YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Summer is just around the corner, and many people want to keep the glaring sun out of the interior of their cars as much as possible. But First News has noticed more and more people getting pulled over for illegal window tint.
Tinting your windows could get you some relief, but be careful not to overdo it. Having too much is a primary offense and it’s a safety violation in Ohio. You can get pulled over just for that.
Window tinting on a windshield must allow at least 70%, plus or minus 3% of light to come through, which, according to Tina Carson, who owns Ohio Window Coatings, is stock on most cars. But, she says that doesn’t stop people from coming in and asking for more.
“The windshield seems to be the biggest thing. I’m seeing it more and more, windshields being tinted and it’s the whole windshield,” Carson said.
If sunscreening is applied to the rear window, it must allow at least 50% of light to come through.
Windows to the right and left of the driver must have at least 50% transparency, plus or minus 3%. Tinting guidelines do not apply to side windows behind the driver as long as the vehicle has left and right outside mirrors.
Also, any sunscreening material applied along the top of the windshield that does not extend down beyond AS-1 (5 inches from the parallel of your windshield as defined by markings on the windshield) or 5 inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is closer to the top, is not regulated by the tinting rule.
Most professional window tinting companies know the rules, but if you try to do it yourself, be mindful that there are specific Ohio regulations.
Remember, auto glass is slightly tinted from the factory and will make the tint you apply to your windows darker.
If your window tint is too dark, you can run the risk of getting pulled over.
“That’s enough probable cause to have an officer or trooper pull a vehicle over just based on the visual observation of illegal window tint,” said Sgt. Bridget Matt with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
If you get pulled over, you can get a ticket between $100 and $150.
Though Carson educates people when they come in, Sgt. Matt says many who get pulled over say they weren’t aware of the law.
“Don’t rely on the employee at the window tint store to tell you what is or isn’t permitted in the state. You have to do your due diligence and know what is allowed and be prepared to face those consequences if you’re pulled over,” Sgt. Matt said.
Also, keep in mind that there are rules for your license plate, too. It must be clearly visible. So if you have a tinted license plate cover, you must be able to clearly read the numbers and letters.