Pennsylvania is one of the US’ most historically-rich states. As a result, many of its traditions are decades old, if not more. This includes the state legislature’s legal stance on many issues, including car tint darkness limits.
PA tint laws were drafted initially in 1999 to help protect locals from unavoidable widespread mishaps. Back in the day, criminals would cause trouble and leave the crime scene in a designated getaway car. This car would typically flaunt extremely dark window tints, making its passengers impossible to identify.
Plus, the cops were not allowed to pull over cars solely because of their dark tints. As a result, this made it easier for criminals to escape unscathed.
So, to help reduce the crime rate, Pennsylvania’s state legislature decided to implement specific tint-related rules and regulations.
The article below focuses on deciphering these rulings and providing information on related topics.
- Understanding Legal Tint Law Jargon
- How Dark Can You Tint Windshield and Windows in Pennsylvania?
- Tint Certificates and Stickers
- Medical Exemptions
- Penalties for Non-Compliance of Pennsylvania Tint Laws
- Final Thoughts
Understanding Legal Tint Law Jargon
Hold on; while we know you’re keen on diving headfirst into exploring Pennsylvania’s tint darkness limits, there’s something else you need to do first.
It’s crucial first to understand what the following key terms mean:
‘Visible light transmission (VLT) deals with how much light a particular tint allows in. Therefore, every tint darkness level coincides with a specific VLT percentage. As a rule, darker tints allow less light in. Consequently, they maintain lower visible light transmission values.
So, the darker the tint, the lower its VLT percentage.
Anything less than 50% VLT is generally considered dark, with 5% being the darkest option available. Popular high VLT tints include 70% VLT and 80% VLT. Both these tints are easily available in the market.
These windows rest next to your car’s shotgun and driver’s seat.
These windows sit adjacent to your vehicle’s passenger seats. Therefore, they are independent of the rear-end window that sits right at the back of your car.
The AS-1 line rests below your vehicle’s windshield’s top 5 to 6 inches. Most cars come with a pre-marked line. In case yours is missing this line, feel free to measure it out yourself. The AS-1 line is particularly relevant within some states. For example, Florida tint laws allow you to tint above the AS-1 line but not below it.
Pennsylvania window tint laws are slightly different. We’ll explore how in the upcoming section.
How Dark Can You Tint Windshield and Windows in Pennsylvania?
Can you tint windshields in Pennsylvania? This section will address value-based tint darkness limits for sedans and multipurpose vehicles.
Pennsylvania Tint Laws for Passenger Vehicles
Here are the local tint laws for sedans in Pennsylvania:
- Minimum VLT for front windows: 70%
- Minimum VLT for backside windows: 70%
- VLT limit for rear window: 70%
- Windshield tint: 70% for an entire windshield, with any tint % allowed on top 3 inches
Pennsylvania Tint Laws for Multipurpose Vehicles (SUVs and Vans)
Pennsylvania’s state ruling on multipurpose vehicle tints are as follow:
- Minimum VLT for front side windows: 70%
- Minimum VLT for backside windows: Any %
- VLT limit for rear window: Any %
- Windshield tint: 70% for an entire windshield, with any tint darkness % allowed on top 3 inches
Pennsylvania’s windshield darkness limits are strikingly different from other states, including Texas tint laws. Most states prevent any tint below the AS-1 line. However, Pennsylvania’s local regulations allow for all-over tinting.
So, if you’re considering tinting your entire windshield (or even your windows), now’s the time to start looking at available tint options. Popular choices include ceramic tint and intelligent tint. We’ve discussed both categories below:
Ceramic tint contains nanoparticles that help keep your vehicle’s interior much cooler than regular, non-ceramic tints would allow. It is an excellent option for Pennsylvania’s locals and can help beat the harsh summer heat!
Smart tint maintains the ability to alter its opacity as per your requirement. Of course, this places a smart tint on the pricier end of the cost spectrum. Still, it’s worth the cost if you’re a fan of altering your window tinting opacity levels. Plus, the smart tint has an excellent, contemporary finish and can take your car’s style game to the next level!
If you’d rather install a relatively-affordable tint, consider selecting a regular tint. “Regular tint’ is uncomplicated and commonly available. However, it won’t have the added benefits afforded by ceramic and smart tint. Plus, owing to their high price tag, the latter two are better for drivers who plan on keeping the same car for many years to come. So, if you regularly upgrade your vehicle, opting for a regular tint may be best.
Window Tint Reflection and Tint Colors
According to Pennsylvania tint laws, you can opt for any tint color you like. However, be sure only to install non-reflective, non-metallic tints.
Pennsylvania’s laws prohibit reflective tints because they encourage solar glare. Unfortunately, solar glare can cause road accidents, putting both you and those around you at risk. So, to ensure everyone’s safety, be sure to adhere to the state’s non-reflectivity rules.
Tint Certificates and Stickers
PA tint laws don’t require tint manufacturers to provide film certification documents upon consumer purchase. However, you must paste a special tint verification sticker on your vehicle. This sticker will prove that your tint is legal within the state of Pennsylvania.
Individuals with photosensitive conditions can apply for a medical waiver certificate that will allow them to install darker tints.
You can attain this medical waiver by contacting the local Department of Transportation then gaining approval from a licensed physician about your condition.
The official Medical Advisory Board will assign you a doctor to verify your need for darker tints. You’ll have to then inform the Department of Transportation regarding this update, after which they will award you an exemption certificate.
Remember to carry this exemption document with you every time you sit inside your car, regardless of who is driving. Then, in case you ever get pulled over, displaying this certificate will help you stay out of trouble with the law.
Penalties for Non-Compliance of Pennsylvania Tint Laws
Contrary to popular belief, not all rules were made to be broken.
Failure to comply with the tint darkness standards set by Pennsylvania’s laws is bound to land you in trouble. You may face a fine of up to $110 on your first offense. But that’s not all – you’ll need to schedule a tint removal visit with your local tinting expert, too.
It’s better to just stick to the tint limits mentioned above instead. Doing so can help you save up on tint removal costs and avoid having to pay a handsome fine.
So, now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about PA tint laws, you can start scheduling an appointment with your favorite tint-installation company. Just be sure to opt for legal, sensible film and apply your windshield tint sticker. If you forgo these instructions, expect to have the cops on your heels in no time.