In 2009, the state of Illinois added new rules about window tint to its Vehicle Code.
The laws about window tinting in Illinois are more complicated than in other states because they depend on the kind of car you drive.
Here’s what you should know before you tint your car’s windows.
What Is VLT?
VLT is used by Illinois tint laws to decide if a tint is legal.
Visible Light Transmitted, or VLT, is a measure of how much light can get through a window when the sun is shining straight on.
The tint will look lighter and let in more light if the VLT percentage is higher.
A high VLT percentage window tint can help you avoid getting too much sun, protect your car’s upholstery, and make it less likely that your windshield and windows will break in an accident.
But a darker window tint can make it harder for police to see inside your car and can make it harder for you to see out.
The main goal of tint laws in Illinois is to make sure that police officers can see inside your car and to stop tints that could make driving dangerous.
Illinois Window Tint Laws
If your car is registered in the state of Illinois, you have to follow these laws.
For safety reasons, tinting your windshield is against the law in Illinois.
You can’t use a tint because you need to be able to see as well as possible through your windshield.
But you can cover the top six inches of your windshield with a strip of non-reflective tint.
This strip won’t make it harder to see, but it will cut down on glare and block some UV rays.
Front Side Windows
If you have a sedan, you can use tint that has a VLT rating of 35 percent or higher.
For vans, SUVs, and trucks, you’ll need to go lighter and use tint with a VLT rating of 50 percent or more.
Back Side Windows
There are no rules about how dark you can tint the back side windows of an SUV, van, bus, or truck.
You can go either light or dark.
If you drive a sedan, your tint must have a VLT rating of 35 percent or more.
The back window of a van or SUV can have any tint you want, just like the back side windows.
There are rules about sedans, and you won’t be able to drive with a tint darker than 35 percent VLT on the back window.
If you want to tint your windows, there are a few more rules you should know about:
If your front side windows don’t have a tint, you have to follow a different rule. The Illinois Vehicle Code says that sedans can only have 35 percent VLT tint on the back side windows. However, if your front side windows are clear, you don’t have to follow this rule.
You can use any colour tint you want, but you can’t use a tint that makes the glass shiny. Products that look metallic or shiny are against the law in Illinois.
If you tint your side windows in the back, you’ll need to upgrade your car with two side mirrors so you can see better.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to install something. You can use any product as long as it meets the VLT rules. You don’t need a sticker or to choose a certified manufacturer to show that your window tint is legal.
There are some exceptions to these rules when it comes to health.
Once upon a time, all you had to do was get a letter from your doctor.
Now you have to fill out an application for a Tinted Window License Plate.
If you have a condition like lupus or albinism, you can get one of these special plates.
You can get one of these plates for your car or apply for one if someone in your family has one of these conditions and you drive them around in your car.
Can You Get Pulled Over for Tint in Illinois?
Yes, that’s the answer. If your window tint doesn’t follow Illinois tint laws, you could get pulled over.
If the tint looks too dark, reflects light, or you’ve put tint on your windshield, a police officer will pull you over.
It can be hard to make an accurate assessment of VLT.
A police officer might pull you over to look more closely at your window tint and ask you some questions about it.
Keep the receipt for the window tinting product you buy so you have a record of the VLT rating.
What Are the Penalties for Illegal Tint in Illinois?
How the police officer who pulled you over decides to handle the situation will tell you what to do.
If the illegal tint doesn’t pose a big security risk, they might just give you a warning and let you go.
But if they decide to give you a ticket, you will have to pay a fine of between $50 and $500.
Illegal tint is a minor offence, but depending on how bad it is, it could end up on your driving record.
How dangerous the illegal tint is can change how much you have to pay.
A few percentage points under the legal VLT limit shouldn’t get you a big fine, but a tinted windshield or reflective tint can get you into more trouble.
It is a class C misdemeanour to fail to get rid of the illegal tint.
If you break the law again, you could have to pay a fine of $100 to $500 and get a class C misdemeanour on your record.
Window tint is a great way to make your car look better and protect yourself from UV rays.
Just make sure to follow the rules when you choose the tint you want to use so that you stay within the law.