, contact our firm. You have the right to hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. If you need to discuss a recent car accident with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to schedule a consultation with our team.