New England summers can get hot and bright, so many Rhode Island drivers opt for lightly tinted windows to escape the sun.
However, there is a set of laws about non-transparent windows that have to be followed.
If you’re looking to darken your windows, you might wonder what the rules and regulations in this state are.
And can you get pulled over for tint in Rhode Island?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Rhode Island window tint laws.
Rhode Island State Law and VLT
The most important metric you’ll have to keep in mind is Visible Light Transmission, or VLT.
This measures the amount of sunlight that can penetrate your vehicle.
A non-tinted window will have a VLT of 100%, while a completely blacked-out window has a VLT of 0% because none of the light can pass through.
The laws surrounding tint were introduced in 2000 in Rhode Island, and Visible Light Transmission is one of the criteria you’ll have to consider before purchasing film for your windows in this state.
If in doubt, ask your manufacturer or your dealership, who should be able to tell you whether their film is certified and what the VLT is.
Rhode Island Window Tint Laws for Passenger and Multi-Purpose Vehicles
There are two sets of regulations, depending on what kind of car you drive.
If you have a sedan, you’ll be able to install a non-reflective tint above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line on your windshield.
You can also tint all of your other windows, including the rear window, front passenger windows, and back passenger windows, but all of them must have a VLT of 70% or above.
The rules for SUVs and vans are similar, so you can also tint your windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line, and your front passenger window must also let 70% or more of the sunlight in.
However, there are no restrictions for the back window or the back passenger windows, so any tint darkness will be allowed.
Further Regulations and Laws in Rhode Island
Aside from the VLT, you’ll have to pay attention to some other factors that influence how safe your window tint is.
In some states, there are restrictions when it comes to reflectiveness, but this does not apply in Rhode Island and you cannot be penalized for having reflective tint.
There are also no restrictions when it comes to your side mirrors, and you can choose any tint color you like.
When buying tint, keep in mind that the manufacturers don’t have to certify their film in Rhode Island, so it’ll be your responsibility to make sure that you use the right shade for the right windows.
Fortunately, you also don’t need to install a sticker identifying the tint on your car.
However, this doesn’t mean that police officers can’t check, as they will have special devices that can measure the Visible Light Transmission.
Window Tint Laws and Medical Exemptions
Most drivers who opt for window tint do so for practical or cosmetic reasons.
Your car might need a sprucing up or you might be worried about glare when driving in the summer.
However, sunburn and excess exposure to UV light is a valid concern for people who drive for a long time or are especially sensitive to sunlight.
In fact, there is a range of conditions that may warrant using window tint as a safety measure.
For example, people with Albinism, Cockayne Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or Bloom Syndrome shouldn’t drive without tint because this could be unsafe.
If you have a hereditary or genetic condition that makes you especially sensitive to sunlight, speak to your physician about an exemption.
You may be able to get darker or special tint to help protect you.
Now that you’re aware of the most important window tint laws, you may have some further questions.
People who have never had tinted windows might not know all the benefits they bring, and they are often concerned about the negative consequences of a breach in the law.
Let’s briefly explore these issues so you can make an informed decision about the kind of window tint you purchase.
Why Is Window Tint a Good Idea?
In a state like Rhode Island, window tint isn’t as essential as it is in more southern regions.
But temperatures can still rise in the summer, so it’s worth considering that darker windows can save you up to 45% of your air conditioning bill.
On top of that, tint offers full-body protection from UV rays, which is an important feature for those who drive regularly.
Additional benefits include the fact that thieves are often deterred if they can’t see into your vehicle clearly.
They won’t know whether there is anything worth stealing inside and will therefore seek an easier target.
Can You Get Pulled Over for Tint in Rhode Island?
You can get pulled over for tint in Rhode Island, but not all areas of the state are equally strict about the issues.
Despite this, it’s better to comply because you may face a fine of up to $250 if you are caught with an unsuitable tint.
When it comes to window tint, Rhode Island is one of the stricter states, with both a high VLT limit and a severe penalty for breaking the rules.
By following the Rhode Island window tint laws listed above, you can enjoy the more pleasant driving experience that light window tint offers as well as avoid being pulled over and having to pay the fine.