Tinting Laws

Texas Window Tinting Laws

The state of Texas has very specific laws regarding window tinting on your car. Every state in the United States has its own percentage of darkness and reflection that your car windows are allowed to have, as well as other specific regulations you may need to know about.

Below we’ll list all relevant information pertaining to tinted windows in Texas.

Window tint darkness

The amount of light that can pass through your car windows is measured in percentages (called VLT), so make sure your tinting film is up to these standards! Texas window tinting laws have different regulations for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles, so ensure you read the laws carefully and check which apply to your vehicle.

Texas window tint laws specify the following:

  • Windshield may only have top 5 inches tinted with 25% VLT.
  • Front side windows must pass through more than 25% of light inside your car (25% VLT).
  • Back side windows can have 25% VLT on passenger vehicles, or may have any darkness on MPV (bus, van, SUV, etc.; more info below).
  • Rear window can have any darkness.

Quick info: VLT stands for Visible Light Transmittance. 25% VLT means 25% of total light must pass through windows, or no more than 75% of total light may be blocked.

Passenger vehicles and MPV – Multi-Purpose Vehicles have different back side window tint restrictions. If in doubt about your vehicle type, find a federal ID label located on door frame next to driver’s seat.

Sources:

  1. Texas Department of Public Safety – Window Tinting Standards
  2. Texas Administrative Code (Title 37, Part 1, Chapter 21, Rule §21.3 – Standards for Sunscreening and Privacy Window Devices).

Window tint reflection

Some tinting film can reflect incoming light, therefore further reducing glare and heat. Texas does not allow using tinting film with any mirrored or metallic appearance above 25% for any windows.

Side mirrors

If your car’s rear window is tinted, you must have dual side mirrors on your vehicle. In case you do not have dual exterior rear view mirrors, you may only tint rear windshield up to 25% VLT.

Restricted tint colors

Texas window tint laws restrict the color of tinted windows. It is not legal to use colors red, blue or amber.

Medical exemptions

Some US states allow different window tint percentages due to certain medical conditions. In case of medical conditions such as porphyria, xeroderma pigmentosa, or severe drug photosensitivity, you can submit an application to use darker window film.

With medical exceptions, Texas allows up to 5% window tint on windshield’s AS-1 line (top 5 inches), or any tint darkness on other windows. Medical exception certificate is issued by Texas Department of Public Safety, and driver or other exempt passenger must always have the certificate in their possession while the vehicle is in operation.

See: Medical Exemption Application (.pdf file).

Other privacy devices

Texas tint laws permit using drapes, blinds, curtains, or other similar window coverings only on back side windows.

Window film certificate

All window tinting film manufacturers must certify their products with Texas Department of Public Safety.

Legible label must be installed between tint film and glass on each tinted window. This label must contain the name and registration number of the manufacturer and a statement that complies with Texas Transportation Code §547.609.

At a minimum, window tint installers must affix the label between the sunscreening device and lower rearward corner of the driver’s left side window. This label must be clearly visible and legible from outside the vehicle.


Some towns or counties in Texas may have their own special regulations about window tinting, so if you’re in doubt about anything be sure to check with your local law enforcement or DMV offices.

This article about Texas Window Tinting Laws was last updated in 2019. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!