Is Window Tint Legal in Florida?
Florida is famous for its abundant sunshine, but those rays can wreak havoc on the inside of your vehicle. Long-term sun exposure will crack and fade upholstery, while a sunny day will turn a parked car into an oven in a matter of minutes. Window tinting is a popular way to combat these effects. Tinting helps reduce heat gain, glares, and sun damage, and it offers privacy and customization potential to boot. But is it actually legal here?
Fortunately, the answer is yes: window tint is legal in the state of Florida. However, it’s not that simple. Some window tints are too dark, too reflective, or both. Here’s what you need to consider before tinting your windows in Florida.
How Dark is Your Window Tint?
When it comes to window tinting, two units of measurement matter. Darkness is one of them, and it refers to the amount of sunlight being blocked. Law enforcement officers need to be able to see inside your vehicle, so they carry devices that measure Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage.
The minimum VLT depends on a few different factors (including type of window and type of vehicle), but acceptable readings range from 6 to 30 percent. For example, side windows should measure at least 28 percent VLT. Rear windows must transmit at least 15 percent light – or at least 30 percent if the film is perforated, and at least 6 percent if the vehicle is multipurpose.
How Reflective is Your Window Tint?
The other unit of measurement that matters? Reflectance. If your window tint is too reflective, your windows may violate state law. Side windows may not reflect more than 25 percent of light, while windows behind the driver cannot have more than 35 percent total reflectance.
However, these numbers aren’t simple for every window tinting product. If your window tint has different levels of reflectance on the same pane, Florida refers to the average reflectance of 16 equal sections. None of these sections may reflect more than 50 percent of light.
What Type of Vehicle Do You Drive?
Sedans have different tinting rules than SUVs and vans, in part because rear visibility is already reduced in larger vehicles. Before you upgrade your glass with window tint, make sure you know the difference.
The most important distinction applies to back side windows and rear windows. If you drive a van or SUV, tinting with at least 6 percent VLT is okay. If you drive a sedan, these rear windows must allow in at least 15 percent of sunlight.
Which Windows Do You Want to Tint?
All the windows in your vehicle serve different purposes, so Florida applies different rules depending on their location. Whether you’re tinting your windshield alone or every pane of glass in your vehicle, you need to know the rules for each window.
For example, your windshield may only have a strip of transparent sunscreening film along the top, while the windows behind the driver may be slightly darker than the side windows.
Do You Have a Professional or Medical Exception?
Some medical conditions cause sensitivity to light, and Florida makes exceptions for drivers with these conditions. If you have an autoimmune disease or any other diagnosis that requires you to limit your sun exposure, you may qualify for a medical exemption certificate. This certificate allows you to violate window tinting restrictions on your windshield, side windows, and rear windows.
So, who else is allowed to have darker windows? Private investigators. If you own or lease your vehicle as part of a licensed private investigation business, you are exempt from Florida statutes that restrict your windows’ VLT and reflectance.
What Are Your Window Tinting Options?
Tired of getting into a hot vehicle every day? Here in Florida, unprotected glass makes it easy for sunlight to overtax your cooling system, damage your skin and upholstery, and make your vehicle uncomfortable. Now that you know your legal requirements, it’s time to pick the right film.
At Highway HiFi, we use a variety of Llumar Window Film products to tint windows and protect vehicles. Call 321-723-6976 to explore your options today.