Legislative Roundup: New Hampshire Debates Side Window Tinting

April 28th, 2021 by Editor

Several bills that would affect the window film industry has been introduced in state legislatures across the country in the early part of 2021. The following is a sample of those that Window Film magazine is keeping an eye on.

The New Hampshire legislature is debating a proposal that would allow for aftermarket tinting of motor vehicle side windows. State law presently prohibits tinting on front windshields or side windows.  Tinting is permitted in on rear windows if there are outside rear-view mirrors on both the left and right side of the vehicle for the use of the driver and a front seat passenger and the light transmittance is not less than 35 percent.

As introduced the bill allowed for aftermarket tinting of side windows at not less than 35 percent standard that governs rear windows.  However, the legislation was amended in the House Transportation committee to increase transparency and only permit at least 70 percent light transmittance on the side windows.

The Committee Republican Majority supported the amended bill saying that the “amendment would recognize the level of window tinting on the two windows either side of the driver, that is allowed by national standards directly from the manufacturer, to be equal to the level of window tinting that could be put on any NH car by after-market installers.” The majority cited the benefits provided by the tinting including “protection of the suns UVA rays which are a leading cause of skin cancer, the reduction and headlight glare, the lowering of cabin temperatures for animals and occupants, and less UV damage to the interior components including seat belts”.

The Democratic Minority objected to the bill citing concerns “particularly if aftermarket tint is applied to a vehicle that already has manufactured tint” because darker tint can obscure the driver’s face and prevent eye contact others in the road. They sided with the New Hampshire State Police and law enforcement who opposed the bill arguing that tinted windows lead to a high-risk traffic stop.

The contentious proposal subsequently passed the New Hampshire House on April 9 by a vote of 200-167.  At press time, the legislation was up for consideration in the New Hampshire Senate Transportation Committee where a hearing was held on April 15.

Text of the bill can be found here.

In Louisiana, legislation is moving in the House that seeks to prohibit “franchisors” (manufacturers) from failing to compensate dealers adequately and fairly for labor, parts, etc. related to warranty work.  The sense of the bill is to have dealers earn the same rates for labor and parts mark up in their warranty work and they do in their retail work.  However, Section 8(l) of HB 502 prohibits dealers, in calculating labor rates and parts mark-up for warranty work, from including “window replacements, window etchings, window tints, protective films or other mailing products.”  Text of H 502 can be found here.

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