July 3, 2023 | Kentucky Law
Darkened windows on a car look cool and help prevent glare for passengers and drivers. However, certain tint levels are considered too dangerous for safe vehicle operation because they may cause car accidents. If you are going to tint your windows in Kentucky, you should understand the tint laws before making your final decision.
Can You Tint Your Windows in Kentucky?
Kentucky has surprisingly complex laws regarding vehicle window tint. These regulations determine which windows can be tinted, how much tint is allowed, and what types of vehicles can have tinted windows.
If you are a fan of tinted windows, the good news is that state law permits it if you follow the regulations.
Your front windshield is the window on your car that is least permitted to be tinted. Only the portion of the windshield above the AS-1 line may be tinted. This is roughly five inches near the top of the windshield, where standard wipers can’t reach.
Front Side Windows
The front side windows of a vehicle must allow at least 36% light into the vehicle. Any tinting that prevents more light than that can result in penalties, including a fine.
Back Side Windows
The regulations for tinting are different depending on whether you own a sedan or an SUV. The rear side windows of a sedan must allow more than 18% of light in, while the same windows on a larger vehicle only need to allow at least 8% of light inside.
The rear window of a vehicle follows the same guidelines as the back-side windows, including the differences between sedans and SUVs.
The percentage of light that the tinting allows into the vehicle is only one of the guidelines that control window tinting in Kentucky. The state also sets guidelines as to how much light the tinting may reflect.
These rules only apply to side windows, and they are identical for SUVs and sedans. A front side window can reflect no more than 25% of the light that touches it, and a rear side window can reflect up to 35%.
Certification from the Tint Film Manufacturer
The tinting film manufacturer needs to certify that it meets state standards to sell it in Kentucky. This certification must be placed on a sticker which is required to be stuck to the driver’s side door jamb.
If you don’t live in Kentucky but regularly drive a vehicle with tinted windows in the state, you should get this sticker. You can contact the dealer that sold you the car or the manufacturer of the tint to get a certification sticker.
Miscellaneous Laws Regarding KY Window Tints
Kentucky doesn’t have any laws that restrict the color of the window tint. So as long as it obeys the rules for reflectiveness and permeability, you can have any color tint on your vehicle.
Furthermore, Kentucky doesn’t offer any medical exemptions to the tint laws. If this is a problem, speak to your doctor about other options.
How to Avoid Getting Ticketed for Window Tint Laws in Kentucky
While tint laws are consistent throughout the state, enforcement may not be. Police officers that enforce these laws don’t have a device that can precisely identify how reflective window tint is or how much light it lets through. And even if you have certification, you may be pulled over for a legal tint.
To avoid unnecessary conflict, contact local law enforcement and the DMV before adding tint to your vehicle.