Illinois Window Tint Law

Every state has laws in place regarding how dark a vehicle’s window tint is allowed to be. These laws are all based on the percentage of darkness and the reflection your windows are allowed to have. Most vehicles on the roadway have some level of tint. However, for the sake of public safety, Illinois has enacted laws to restrict certain levels of tint. The allowable darkness if different depending on what type of vehicle and location of the window.

Illinois tint laws are based on the percent of visible light allowed through the vehicle’s windows. This is called the Visible Light Transmission (VLT).

Man adding dark tint to his car window

Illinois Tint Law for Sedans

In Illinois, the tint requirements for sedans are as follows:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed only on the top 6 inches of the window.
  • Front Side windows: Can have 35% VLT.
  • Back Side windows: Can have 35% VLT.
  • Rear Window: Can have 35% VLT.

Illinois Tint Law for SUVs and Vans

In Illinois, the tint requirements for SUVs, vans, buses, and trucks are as follows:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed only on the top 6 inches of the window.
  • Front Side windows: Can have 50% VLT.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Window Tint Reflection in Illinois

Windows can reflect incoming light and reduce heat and glare. However, Illinois law says that no vehicle windows may be reflective. The law does not allow using tinting film with any mirrored or metallic appearance.

Other Tint Laws for Illinois

There are several other points in Illinois law that related to window tinting. Some of them are as follows:

  • Side Mirrors: If the back window is tinted, drivers need dual side mirrors.
  • Restricted Colors: No colors of tint are explicitly banned by Illinois tint laws.
  • Tint Variance: 5% variance is allowed
  • Certificates: Manufacturers do not need to certify the film they sell in Illinois.
  • Stickers: Stickers to identify legal tinting are not required.
  • Medical Exceptions: Illinois does allow medical exemptions for special tint. For cases of porphyria, xeroderma pigmentosa, or severe drug photosensitivity, you may submit an application to use darker window film.

Illinois Window Tint Violation Penalties

Violating Illinois window tint laws is considered a petty offense with a fine ranging from $50 to $500. Second or subsequent offenses are class C misdemeanors with a $100 to $500 fine.

How do Police Measure Window Tint?

Police will use devices called “tint meters” that are placed on the window. These devices shine a beam of light at 550 nanometers from the instrument sensor though the window to a receiving optical sensor. The device measures the light that was allowed through and gives a reading of the percentage of tint.

Why is Dark Tint Illegal?

While tint is a great way to reduce heat and glare for drivers and passengers, darker tint poses safety hazards and risks. Importantly, law enforcement officials need to be able to see what is going on inside of a vehicle at all times. Dark tint could lead to unintentional harm to drivers and passengers. Dark tint could also keep public safety officials from identifying victims in car accidents. Illegal tints will not be tolerated by Illinois police.

If you were a victim in an accident with a car that had illegal tint, you may be able to recover compensation. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.