Window tinting in Michigan isn’t just cool because it makes a car look cool; it also has other uses.
It also keeps the car cool.
Tinting blocks the heat from the sun’s rays, which can make a hot car ride more pleasant.
Scientists have also found that tinting the windows of a car can cut down on the amount of UVA and UVB rays that get inside.
Not every state, though, lets every car tint its windows.
It’s important to follow the window tinting laws in Michigan so you don’t get pulled over for your tint.
What Are the Michigan Tint Laws?
Even more important, can you get pulled over in Michigan for tint?
In plain English, yes and no.
According to the Michigan State Police Frequently Asked Questions, you can tint the windows of your car or truck, but only in certain situations outlined in the Michigan Vehicle Code (MCL 257.709).
These include only certain windows based on where you are in the car or truck in relation to the driver and only tinting materials that let a certain amount of light through.
Michigan Tint Laws At a Glance
Let’s take a quick look at the laws and rules in Michigan about window tinting.
Windshield: Only the top 4′′ can be tinted. The material may reflect less than 35 percent of the sun’s light. Any darkness is all right.
You can tint the top 4 inches of the front side windows with a material that blocks less than 35 percent of the sun’s light. Any darkness is all right.
All of the rear side windows can be tinted so that they reflect less than 35% of the sun. Any darkness is all right.
The whole back window can be tinted so that less than 35% of the sun’s light gets through. Any darkness is all right.
*Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) is a way to measure how much of the sun’s energy (light) an object reflects versus how much light it absorbs. In general, pigments that are darker have a lower TSR and pigments that are lighter or whiter have a higher TSR.
Don’t try to figure out the TSR of your tinting on your own.
Always talk to a licenced installer who can tint your windows the right way to follow the laws in your state.
Michigan Tint Laws In Detail
Full window tinting can only be used behind the driver to keep people safe.
State laws in Michigan don’t say how dark the tinting has to be anywhere in the car or truck. However, the material can’t reflect more than 35 percent of light.
Gold and silver can’t be coloured in any way.
Full window tinting is allowed, and that includes the rear side windows and the back window. However, the car must have outside side mirrors on both sides for this to be legal.
The driver must be able to see out of the windshield and front passenger side windows, so only the top 4 inches of the windshield and front side windows can be tinted.
The tinted film on the top 4 inches of the windshield and the top 4 inches of the front side windows can’t be more than 4 inches from the top or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.
Also, it’s important to know that manufacturers don’t have to certify the film they sell, and you don’t have to show a legal tinting sticker on your car.
Why Are There Michigan Tint Laws?
Tinted windows are nice to look at and keep the inside of the car cooler on hot days, but they can make it hard for the driver to see.
During the day, you might be able to see traffic and obstacles through darker windows with tint.
Still, the tinting may make it harder for the driver to see at night or in low-light situations like dusk, dawn, or when driving through tunnels. This could make it hard for the driver to see a pedestrian or another car.
These laws about which car or truck windows you can tint and how reflective the material can be make it easier for the driver to see and give them the best chance of being able to drive the car or truck safely.
The laws are clear: special window treatments or applications can’t get in the way of the driver’s view of the highway or any intersecting highway at any time, even if the driver needs them for medical reasons.
Safety on the road is the most important thing.
Are There Medical Exceptions to the Michigan Tint Laws?
Yes! The treatment or application for the windows must be considered a medical necessity.
MCL 257.709(3) is the part of the law that covers exceptions (e).
Medical exceptions only affect the window on the right side of the front passenger seat.
Still, you can’t tint more than the top 4 inches of a car or truck’s windshield.
If you are light sensitive or photosensitive, have lupus or certain sun allergies, etc., you may want to get a letter from your doctor or eye doctor.
With this letter of permission, you can legally have a special window treatment or app that will keep you safe while you’re driving.
Once you get the letter from your doctor, you’ll need to go to a local DMV to move forward.
Once you get approval, you should always keep the letter in the glove box of your car.
It’s important to know that a car with tinted front side windows for the medical exception can’t be driven by someone who doesn’t need the tinting for medical reasons.
At first glance, Michigan’s tint laws might seem hard to understand, but when you break them down, they’re pretty easy to understand.