Window tinting appeals to drivers for many reasons.
Some of the advantages include reducing glare, ultraviolet rays, and shattered glass (in cases of a collision).
Before you consider tinting your vehicle’s windows, it’s essential to check your state’s laws about any restrictions.
There are two main aspects of adding shade or tint to your car’s glass that is regulated: reflectiveness and darkness.
Either way, New Jersey window tint restrictions do apply.
Specific Window Tint Restrictions in New Jersey
New Jersey provides specific legal guidelines about tinting as well as other potential blocks to visibility in your car windows.
In fact, the legislation specifies that drivers cannot operate a vehicle that is “constructed, equipped, or loaded” to the point where it interferes with their ability to see out the front and sides of the vehicle.
Apart from window tint rules, the legislation also states that you cannot place signs, stickers, posters, or anything else that is “non-transparent” on the windshield, front side windows, or other connected areas (such as deflectors or wings) without express “commissioner” permission.
In short, that means anything other than a mandated parking sticker likely is “illegal” according to the law.
When it comes to tinting, the law is equally specific and prohibitive.
Initially, the state enacted window tint legislation in 2003 with the most recent update in 2018.
According to R.S.39:3-74, you may not have any “tinted material or film” on the windshield or front driver and passenger windows unless it meets three specific requirements.
Those three rules are either:
- The tint/film must have come with the vehicle and permit light transmittance below 70 percent, except at the top six inches of the windshield,
- Meet the medical exemption specifications,
- Or be installed for law enforcement purposes.
The rear window and back side windows can have any level of darkness tint, without restriction.
New Jersey tint laws apply to both passenger and multi-purpose vehicles.
However, it’s worth noting that other facets of the law cover things like “safety glazing,” with specific definitions for those products.
Medical Exemptions for Window Tinting
New Jersey allows for exemptions for tinting windows, termed “sunscreening,” outside of the legal restrictions with a medical waiver.
The exemption is available if you have a formally diagnosed condition such as photosensitivity, skin cancer, or specific ophthalmic conditions.
The maximum tint darkness allowed with a medical waiver is below 70% for windshield windows and 35% for front side windows.
Once you receive a medical exemption certificate, this must always be present in the vehicle.
The certificate must include details of the tinting product or sunscreen used, the manufacturer, and where the tint was applied (the specific facility or shop).
The certificate must be visible and displayed on the front right side of the window.
Showing your certificate validates the reason for the tinting on front windows that are otherwise restricted.
If you plan on reselling your car, you must remove tinting from all medically exempt windows beforehand.
Can You Get Pulled Over for Tint in New Jersey?
You can potentially be pulled over for tinted windows.
In fact, there are penalties for tinting your windows in New Jersey.
First offenses will result in a maximum fine of $1,000 (the minimum is $100).
If you’re caught with illegally tinted windows a second or third time, the fine could be as much as $5,000.
Before you invest in any tint treatment, verify that the technician is certified and knowledgeable about the state’s laws so that you can avoid legal issues.
Keep in mind that the law requires businesses that sell window tinting services and products to display a sign that reiterates the law:
NJ STATE LAW PROHIBITS ADD-ON TINTING ON WINDSHIELDS AND FRONT SIDE WINDOWS
If your technician offers to apply add-on tinting to your windshield or side windows (in absence of a medical approval), that’s an indication they are not adhering to the law.
Reflective and Non-Reflective Tint Restrictions
The front windshield for passenger vehicles is not permitted to have a dark tint, though a non-reflective tint is an option for the window’s top portion (six inches).
The maximum VLT allowed is 35%.
The front side windows cannot be tinted in any manner, while the back and rear windows have no darkness or reflective limitations.
Multi-purpose vehicles must not have any tint on the front windshield or front side windows, including no lighter tint at the top six inches of the car.
Why Add a Window Tint?
Window tint can help reduce glare and allow you to see better.
But it also blocks various harmful rays from the sun.
In theory, you may have a lower risk of sun exposure with tinting on your vehicle windows.
Window tint treatments may also protect interior furnishings, tapestry, and wear and tear from the sun’s heat over time.
The tinting treatment offers another layer of reinforcement to the glass, too.
Some suggest that the protection makes your windows less likely to shatter in the event of an accident or collision.
You may also find that your tinted vehicle is cooler on the inside even during the warmest months (and after hours in direct sunlight).
A Final Word on New Jersey Window Tint Laws
New Jersey’s window tint laws aim to ensure the safety of all drivers and passengers.
The state’s laws provide the best option of maintaining visibility in the car’s most important windows.
When you understand the guidelines and options available, you’ll have all the tools you need to decide which, if any, window tinting works best for you.