Minnesota Window Film Association Seeks to Change State’s Tinting Laws

March 1st, 2012 by Editor

Tinting laws in the state of Minnesota are under fire from a group of window film shops. The Minnesota Window Film Association (MNWFA), which is not affiliated with the International Window Film Association, is fighting the state law that says, “No person shall drive or operate any motor vehicle required to be registered in the state of Minnesota upon any street or highway under the following conditions… when any side window or rear window is composed of or treated with any material so as to obstruct or substantially reduce the driver’s clear view through the window or has a light transmittance of less than 50 percent plus or minus three percent in the visible light range or a luminous reflectance of more than 20 percent plus or minus three percent…”

The law does allow vans and trucks to have unlimited visible light transmission (VLT) on the rear and back side windows, but keeps the above law in effect for the front side windows. Minnesota’s tinting law is one of the most restrictive tinting laws in effect.

“The reason the law needs to change is that a 50 percent law does not let you have the protection, safety and security benefits that film has to offer,” says Mark Gjerde, president of the MNWFA. “The law was in effect in 1985 when we did not even have the terms sport utility vehicle and multiple purpose vehicle. That is why there is nothing in our law about these vehicles or crossovers.”

In addition to the law being outdated, Gjerde argues that a 50 percent film is not providing the consumer with ample protection.

“Eye doctors have concluded you must have a minimum of 37 to 17 percent  reduction in veiled glare to reduce the stress on your eyes. Other benefits include quicker reaction times, less eye fatigue and we all know about protection from shattering glass,” he says.

Gjerde and the MNWFA are frustrated with law enforcement and the effects of policing this strict law.

“This has driven the industry under ground… many tinters simply lost their jobs and are now on unemployment, tinting for cash out of their garages,” he says. “Others just step over any state border. Bring your car to Hudson and you can get darker film installed without a problem. As for the shops here in Minnesota that abide by the law, we have lost up to 50, and sometimes 65, percent of or retail auto business.”   

The association is currently working to raise money in order to hire a lobbyist to work on its behalf at the capital.

“This is the only system we have and it is all about the money. Unfortunately the police had an endless pile of taxpayers’ money to use to fight us,” says Gjerde.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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  1. I recently purchased a vehicle in North Dakota, where they don’t have MN restrictive film laws, the applied tint did not conform with MN”s ridicules film standards, I have subsequently been stopped and given a warning and told that I have 5 days to have the film removed. The North Dakota dealer is not liable and therefor I will bear the cost. MN needs to conform with surrounding states so other unaware purchasers aren’t confronted with the same situation.

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