Is 35 Tint Legal in NY?: Exploring Window Vehicle Tint Laws

The question “Is 35 tint legal in NY?” often runs through the mind of new car owners or people who want to change their car tint percentage. The reason behind it is that the state has tinting requirements for various multi-purpose vehicles and penalties for defaulters. This law is strictly enforced for safety and responsibility in the city streets.

Is 35 Tint Legal in NY


If you don’t want to disobey the law, read this guide until the end as we unravel details about NY tinting law.

Is 35 Percent Tint Allowed in NY?

No, 35 percent tint is not allowed in NY. According to the law, the front windows and windshield cannot shield above 30 percent light. In other words, they must allow at least 70 percent or more light to penetrate them. The same law also applies to the rear side windows. 

– NY Tint Laws

As mentioned earlier, there are regulations guiding window tints across US states, including New York. So to understand if 35 percent tint is allowed in NY, you must first know what it means. Also, to give a final verdict, you must know the New York window tint law

Let’s begin with the law; according to the 2017 update of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 375 (12-a), the windshield and front side windows are prohibited from being dark. The NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law guide all passenger cars, including convertible, coupe, hatchback, hardtops, sedan, etc. Therefore it is against the law to install, buy or sell any of these cars with tints that don’t meet the state’s specifications. 

Thirty-five percent tinted windows and windshields mean that they allow 35 percent penetration of sunlight and artificial visible light like LED,  fluorescent, and neon bulbs. This implies that the windshield and the front and rear side windows shield 65 percent of sunlight. However, they block a greater percentage of UV and infrared rays.

Now that we know what 35 percent tint means and what the NY tint laws require, we can conclude that 35 tint is illegal in the state. So if your car is defaulting the law, it would be best to remove the tint to avoid penalties.

– Breaking NY Tint Laws

If you violate the 70 percent VLT limit, you can be fined over $100. The New York Police Department can issue the fine in two ways; you can get a ticket for all windows that don’t meet the required specification, or each defaulting window gets a ticket.  

So if you’re found to be violating the tint laws, make sure you rectify the issues quickly, or else your car won’t be verified after inspection. As a result, you won’t be able to use your car, and you’ll incur extra reinspection costs.

Medical Exemption in the Tint Laws

The NY tint laws give exemptions for a few conditions that may require darker window tints. Examples include albinism, porphyria, dermatomyositis, xeroderma, and other illnesses. Patients with these conditions must apply for a medical exemption for tinted windows. 

Medical Exemption in the Tint Laws

– Car Tint Percentage

A car’s tint percentage defines the amount of light that can penetrate it, and it’s measured as visible light transmission (VLT). A high VLT percentage means more light can penetrate the glass; thus, it’s easier to see through. However, a low VLT means less light can penetrate; thus, it’s not easy to see through the tint. 

The VLT can vary from five percent to about 90 percent, depending on the car model and its use. However, this is a general range. US states have tint regulations for various vehicle models. These regulations are in place for road safety purposes, and violations attract a fine.

– Benefits of 35 Percent Tint

Some vehicles come with factory-fitted tints. However, many car owners still include extra tints based on preferences including color and shade. Aside from possibly improving car aesthetics, tinting comes with many benefits.

Benefits of 35 Percent Tint

The basic reasons for tinting to 35 percent are privacy and safety. When people don’t have a clear view of what and who is in a vehicle, they are less triggered to take unwanted actions. Also, tinting protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV), which can cause skin defects like cancer and destroy the car’s upholstery. 

Another reason for tinting is that it is anti-glare, facilitating safe driving. As a result, tinting is becoming prevalent among more aged drivers.

How Do You Determine Window Tint Percentage for Legality?

To determine window tint percentage for legality manually, you will have to do some calculations. First, multiply the VLT percentage of the factory tint by that of the extra tint you want to install, then divide the numerical result by 100 to get the overall VLT percentage.

For instance, if your windows come with 70 percent VLT and you want to add an extra tint with 20 percent VLT, then the total VLT output will be:

70% * 20% = 1400 percent

1400/100 = 14 percent

This means the new VLT of the window will be 14 percent. Adding a 20 percent tint doesn’t guarantee a 20 percent VLT output. This is why you must determine the final VLT to ensure you’re not violating the NY tinting regulations.

You can get your car tinted by a professional or do it personally. Either way, you must be conversant with the state’s tinting laws. Determining your tint percentage is easier if you buy your car with clear windows. However, if your vehicle has a factory-fitted tint, you’ll have to do these calculations.

Make sure to double check the calculations to ensure that you are not breaking any tint percentage laws in your state.

How To Remove a 35 Percent Car Window Tinting?

To remove a 35 percent car window’s tinting as it is too dark to be legal, you can try using a hair dryer, steam, or ammonia. Here is the good news, removing window tints is easy, and you can do it yourself with basic household materials.

How To Remove a 35 Percent Car Window Tinting

Having violated NY tint laws, you will be expected to remove the tint from your windows. You may ask, “can I do this myself, or do I need a professional’s help?” Here are various ways to achieve this:

– Use a Hair Dryer 

First, set the hair dryer on high heat then place it close to the window’s edge. Afterwards, spray in an alternating motion as you peel the window film. However, in some cases, you may be left with residue on the window. 

To remove this, spray with an equal volume of water and vinegar and allow them to soak for a while. Afterwards, wipe the glass with a neat towel. Should you see any resistant residue, then scrap it off with a blade. Also, a heat gun is an excellent alternative to a hair dryer.

– Use Steam

Steam is another simple alternative to removing window tint. All you need to do is steam all parts of the window or windshield for a few minutes, which will dissolve the glue to remove the tint readily. However, you may still have glue residue after removing the film; apply more steam and wash the car to clean it. 

– Use Ammonia

This method seems to be the most difficult because ammonia is not a household chemical. However, you can perform wonders if you are able to lay your hands on ammonia. First, it would be best to carry out this method on a sunny day, and this is because the sun’s heat facilitates tint removal with this chemical. 

Then set aside ammonia and soap water in separate spray bottles and pieces of polythene bags to cover both sides of the tinted windows. Also, you’ll need a waterproof material, preferably tarpaulin, to protect other car parts from the chemical. Furthermore, take note that ammonia has a pungent smell, so wear a nose mask and other protective clothing.

Once all items are set, cover all proximal car parts with the tarp then spray the external window with soap and cover it with a piece of polythene bag, leaving no bubbles. Afterwards, spray ammonia on the internal part of the window and cover it with another polythene bag. Then allow the sun to heat the window for about 30 minutes or more before peeling off the bags.

Now pick an edge of the window film and peel it carefully. You can moisten the tint where necessary to facilitate removal. Finally, wash the car to remove any residue.

What Are the Types of Car Window Tint That Is Legal in NY?

The types of car window tint that is legal in NY include metallized, dyed, carbon, hybrid, and ceramic tints. Just make sure to abide by the rules of how dark the tint should be. There are various window tinting options, each with its uniqueness. Let’s go through a few.

Types of Car Window Tint That Is Legal in NY

– Metallized

As the name implies, metallized tints are made from metal microparticles. As a result, they reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, making the tint shiny. Metallized tints are very protective as they are scratch resistant and offer extra strength to the windows. As a result, the window’s probability of breaking upon trauma is low.

However, a major limitation of metallized tints is that they can interrupt GPS signals and radio waves. 

– Dyed

Dyed tints are the most prevalent; this is because they are more affordable compared to other types. They comprise multiple layers of dyed plastic films. However, the density of the film depends on the degree of tint you desire. Unlike metallized tints, dyed tints absorb sunlight instead of reflecting it. 

Also, dyed tints don’t offer the same protection and strength level as metallized models. A common limitation with dyed tints is that they begin to fade upon repeated exposure to sunlight, reducing the protection level.

– Carbon

Carbon tints are comprised of carbon fiber particles, giving a matte appearance; this is especially preferred by people who don’t want something shiny. They are more efficient in hindering UV rays compared to the earlier-mentioned tints. The carbon fiber particles offer insulating properties and block over 30 percent of infrared rays. 

Carbon tints are durable and do not interfere with signals. However, they are more expensive than their counterparts.

– Hybrid

As the name suggests, hybrid tints are a blend of dyed and metallized tints. Therefore, as you would expect, these tints combine the cost advantage of the dye films plus the multiple layers and the protective strength of metallized tints. As a result, they are more durable and dent-resistant than individual tints.

Also, the cumulative effects of the dyed and metallized tints limit radio signal interference and mirror effects. However, hybrid tints cost more than dyed tints but less than metallized tints.

– Ceramic

The ceramic tints are big-budget alternatives; however, the effectiveness is worth the cost. Unlike the previous tints made of dye film and metallic components, this tint comprises insulative ceramic particles. Ceramics is an efficient UV blocker, and this effect doesn’t interrupt radio signals. 

This tint offers the most protection against sunlight; thus, the longevity of your car’s upholstery is assured. Also, ceramic tints are strong, scratch-resistant and offer anti-glare features.


Everyone wants to tint their cars, but only a few are conversant with the tint laws in their state of residence. In this guide, we’ve explored the NY window tint laws and the possible penalties for violating the said law. Here is a recap of what we discussed throughout the guide above:

  • Having 35 percent of tint is illegal in NY as the law only allows tints of up to 25 percent. This is to ensure public safety in the street.
  • In NY, the front windows and windshield cannot shield above 30 percent of light, and enforcers will give you a ticket with corresponding fines if you are found to be breaking this law. 
  • Tinting offers skin and upholstery protection, which is why it is a popular add-on for most vehicles.
  • You can remove window tints with steam, a hair dryer or ammonia in order to comply with state laws.

Remember that there are various types of window tints to choose from, but whichever one you choose, ensure you calculate the output VLT and check that it doesn’t violate the NY tint laws.


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