Association Dives Deeper Into Vehicle Tint Legislation

October 2nd, 2019 by Emmariah Holcomb

Vehicle tint laws impact businesses and vehicle owners across the country. This week the International Window Film Association (IWFA) held two webinars explaining the key things you should know about how different types of laws impact the industry.

Darrell Smith, IWFA executive director, began the webinar by going over the current federal laws on window tinting. The current federal law states 70% of light must be transmitted through all glass used in vehicle windows. He then spoke about the importance of the current regulatory process as it relates to films.

“It’s important to note that most laws don’t mention enforcement. It doesn’t define 35% … but in the last paragraph it says the director of the Department of Public Safety shall have the authority to implement such regulations as necessary to enforce the intent of this legislation. And that gives him the full authority to come up with the rules and the methods to enforce the laws. So that’s where you work on 35% with a 5% point tolerance,” said Smith.

Smith discussed several key points new auto tint bills should have prior to being submitted into the House or the Senate. The key points included:

  •  Being clearly understood by the industry, the public and law enforcement;
  • Being able to be inspected easily if that state has required inspection procedures;
  • Being able to be verified and enforced by patrol officers on highways; and
  • Being able to hold up in court.

Current challenges in the following states were among the last things mentioned during IWFA’s most recent webinar: New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

New York

“We’ve been working on legislation in New York for about 15 years on and off,” said Smith.

According to Smith, last year there were plans to move the state past its objections to 50% films. Assembly bill 848 was introduced in the Transportation Committee in May 2019 and will be discussed during the 2020 sessions. This was strategic and what the association wanted because it knew if it were heard in this year’s session is would be “lumped into other window film legislation that would get turned down by law enforcement.”


“Pennsylvania has a conflict between its law and its regulation. One states that someone must be able to see both in and out of the vehicle through its glass. While the other states that the glass must be 70% net VLT,” Smith mentioned.

Due to the current conflict, many court judges have encouraged some local law enforcement to stop writing tickets, as it’s “a waste of the court’s time.” According to the association, it has met with the state’s DMV several times regarding the issue and both are working to have a clear understanding, or re working of the language in the bill.

New Hampshire

“A group of dealers in the state had a bill introduced and the IWFA reached out to them to offer our assistance. We were told they had everything under control and didn’t need us, and that the bill had been looked at with local law enforcement and was ready to go,” recalled Smith.

Unfortunately when the bill was in the Transportation Committee it didn’t fare well, as the IWFA was contacted by the committee member assisting chairman on several issues with the language in the bill.

“The chairman said that bill was dead-on-arrival, the way it was written and that law enforcement hadn’t been involved in it at all,” said Smith.

Both the Transportation Committee and the IWFA agreed that the current legislation needed to be revised and that the IWFA should be consulted going forward.

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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