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Understanding Iowa Window Tint Law

Window tinting is a popular choice among vehicle owners for various reasons, such as enhancing privacy, reducing glare, and improving the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. However, it is important to be aware of the legal requirements and restrictions surrounding window tinting to avoid any potential fines or penalties. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of the Iowa window tint law to help you understand what is allowed and what is not.

Legal Tint Limits

The state of Iowa has specific regulations regarding the darkness of window tint that is permissible on different windows of a vehicle. These regulations are measured in terms of Visible Light Transmission (VLT), which refers to the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the window.

For sedans, SUVs, and vans, the following rules apply:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches, whichever is higher. The tint must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Front Side Windows: Tint must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows: Tint can have any darkness level.
  • Rear Window: Tint can have any darkness level.

It is important to note that reflective tint is not allowed on any window, and the use of colored tint is also prohibited.

Medical Exemptions

While the Iowa window tint law is strict, there are certain medical exemptions that allow individuals with specific medical conditions to have darker window tint. To qualify for a medical exemption, you must obtain a certificate from a licensed physician, which must be carried in the vehicle at all times. The certificate should state the specific medical condition and the recommended darkness level of the window tint.

It is important to understand that the medical exemption only applies to the side and rear windows, not the windshield. The front side windows must still comply with the 70% VLT requirement.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Iowa window tint law is enforced by law enforcement officers during routine traffic stops or inspections. If your vehicle is found to have window tint that violates the legal limits, you may be subject to penalties, including fines and the requirement to remove or modify the tint.

The specific penalties for violating the window tint law in Iowa vary depending on the county and the circumstances. Generally, the first offense may result in a fine, while subsequent offenses may lead to higher fines and potential vehicle inspections.


Understanding the Iowa window tint law is essential for vehicle owners to ensure compliance and avoid any legal issues. It is important to remember that the regulations are in place to prioritize safety and visibility for both the driver and law enforcement officers. If you are considering getting your windows tinted, it is recommended to consult a professional who is knowledgeable about the laws and can help you choose the appropriate tint level for your vehicle.

By adhering to the Iowa window tint law, you can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while staying on the right side of the law.

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