Updated at: 30-03-2022 - By: Lucas

Window tinting improves driving comfort by shielding the driver from the sun’s heat, glare, and ultraviolet radiation. It also provides personal privacy while driving and keeps the interior of the car safe.

At night, strong lights can cause glare, which can be reduced by tinting. When it’s hot outside, it reduces the amount of gas needed to cool the vehicle.

Those are advantages for the driver, but they also have a downside for law enforcement and legislators. By making it harder for law enforcement to see inside the car and inspect its contents, window tinting puts passengers and their safety at risk.

Can You Tint Your Windshield And Windows In Iowa?

Legal Tint In Iowa-1

Windscreen tints are not allowed to be applied below the AS-1 line on a vehicle windscreen, which is commonly defined as 5 inches below and parallel to the top, if not the whichever is closer to the top.

The tinting laws in Iowa are among the strictest in the United States. A window tinting regulation in Iowa mandates that at least 70% of the main windscreen and the front windows, both passenger and driver, be tinted.

At least 70% of the light should be able to pass through your windshield and front glass. This 70 percent “visual light transmission” (VLT) is typical for window tinting.

The more light that passes through the glass at a greater VLT, the more glare there is, the more UV rays there are, and the less privacy there is.

How Dark Can You Legally Tint In IA?

Back windows can have any tint darkness, but the tint can only reflect so much light. Only a 30% Tint is permitted on the car’s windshield and front windows in Iowa because of the state’s 70 percent light penetration law.

To begin, make sure you’ve acquired from a reliable retailer that can offer the necessary technical specifications, as the state of California does not require film to be certified.

The Net VLT of the tinted surface is a product of both the glass VLT and the tint. This means that a 35% window tint would only satisfy the criteria for Iowa with most manufacturers pre-installed with 70-80% VLT..

Almost all installers and law police utilize a laser equipment to determine the VLT of tinted windows.

Is It Illegal To Have 20% Tint In IA?

In Iowa, it is prohibited to apply 20% tint to your car’s windscreen and front windows. Because a tint of 20% means that only 20% of the light that may be seen can get through.

However, tinting the back windows is permitted as long as it does not impair the driver’s ability to properly operate the vehicle.

Even yet, deeper tints can have an impact on how well you can see out of these windows at night.

Will You Get Pulled Over For Tinted Windows In Iowa?

When a vehicle is pulled over and the dark tint hinders the officer from gaining a clear view of the vehicle, the level of tint becomes a problem.

Because of the tint on your windows, an officer who pulls you over for speeding or reckless driving may conduct a check to see if you are in compliance with the tinting legislation.

How Much Will A Tint Ticket In IA Cost You?

A $127.50 fine is the maximum penalty for breaking Iowa’s tinting restrictions, which are a misdemeanor in most states. If you’re hauled over in Iowa by the police for violating the tinting requirement, you’ll be subject to the fine even if you’re not in Iowa.

The officer has sole authority over whether or not to issue a summons or make an arrest. If you’re stopped over for something else, it’s likely that the police officer will notice the tint on your automobile.

You could be fined or given a warning first. It’s critical to keep in mind that when a car is pulled over, officers must be able to see the driver clearly.

Car Tint Darkness In Iowa

The Iowa Road Code treats passenger vehicles and Multipurpose Vehicles (MPVs) differently.

Smaller than ten-passenger vehicles (MPVs) are categorized as regular SUVs, minivans, and minibuses.

Look for a label inside the front left door panel or at the very bottom of the exterior of the windscreen to see if your vehicle is technically categorized as an MPV. Either passenger car or truck will be listed as the vehicle type on the federal identification number.

Despite the fact that the rear and back seat side windows of either type of vehicle can be tinted to any degree of darkness, the legislation stipulates that the MPV’s front windscreen must allow more than 70% of light to flow through, whilst passenger cars are only required to meet the 70% VLT.

A simple explanation for this is that even though passenger window visibility is less critical for drivers in MPVs, these cars are typically produced using factory tints that are below 70% VLT, hence aftermarket tinting should not be added to the front or back windows.

Car Tint Reflection In Iowa

In Iowa, automobiles and vehicles with many uses are permitted to have reflective tinting. The requirements for both front and back windows are the same, requiring “no excessive reflectiveness.”

Adding reflective tinting to your vehicle will make it seem cooler to the touch. Mirrors restrict the outside world from seeing inside, but allow passengers to view out and keep temperatures lower inside the vehicle.

VLR or Visible Light Reflectance should not be too high, in other words, your automobile windows should not reflect so much light that they pose a threat. Metallic or mirrored tinting is expressly prohibited in some states.

For example, in Connecticut, the law allows for a maximum of 21% reflectivity, whereas in Arizona and Idaho the limit is 35%. Although it isn’t stated in the law, it’s a reasonable rule of thumb to shoot for a reflectivity of no more than 21%.

Can You Get A Medical Exemption For Window Tint In Iowa?

Window tint medical exemptions are available in most states, as long as a doctor certifies that the driver has a medical condition that justifies the exemption.

Some exemptions enable up to 50% VLT for the windshield, 20% for the side windows, and 10% for the rear windows, which are valid for up to three years, depending on the specific exemption. When it comes to obtaining a medical exemption for window tint in Iowa, the law changed in July 2012.

Due to medical exemptions, Iowa law no longer permits darker window tinting; however, drivers who have previously been granted exemptions may still do so for the specific vehicle to which they apply.

The exemption does not apply to new vehicles, and the vehicle must be brought back into compliance with the legislation within 60 days if the individual to whom the exemption was given is no longer a passenger or a driver.


As a result of the recent modifications to Iowa’s car window tinting laws, it is imperative that you keep VLT and VLR in mind.

To summarize, use a laser transmission and reflectance meter to examine the transmission and reflectance of your vehicle’s windscreen and front windows, and make sure they are at least 70% transmission in minivans and trucks and 70% VLT in automobiles.

Reflective or colored mirror tints, on the other hand, should have a VLR of no more than 35%. If you need to tint your car outside of these limitations for medical reasons, make sure you have a copy of your medical certificate with you when you drive.