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Thread: CA Tint Laws..WTF??

  1. #1
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    CA Tint Laws..WTF??

    So, I decided this weekend I was going to get my windows tinted. I was going to do the 70% tint to stay all nice and legal like. I am reading the LA Times and it says tinting driver and pass. windows is illegal. Then I look up internet sites thats that say its illegal, but then some that say it is legal if you have two side mirrors.

    Any CA guys get tagged for having their side windows tinted? I don't want any trouble from the man.

  2. #2
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    Yup, I've been ticketed for tinted front windows before. It was a fix-it so I just tore it off, paid the $10 and had it written off. In my experience if you tint the front windows a little lighter than the back windows you won't get hassled alot. The only reason I got the ticket was because I got caught speeding but the officer was cool enough to give me a warning and the fix-it. (would have been cooler to get the warning only...) That ticket was the only one in nearly 10 years of having tint and like I said the tint itself wasn't why I got pulled over.

    I've been pulled over a few other times with the tint but since I rolled down my windows before the officer got to the car they never even mentioned it. If you show them courtesy and roll down all your windows and keep your hands on top of your steering wheel so they have a clear view of you and where your hands are they are alot less likely to give you grief over tint.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dallasfan824
    So, I decided this weekend I was going to get my windows tinted. I was going to do the 70% tint to stay all nice and legal like. I am reading the LA Times and it says tinting driver and pass. windows is illegal. Then I look up internet sites thats that say its illegal, but then some that say it is legal if you have two side mirrors.

    Any CA guys get tagged for having their side windows tinted? I don't want any trouble from the man.
    Anything more than 50% is legal. Basically any tint that is 50% or higher is just there to protect the inside from UV sun light, its so light that it wont even look like you have any tint at all.

    1988 E30 M3-Garage Queen
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  4. #4
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    Actually, what I read everywhere was 70% allowable light was legal in CA. Any darker and its illegal.

  5. #5
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    http://www.doityourselftint.com/tintlaws.html - Says that no tint is allowed.

    http://www.iwfa.com/iwfa/Law_Chart/S...aw%20Chart.htm - Says that 70% is allowed.

    http://www.chp.ca.gov//html/streetlegal.html - CHP website:

    Illegal...
    Lowered frame (or any other part) that is lower than the lowest point of the wheel rim (24008 VC).
    Air and hydraulic suspension systems that are operated unsafely or with the vehicle lower than allowed (24002, 24008 VC).
    Tinting the front side windows and the windshield (except for a narrow band at the top of the windshield). Windows behind the driver's head may be tinted. If rear window is tinted, right-side mirror is required (26708 VC).
    I'm gonna go with the CHP's website that quotes the actual vehicle code as the authority in this debate...

  6. #6
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    Tint on the windshield or front windows is illegal, it's that simple.

    Do almost all of us do it anyway? Yes! You won't usually get pulled over just for the tint but as said above, they might add it on if you're speeding, etc.
    BimmerHeads
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  7. #7
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    ive gotten many fix it tix in the past most of the time its for front plate or what not its always 10 bux and they usually wont do the front windows but if they do still just 10 bux (ive gotten that one before too)

  8. #8
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    Cannot tint the windshield and front side windows. Simple.

    1997 Cosmos Black M3 Sedan
    1988 Grigio Telesto R100 RS



  9. #9
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    my bro just got pulled over a couple of days ago for tint....they made him take it off to. they said it was illegal to have the front done. lol i have mine tinted and everytime i see a cop i just roll down my windows.
    GOTDINAN?
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  10. #10
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    Factory tint on driver and passenger window is ok.
    If you afix a film (tint) on these windows, then it is illegal.
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  11. #11
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    I'm getting 5% on the back window and 15% on the sides. I guess I'm just a rebel.

  12. #12
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    Tint has actually saved me from more serious violations.
    I've been pulled over for speeding and "California" stops. Only to end up with window-tint tickets that end up being fix-it tickets.
    3rd Infantry Division, United States Army

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by krayon
    I'm getting 5% on the back window and 15% on the sides. I guess I'm just a rebel.
    You're tinting your rear window different darkness than your rear side windows? That's sort of wierd.
    BimmerHeads
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR 325
    You're tinting your rear window different darkness than your rear side windows? That's sort of wierd.
    Thats what the tint shop recommended because the back window always looks lighter than the sides. So it actally ends up looking the same all around. They had a H2 their with the same setup and it looked sick.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by QWKBMW
    Cannot tint the windshield and front side windows. Simple.
    Correct. No tint of any kind on those windows. (factory tint does not matter, it's so light you can hardly see it anyway)

    I have 35 percent on the rear window and 55 percent on all my side windows, including the fronts (see my avatar for how the side windows look, and keep in mind that yellow wall is super bright). Never been ticketed even though I've gotten several speeding tix. Now a lot of guys here would say that's just too light, but I like it that way, it's subtle. And if you have a black interior, it looks much darker than with a light interior.

    Putting limo tint (5 to 15 percent) on your car screams "pull me over!" Like it or not, cops assume cars with limo tint have punks inside who need to be pulled over. If you got to have the look, then you got to live with the consequences ...
    Last edited by M3 Pete; 03-06-2005 at 08:25 PM.
    97 Estoril/Black M3/4/5

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR 325
    You're tinting your rear window different darkness than your rear side windows? That's sort of wierd.
    I agree with krayon, it's not weird at all, and many shops recommend it. As long as you don't go with a huge difference between the two (like 5 on the back and 55 on the sides), it's not even noticeable.
    97 Estoril/Black M3/4/5

    "Although we've experienced an M3 sedan with an automatic, our test car came fitted as God intended, with a 5-speed manual ..."
    Road & Track May 1997, testing the M3 Sedan

  17. #17
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    When I had my 2002 I had 5% on the back and the back sides and like 20% on the front sides and never once got a ticket. My girlfriend has the same setup on her I30 and has never had a problem, even when being pulled over for other stuff. In fact I don't know anyone who has gotten a fix it ticket for tint. I guess it just depends on where you live.

  18. #18
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    I been pulled over about 8 times for pass/driver tinted windows.. trust me anything under 70% is not legal, and trying to fight it is not worth it. Been there done that. Right now I'm running 35% all around and havent been hastled for it in 2 months.. I always open the sunroof as soon as I see a cop so that the windows look lighter. CA tint laws suck!
    Last edited by phillyB///M3; 03-05-2005 at 03:42 PM.

    -phill F.- 10/95 Avus E36


  19. #19
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    i got a ticket for tint. just paid the ticket. they didnt make me take it off. i figured it would cost just about as much with my time going to the tint place to get it all done. but i have had a few differerent cops tell me that unless the tint comes factory, meaning the actual glass has tint IN it its illegal. i have talked to a lot of cops and the majority say that they would rather write speeding tickets rather than tickets that just get dismissed.

    tom
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  20. #20
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    I've got 20% all around.
    No hassles yet and it's been on a year.
    Kiss of death...

    click for full size

    1991 E34 M5 Dinan Stage3 Suspension, Konis, Dinan Cam Gears and Software, Kelleners Strut Bar, Staggered 8-9in Polished Throwing Stars, Header Back Custom Exhaust with Eisenmann 83mm Race Muffler, Front and Rear K-40 Radar, Passenger Canyon Puke Bags
    Quote Originally Posted by angrypancake View Post
    you're just mad cause e34 m5's will leave 100 foot strips of rubber in front of your house, while hauling a couple of dogs and some groceries, and still enough room to bang your wife in the back seat.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyB///M3
    Ialways open the sunroof as soon as I see a cop in to make the windows look lighter. CA tint laws suck!
    Great Idea

    click for full size

    1991 E34 M5 Dinan Stage3 Suspension, Konis, Dinan Cam Gears and Software, Kelleners Strut Bar, Staggered 8-9in Polished Throwing Stars, Header Back Custom Exhaust with Eisenmann 83mm Race Muffler, Front and Rear K-40 Radar, Passenger Canyon Puke Bags
    Quote Originally Posted by angrypancake View Post
    you're just mad cause e34 m5's will leave 100 foot strips of rubber in front of your house, while hauling a couple of dogs and some groceries, and still enough room to bang your wife in the back seat.

  22. #22
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    ^ hah I had some bad gramer on that sentance (ohwell, it was late and I was tired)Anyways, yah I also turn my interior lights on sometimes at night when a cops looks my way. My bright xenon white interior lights help the windows look clearer.

    -phill F.- 10/95 Avus E36


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangent
    http://www.doityourselftint.com/tintlaws.html - Says that no tint is allowed.

    http://www.iwfa.com/iwfa/Law_Chart/S...aw%20Chart.htm - Says that 70% is allowed.

    http://www.chp.ca.gov//html/streetlegal.html - CHP website:

    Illegal...
    Lowered frame (or any other part) that is lower than the lowest point of the wheel rim (24008 VC).
    Air and hydraulic suspension systems that are operated unsafely or with the vehicle lower than allowed (24002, 24008 VC).
    Tinting the front side windows and the windshield (except for a narrow band at the top of the windshield). Windows behind the driver's head may be tinted. If rear window is tinted, right-side mirror is required (26708 VC).
    I'm gonna go with the CHP's website that quotes the actual vehicle code as the authority in this debate...
    thank you very much for posting the relevant information for those owners out there who are misinformed, and there seem to be some in this very thread...even after you posting the CA VC.

    my 2 cents to the original poster from my personal experience working at a tint installer: you can't be sure if you'll ever get trouble from the man for the tint. some people go the life of a car without any problems and others get burned with 2 week old tint. common sense rules here meaning dark tint will increase your chances of getting pulled over...duh.

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  24. #24
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    Front side windows must allow at least 70% of visible light transmission according to CA tint laws. Front windshield is not allowed to be tinted except top 4 inches and it should be non-reflective also, and Both side mirrors are required in case of tinted rear window. Here is the source https://thetintlaws.com/california-tint-laws/
    Last edited by Eddie Sagers; 04-14-2024 at 03:51 PM.

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