Hawk Law Group | January 29, 2023 | Georgia Law
Tinted windows are common in Georgia because of our hot and humid weather. Window tints can protect drivers and passengers from excess heat and harmful UV rays from the sun. Tints also provide privacy while driving and keep criminals and nosy pedestrians from looking into your car.
However, window tint can affect a driver’s visibility and cause car accidents. As a result, Georgia law regulates the darkness and location of window tints. These laws prevent car crashes while also giving drivers the freedom to tint their car windows.
Before paying for an expensive (and potentially dangerous) window tint, take time to learn what is and is not acceptable in Georgia.
What Is Window Tinting?
Window tinting is when a dark film or spray is applied to a car window. A window tint can vary by visible light transmission (“VLT”) and reflectivity, depending on the driver’s preference. VLT refers to the amount of light that comes through the window after the tint is applied. Window tint can be applied by a professional at an auto shop or at home.
Which Windows Can You Tint in Georgia?
You cannot tint every window on your car. In fact, Georgia law prevents drivers from tinting the front windshield. This makes driving safer and prevents car accidents like rear-end collisions.
You can tint your rear windshield up to 32% VLT. Georgia law allows for a 3% variation that factors human error. The law also limits light reflectance to 20% or less.
Light reflectance is the amount of light that is reflected to other drivers from the window tint. This keeps other drivers from being blinded when the sun reflects off your window tint.
Side And Door Windows
The same rules apply to side and door window tints as to the rear windshield. You can tint these windows up to 32% VLT but must limit light reflectance to 20% or less.
Georgia’s Window Tint Law Exemptions
There are several exceptions to Georgia’s window tint laws. The window tint rules do not apply to:
- Sun visors on the front windshield
- Signs and stickers on the windshield in the lower 5 inches on the driver’s side or lower 7 inches on the passenger side
- Transparent items (that are not red) on the top 6 inches of the windshield
- Federal, state, or local stickers required by law (such as an inspection sticker)
- Police cars
- Certain government vehicles
- Cars registered to private detectives
- Drivers with a medical reason for window tint supported in writing by their doctor
There are also different window tint rules for vans, buses, and limos.
Vans, Buses, and Limousines
Multipurpose passenger vans, buses, and limos are exempt from the Georgia window tint law, except for the side windows to the right and left of the driver. These windows can only be tinted up to 32% VLT and 20% or less light reflectance.
Buses include school buses, church buses, and other buses used for public transportation.
Headlight and Taillight Tint
Under Georgia law, it is illegal to cover your headlights with anything, including a tint, unless it was the original factory headlight. This makes sense because tinted headlights would likely affect nighttime visibility.
A taillight can technically be tinted so long as a red light is plainly visible from 500 feet and a white light clearly illuminates the license plate from 50 feet. However, it is best to avoid tinting a taillight because it may affect another driver’s ability to see you brake. This can cause rear-end collisions.
Penalty for Breaking Georgia’s Window Tint Laws
Breaking Georgia’s window tint law is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are punished by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or up to 12 months in jail. If you cause a car accident because of an unlawful window tint, you are more likely to receive jail time than if you were merely pulled over. You are also likely to get a harsher penalty if you have previous window tint violations.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.