Ohio Window Tint Laws

Like any American state, Ohio has a unique set of laws concerning tint darkness and related issues. These laws were designed to suit the local climate and potential safety concerns.

For example, a complete ban on tinted windshields would make it difficult to drive under harsh sunlight. But, suppose pitch-black tints were allowed. In that case, criminals would likely abuse this permission and darken the windows of their getaway cars. Doing so would make it difficult to trace their identities, posing a threat to community safety.

To ensure nothing like this happens, Ohio’s state government has drafted a set of well-structured tint laws. It’s essential to understand these before tinting your vehicle. Failure to comply with local tint darkness rules and regulations can land you in hot water with the authorities!

This article will explore critical legal keywords, local, visible light transmission permits, and the benefits of car tints. We’ll also cover the benefits of window tinting and discuss windshield tint options. So, let’s see!

Understanding Tint Law Lingo

Before we explore Ohio window tint law, let’s take a minute to understand essential tint law vocabulary. Here are some keywords to familiarize yourself with:

  • VLT Percentage (%): VLT is short for visible light allowed transmission. This value is stated in percentages and concerns the amount of light entering through a tint film. The darker the tint, the lower its VLT value will be.
  • Front-Side Window Tint Level: This is the VLT percentage for the driver’s and shotgun seat windows.
  • Rear-Side Window Tint Level: This is the VLT percentage for the two back windows for your vehicle’s back passenger seats
  • Rear Window Tint Level: This value concerns the VLT percentage of your car’s single back window

How Dark Can You Tint Windshield and Windows in Ohio?

It’s essential to find out if you can tint your car’s windshields. Let’s see if you can do this in Ohio.

Ohio Tint Laws for Passenger Vehicles

Here are the basics on tint darkness limits in the state of Ohio:

  • Minimum VLT for front windows: 50%
  • Minimum VLT for backside windows: Any %
  • VLT limit for rear window: Any %
  • Windshield tint: Must fall within the first 5 inches from the windshield’s top edge

Ohio Tint Laws for Multipurpose Vehicles

SUVs and vans fall under the category of multipurpose vehicles. Here are the limits for multipurpose vehicles in Ohio:

  • Minimum VLT for front side windows: 50%
  • Minimum VLT for backside windows: Any %
  • VLT limit for rear window: Any %
  • Windshield tint: Allowed for the top 5 inches of the windshield

Tint Reflection Limits for Ohio Vehicles

Ohio’s tint laws are pretty relaxed, but we can’t say the same for the state’s reflection limits.

Regardless of tint darkness, you cannot apply a reflective tint to your vehicle. Many drivers get into accidents because of solar glare, which is heightened by reflective tints. So, it’s safer to use a non-reflective darkening agent instead.

Additional Information

Unlike most states, Ohio law doesn’t have any fixed side mirror restrictions. So, you can drive around a tinted vehicle regardless of whether or not your side mirrors are in place.

Furthermore, you can use any tint color you like. Unfortunately, some states, like North Carolina, prohibit colored tints. Luckily, Ohio’s tint laws are more accommodating. Popular tint colors include black and dark green.

Types of Windshield Tints

Browsing through the market will bring forth many excellent windshield tint options. If you’re considering which ones are truly worth your money, we’d recommend looking into ceramic tints and smart tints.

Be sure only to use certified tint film. Before purchasing a new car window tint, ask the manufacturer or dealership to show you their film certificate.

Medical Exemptions

Ohio state law doesn’t allow any special medical exemptions against the tint mentioned above.

Though it may sound like a disadvantage at first, digging a little deeper will reveal that there’s no real need for medical exemptions. Ohio window tinting laws are relaxed enough to accommodate most medical concerns.

Ohio law encourages a minimum of 50% VLT for front window tint laws and up to 100% tint darkness for all other windows. So, anyone with a photosensitive medical condition can freely tint their windows as dark as they like.

The only exception is the two front windows. Darkening them over 50% can make it difficult to drive (you won’t be able to see your side mirrors!) This limit exists to ensure road safety. Luckily, 50% VLT is also dark enough to address photosensitive conditions like vitiligo, lupus, and albinism.

Other conditions that may require darkened windows include:

  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Solar urticaria
  • Chronic actinic dermatitis

Penalties for Non-Compliance of Ohio Tint Laws

Non-compliance with local tint laws can land you in trouble with the police. Expect to get up to $120 in fines and processing fees the first time you get caught. After that, you’ll be charged with a ‘misdemeanor moving violation.’

In most cases, you’ll receive the same ticket regardless of how many times an officer catches you flaunting an illegal tint. You’ll find these offenses documented within your legal record, so try avoiding receiving them in the first place.

Benefits of Car Tint in Ohio

Here’s a list of reasons why you should consider tinting your vehicle’s windows and windshield:

  • Tinting your window can improve privacy when driving. Darkened windows are challenging to peer through, so you won’t need to worry about nosy onlookers anymore.
  • Solar glare temporarily spurs vision when driving and can lead to unforeseeable road accidents. If you often experience solar glare, you should consider tinting your windshield. If you’re not keen on a dark black windshield tint, you can always choose a milder color, like dark green or blue.
  • Continuous exposure to harsh sunlight, particularly during the afternoon, can cause hyperpigmentation. In extreme cases, one may develop skin cancer, too. A tinted window can help you steer clear of these concerns, especially if you drive on the regular.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, Ohio laws allow you to:

  • Maintain a minimum 50% front window VLT
  • Tint all other windows as dark as you like
  • Maintain a non-reflective windshield tint above the first 5 inches of your windshield’s glass

There are no special exemptions for medical purposes, nor are there any tint color or side mirror restrictions.

It’s essential to comply with these rules if you’re a resident of Ohio. However, these rules also apply to drivers visiting from other states. For more information on different US state rules, you can refer to our articles on Michigan tint laws or California tint laws.

If you’ve recently purchased a car from a neighboring state, be sure to check its window tint VLT levels. Failure to adhere to the guidelines mentioned in this article can cost you up to $120 in fines! However, if you agree to work alongside the law, you don’t need to worry about pulling over.