Maryland Window Tint Laws

If you’re considering darkening your windows, too, you’re in the right place! This article contains key information regarding Maryland tint laws, including darkness limits and fine costs.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local rules and regulations before scheduling a window-darkening appointment. Every state has its own set of unique tint darkness and reflectivity limits. So, if you often take road trips to other states, consider looking into their local tint laws. Most states deem it illegal to drive around with the wrong tint, even if that same tint is legal in a different state.

Understanding Legal Tint Law Jargon

Before exploring Maryland’s tint darkness rules, let’s first look into the legal jargon associated with these laws.


To understand tint intensity, you’ll need first to understand what VLT is. VLT is short for visible light transmission. The key phrase here is ‘light transmission,’ suggesting that your VLT threshold determines how much light can pass through a tint. Therefore, a film that transmits less light has a lower VLT value. So, darker tints have low VLT percentages, whereas lighter ones have higher values.

Every tint film has a unique VLT percentage, and each US state has a minimum VLT threshold your car’s tint must meet.

Front-Side Windows

Your car’s front-side windows sit adjacent to the driver’s seat and neighboring shotgun seat.

Rear-Side Windows

These are the two windows at the back of your car. However, rear-side windows should not be confused with rear-end windows. The latter indicates the single window resting at the very back of your vehicle opposite the front windshield.

AS-1 Line

You should check to see if your car has an AS-1 line. The AS-1 line runs parallel to your windshield, around 6 inches below its top edge. It is a reference line defining windshield tint limit in most US states.

Most cars have this line pre-marked. But, if that’s not the case with your vehicle, don’t worry. You can always measure it out yourself instead!

How Dark Can You Tint Windshield and Windows in Maryland?

Wondering, can you tint windshields in Maryland? This section covers all you need to know about tint darkness limits in Maryland.

Maryland Tint Laws for Passenger Vehicles

Here are the local tint laws for sedans in Maryland:

  • Minimum VLT for front windows: 35% (plus or minus 3%)
  • Minimum VLT for backside windows: 35% (plus or minus 3%)
  • VLT limit for rear window: 35% (plus or minus 3%)
  • Windshield tint: 35% and above AS-1 line, or measured to 5 inches below windshield’s highest point

Maryland Tint Laws for Multipurpose Vehicles (SUVs and Vans)

Here are the local tint laws for multipurpose vehicles in Maryland:

  • Minimum VLT for front side windows: 35% (plus or minus 3%)
  • Minimum VLT for backside windows: Any %
  • VLT limit for rear window: Any %
  • Windshield tint: 35% and above AS-1 line, or measured to 5 inches below windshield’s highest point

Windshield Tints

Popular windshield tint options include ceramic tints and smart tints.

Ceramic tints are an excellent option if you’re looking for ways to cut down on your car’s AC runtime. This is because such tints use nanotechnology to reduce heat transmission from the sun’s rays into your vehicle.

On the other hand, opting for a smart tint will instantly up your vehicle’s style game. Smart tint maintains a dewy, translucent appearance and can easily shield you from harsh sunlight if installed correctly. However, smart tints are more costly than their ceramic counterparts. So, be sure to survey the market and consider all your options before investing in a car tint. There’s little point in splurging on something you can’t currently afford!

However, a quality car tint is bound to last you a decade, at least. So, if you plan on keeping the same car around for that long, consider waiting and saving up for a better tint option. Ultimately, the decision rests in your hands.

Brake Light Tint Restrictions

Car owners may not tint their brake lights. Many locals, especially young people, fancy tinted windows or brake lights because they feel it improves their car’s aesthetic. However, darkened brake lights are difficult to identify and cause road accidents. So, to ensure community safety, make sure you keep all tints away from your brake lights!

Window Tint Reflection and Tint Colors

Maryland window tint law demands you maintain a strictly non-reflective tint at all times. Metallic and mirrored tints are illegal as they encourage solar glare, ultimately leading to road accidents. Yikes!

Additionally, you cannot install red, yellow, or amber tints.

If you’re considering window tinting to reduce sunlight exposure, black or dark green tints are your best bet.

Tint Certificates and Stickers

You don’t need to maintain a certificate or car sticker to verify whether or not your tint is legal. This rule is also found in Texas’ tint laws and is common in many other states. However, you will notice that each state has a different tinting law, and therefore you should always be sure of the tint laws before you go ahead with the process.

However, if your car tint was manufactured and installed outside Maryland, you may receive an accompanying certificate. Whether or not this happens solely depends upon that particular area’s local tint laws.

Medical Exemptions

Most states are open to issuing special medical waivers to drivers with photosensitive illnesses. But, unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Maryland.

Still, with a VLT percentage threshold as low as 35%, you likely won’t need to issue a medical waiver for tint darkness extension. 35% is a healthy limit and can cover photosensitivity issues for most medical conditions. However, if you still feel your body requires a darker tint, feel free to reach out to your local DMV!

Penalties for Non-Compliance of Maryland Tint Laws

If you break the local tint law in Maryland, expect to be fined $50 on the spot. After being fined, you’ll have to visit a nearby District Inspection Station within the next five days. Failure to do so may land you with an exorbitant fine amounting to $1000 (maximum).

Please note: Though we try to ensure all the information listed here is valid, you should still visit the DMV for clarity if needed. If an in-person visit is challenging, try calling the authority instead. Speaking with a DMV representative can help you overcome any confusion.

Final Thoughts

Maryland window tint laws are easy to follow, but breaking the rules comes with an insanely high price. So, it’s better to stick to the rules and maintain a tint that falls within the local tint law limits.

Frequent off-road travelers should also read up on tint laws in neighboring states if that sounds like you, be sure to check out our articles on Georgia tint laws and Ohio tint laws, amongst others!