Kentucky Window Tint Laws
Kentucky has a large number of laws, rules and regulations that concern motor vehicle equipment. Owning a motor vehicle does not mean a person has free reign to modify it or decorate it however he or she sees fit. For safety reasons, motor vehicles must adhere to certain standards, including regulations for window tinting. Window tint laws have been in place in Kentucky since 1994.
Window Tint Cannot Be Too Dark
The first of Kentucky’s window tint rules is that a vehicle’s window tinting cannot be too dark. This is gauged using a measurement known as VLT, or visible light transmission. This refers to the percentage of visible light that comes through a vehicle’s windows. Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 189.110 has very specific VLT limits for window tint based on the type of vehicle:
- Passenger vehicles (sedans, coupes, station wagons, hatchbacks): non-reflective tint is allowed on the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line (the top strip of the windshield). Tint on the front side windows must allow more than 35 percent of light in. Tint on the back side windows and rear window must allow more than 18 percent of light in.
- Multipurpose vehicles (SUVs, trucks, vans, campers): non-reflective tint is allowed on the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line. Tint on the front side windows must allow more than 35 percent of light in. Tint on the back side windows and rear window must allow more than 8 percent of light in.
These tint or window film ratings are determined by VLT testing. When tested on one-eighth-inch clear glass, the VLT is the light transmittance in the visible light range. If a vehicle has window tint or another sunscreen material that does not meet the required light transmittance standards, the owner of the car may be required to remove the tint. Kentucky allows for a 3 percent tint variance, meaning if the permitted VLT is 35 percent, actual VLT can be 32 percent.
Other Window Tint Regulations
Window tint in Kentucky is not only regulated based on the darkness of the tint and amount of light it lets through; it must also fall beneath a certain standard for window tint reflection. This is for the safety of other drivers; window film that is too shiny or reflective could reflect the sunlight, creating a glare and making it difficult for other drivers to see.
Window tint on any motor vehicle must not be more than 25 percent reflective on the front side windows and 35 percent reflective on the back side windows. If the back window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have dual side mirrors. In addition, window tints cannot be multicolored. Kentucky law prohibits any specific window tint color.
Finally, when window tint is installed on a motor vehicle, the vehicle must have a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door jamb that certifies that it is legal tinting. All window tint and sunscreen material manufacturers in Kentucky must certify the film that they sell in the state. Motor vehicle owners must ensure they purchase tint from certified dealers.
The Dangers of Non-regulation Window Tint
If a vehicle owner violates any of Kentucky’s window tint laws, the penalty is a Class B misdemeanor and fine. The vehicle owner will be required to change the tint to adhere to Kentucky’s regulations. If you get involved in an accident with a driver whose window tint appears to be too dark, too reflective, tinted a specific color or otherwise does not meet the state’s window tint laws, contact a car accident lawyer.
Kentucky’s window tint laws are in place for the safety and welfare of the public. Nonregulation window tint can make it more difficult for the driver of the car to see the road. Nonregulation tint may also be reflective enough to cause or contribute to a car accident. An attorney can investigate your crash to look for proof of violated window tint laws. If so, this could be used as evidence against the other driver during a car accident claim.