Legislative Update

August 19th, 2009 by Editor

Alaska SB 51 2009-2010

Senator Hollis French has sponsored a bill detailing the restrictions of window tinting on motor vehicles in the state of Alaska. The bill clearly defines the limitations of window tinting for both commercial and personal uses, including minimum visible light transmittance ratings, tint color restrictions and rule exceptions. The legislation has been passed by the Senate and transmitted to the House. It was then referred to the House Transportation and Judiciary committees in April.

Tennessee HB 1187 2009-2010

Representative Jimmy Matlock has sponsored a bill that broadens prohibitions on window tinting to any motor vehicle operated on a public highway, no longer limited to only those registered in Tennessee. The bill states that it is unlawful for a person to operate any vehicle on a public highway or street in which any window has a visible light transmittance of less than 35 percent (with the exception of the manufacturer’s standard installed shade band) or reduces the visible light transmittance in the windshield below 70 percent. The bill creates an exception for vehicles registered in another state that meets the requirements of that other state. The bill was passed by both the House and Senate and became effective on July 1, 2009.

Louisiana SB 187 2009

Senator David Heitmeier has sponsored a bill that provides for medical exemptions to the state’s window tint laws on motor vehicles. The bill states that Louisiana tint restrictions do not apply to a motor vehicle registered in the state where the registered owner, spouse or family member operating the vehicle holds an affidavit signed by a Louisiana licensed optometrist or physician. The affidavit must state that the person has a physical or medical condition involving the effects of the sun that makes it necessary to equip the motor vehicle with sun screening material in violation to the previous tinting law. The bill was passed and became Act No. 175, effective August 15, 2009.

Texas SB 589 2009

Senator John Carona sponsored a bill that amends a section of the state transportation code relating to window tinting to include penalties for window film installers who do not affix the required label for sun-screening devices. The misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The amendment was passed in May and will be effective September 1, 2009.

Virginia Medical Exemption

On July 1, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) sent out a legislative alert to Virginia manufacturers, distributers and installers of window film regarding the appropriate sun-shading allowances for medical waivers on vehicle front windshields in Virginia. According to the Code of Virginia, “Such sun-shading or tinting film shall not cause the total light transmittance to be reduced to any level less than seventy percent except for the upper five inches of such windshield or the AS-1 line.”

Confusion occurs because the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sun-shading medical waiver application form (MED 20) indicates the medical waiver for the front windshield is 70 percent, without clarifying this as a net rather than a film requirement. The IWFA has contacted DMV officials to modify form MED 20 to clarify that the medical allowance is a net requirement and not a film standard.

The alert also stated that all members should comply with the statutory provision of 70 percent net visible light transmittance in accordance with the Virginia Code for medical waivers.

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