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Understanding the Illinois Window Tint Law

Window tinting is a popular modification that many vehicle owners opt for. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of the vehicle, but it also provides several practical benefits such as reducing glare, protecting the interior from harmful UV rays, and improving privacy. However, it is important to understand the regulations surrounding window tinting to ensure compliance with the law. In the state of Illinois, there are specific guidelines that dictate the permissible limits for window tinting. Let’s delve into the details of the Illinois Window Tint Law.

Permissible Visible Light Transmission (VLT)

The Illinois Window Tint Law primarily focuses on the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. VLT refers to the amount of visible light that can pass through the window. The lower the VLT percentage, the darker the tint.

For sedans, the law allows a maximum VLT of 35% for the front side windows and the rear window. This means that the tint must allow at least 35% of the visible light to pass through. However, there are no restrictions on the VLT for the rear side windows.

For SUVs, vans, and trucks, the law is slightly more lenient. The front side windows and the rear window can have a VLT of 50% or more. Again, there are no restrictions on the VLT for the rear side windows.

Windshield Tinting Regulations

When it comes to windshield tinting, the Illinois Window Tint Law allows a non-reflective tint on the top six inches of the windshield. This tint must comply with the 35% VLT requirement. It is important to note that the tint should not extend below the AS-1 line, which is the line extending from the top of the windshield where the sun visor is typically placed.

Moreover, there are no specific regulations regarding the use of tint on the front windshield side windows. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and ensure that the tint does not obstruct the driver’s view.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Illinois Window Tint Law is enforced by law enforcement officers during routine traffic stops. If a vehicle is found to have window tint that does not comply with the regulations, the driver may be issued a citation. It is important to rectify any non-compliant tint as soon as possible to avoid further penalties.

The penalties for violating the Illinois Window Tint Law can vary depending on the severity of the offense. Typically, the first offense results in a fine ranging from $50 to $500, while subsequent offenses may lead to higher fines and even the possibility of vehicle impoundment.

Medical Exemptions

Illinois does allow for medical exemptions to the window tint regulations. Individuals with a medical condition that requires them to limit their exposure to sunlight can apply for a special window tint permit. This permit allows for a darker tint that exceeds the standard VLT limits. However, it is important to note that the permit must be carried in the vehicle at all times and presented to law enforcement upon request.


Understanding the Illinois Window Tint Law is crucial for vehicle owners who wish to tint their windows. Adhering to the regulations not only ensures compliance with the law but also promotes safety on the roads. Remember to check the VLT percentage and ensure that it falls within the permissible limits for your specific vehicle type. If you require a darker tint due to a medical condition, be sure to obtain the necessary permit and carry it with you at all times. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while staying on the right side of the law.

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