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How often do you get pulled over for Tint?

Hi Folks,

Never had tint installed on my car aside from a car with one installed already and had no problems with it. With that said, that car was not worth 60k and i feel like most cops just didnt even want to bother with me.

While waiting for M3P to arrive almost everyone says that ceramic tint is the way to go to avoid getting cooked in your car. I live in N California and wanted to see if any of you have experience with how much tint you can get away with and what happens if they give you a ticket? Meaning do you need to get the tint removed (fixing ticket) or do you just pay it (and how much is it usually). I know the obvious answer is "dont tint your car past the legal limit" but as it stands it looks like putting any tint on the front side windows is basically illegal as car already comes with "factory tint". Thank you for your response ahead of time :).
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,668
21,948
Riverside Co. CA
You are correct that putting any tint on the front driver and passenger window is not legal in california. I believe one can get a medical exemption, but I have never looked into that, personally.

I have had all my cars front drivers and passengers windows tinted for the past 25 years or so, here in southern california (basically since I could afford to have tint put on a car I purchased). Over the past 25 years, I have probably received 3 or maybe 4 tickets. The ticket is a "fix it" ticket, where you need to get it removed and then take it to prove removal.

I have gotten a couple of speeding tickets in the past 4-5 years, and the officer did not even give me the tint ticket he could have. One suggestion would be, if you get pulled over, roll both tinted windows down, keep hands on wheel and sit there. What the police really dont like is not being able to clearly see the driver and front passenger if they pull you over. If you get pulled over, and roll those front tinted windows all the way down (and keep your hands clearly on the wheel where they can see them), they tend to be a lot less agitated.

There may be an option to just pay it, but the last time I got one of these ( more than 12 years or so ago), I didnt even know or think to look to see if I could just "pay it"). Most tint shops down here have a sort of "special" where they have a price to remove and re install on those front windows.

Anyway, thats a lot of words to say "yes its illegal, but I havent had much problem with it over the years, and police usually only give you that ticket out here if you are doing something else, or they are not happy that day for some reason".

As always, YMMV. I have heard that police up in Nor. Cal can be a bit more aggressive about this than in So. Cal, so might want to ask this in the california section, since the experience in your neighborhood is much more relevant than mine (or someone from Ohio or New York, for example, as it relates to your area).
 
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iamnid

Active Member
Dec 4, 2019
1,140
1,181
Riverside, CA
Pretty sure you can just pay something on the ticket rather than going the remove and replace route. Likely to save some money that way. I've driven in CA with tinted windows a lot, never got pulled over. Suppose if you drive enough it is unavoidable though.

Typically, you have to show up and show them that you have "fixed" the problem. They then sign off on the "fix." You still have to pay the fine. So no, you can't just pay the money and have the ticket go away unless you know somebody who is willing to sign off on an unfixed car.

In Southern California, it varies from city to city as to how often you'll get pulled over and/or ticketed for tint. I have had my windows tinted for the past 15+ years without a ticket. I typically tint the front passenger windows less than the back - this provides some tint but also provides the illusion that they aren't tinted because they're clearly less dark than the back windows -- your mileage may vary. I also know plenty of people who have avoided tickets altogether despite dark tint all around, so it could just be a placebo effect.
 
Funny story about this. When I first moved to CA and got tint put on the front windows, I, like you, was really paranoid about getting pulled over. So much so that I'd roll the front windows down any time a cop would just pass by. One day, I had just hit the road for a road trip, leaving SoCal to go to Utah. My sister was in the car with me, and saw me roll down my windows while a cop drove past on the freeway. She looked at me like I was crazy, saying no one is gonna pull you over for tint. Well, no more than 10 minutes after we enter Utah, my sister was at the wheel cruising at 75mph on the freeway, we get pulled over for, you guessed it, front window tint! The cop came over and basically said, "hey, I pulled you over for window tint, but since you're from CA, I can't give you a ticket. So, have a nice day."

I wouldn't worry about front window tint. Some places even include a warranty and will remove the tint and reapply it if you get a ticket.
 
I have 35% on my front windows. It has never been an issue. Typically, if they are pulling you over for something else and you are agitating them, they will give you a ticket.

I have had my cars tinted for years, received many speeding tickets but never a ticket for tint. As suggested above, when they pull me over, I roll down both my front windows and put my hands on the wheel.

This is my experience in Michigan. Your experience may vary.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,445
18,339
California
Typically, you have to show up and show them that you have "fixed" the problem. They then sign off on the "fix." You still have to pay the fine. So no, you can't just pay the money and have the ticket go away unless you know somebody who is willing to sign off on an unfixed car.
This is not true, at least not in California.

“Fix-it” tickets have a face bail value - depending on the offense it’s generally between $100 and 300 - that you can indeed just pay and have the issue go away (until the next time you get a ticket of course).

Alternatively, you can fix the issue, have it signed off by a police agency, and the fee generally drops to some small administrative charge of $10-20.

As to the actual question, I’ve had 35-50% tinted side windows on every car I’ve owned in the CA Central Valley for 10 years now and have never been hassled. It’s highly locality dependent though. A number of local police agencies use these sorts of infractions as money printing machines and are much more aggressive.

CHP generally doesn’t care at all - only people I know with tickets from CHP were pulled over for speeding and ended up with a “well I’m gonna give you a warning on the speeding but write a fix-it ticket for that [tint | brake light | missing front plate] because I’m such a nice guy” ticket.

Steer clear of the 5% and 20% tint and you’ll likely be just fine for a long time.
 
Hi Folks,

Never had tint installed on my car aside from a car with one installed already and had no problems with it. With that said, that car was not worth 60k and i feel like most cops just didnt even want to bother with me.

While waiting for M3P to arrive almost everyone says that ceramic tint is the way to go to avoid getting cooked in your car. I live in N California and wanted to see if any of you have experience with how much tint you can get away with and what happens if they give you a ticket? Meaning do you need to get the tint removed (fixing ticket) or do you just pay it (and how much is it usually). I know the obvious answer is "dont tint your car past the legal limit" but as it stands it looks like putting any tint on the front side windows is basically illegal as car already comes with "factory tint". Thank you for your response ahead of time :).

You probably could get 70% tint on the windshield and front windows without anyone saying anything if you have the white interior. I have 70% on my front windshield and it basically looks absolutely clear. I’m sure they could test the light transmission but as long as you’re not a dick (street racing, modding the car with illegal lights or slamming it or something) I doubt they would comb over the car if they stopped you for a parking ticket or general speeding ticket. I have 30 or 35% on my front side windows and it’s hard to tell with the white interior, the largest give away is when the window is half up/down you can see the difference then... so 70% would be even harder to tell and almost impossible if your window was down all the way by the time the cop got to the side of your car.

Even 70% has HUGE heat reductions with ceramic films. I’m shocked how much heat is cut down from streaming in the windshield onto my face and hands...
 

jpfive

Member
Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2019
588
557
Pensacola, FL
You probably could get 70% tint on the windshield and front windows without anyone saying anything if you have the white interior. I have 70% on my front windshield and it basically looks absolutely clear. I’m sure they could test the light transmission but as long as you’re not a dick (street racing, modding the car with illegal lights or slamming it or something) I doubt they would comb over the car if they stopped you for a parking ticket or general speeding ticket. I have 30 or 35% on my front side windows and it’s hard to tell with the white interior, the largest give away is when the window is half up/down you can see the difference then... so 70% would be even harder to tell and almost impossible if your window was down all the way by the time the cop got to the side of your car.

Even 70% has HUGE heat reductions with ceramic films. I’m shocked how much heat is cut down from streaming in the windshield onto my face and hands...

I will be driving my car into California from Florida in a few weeks. I will have the front windows tinted to Florida's legal limit. Do I need to worry about California law on tint while I am there. Just visiting, not changing residence.
 
I will be driving my car into California from Florida in a few weeks. I will have the front windows tinted to Florida's legal limit. Do I need to worry about California law on tint while I am there. Just visiting, not changing residence.

I don’t live in California and I’m not a lawyer, that said, I would assume it’s about the same as no front license plate. I know some states don’t require a front plate while others do. As long as you can show where the car is registered, where you live, and maybe the tint law in your state (print out from a .gov site and not just the first google hit) I doubt you would (possibly could?) get a ticket. Still, don’t be a dick to cops and if it’s a dark tint, make sure your windows are down by the time he gets to your car (including the back ones) so they can clearly see into both the front and back. I would imagine it’s really stressful approaching a car without being able to see in it at all...
 
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I live in Missouri, tint laws are 35% on the front windows, anything you want on the back.

Driving home from college about 15 years ago I had 15% on my front windows, and 5% on the back, I got pulled over by a State Trooper, got a window tint ticket. $75 I believe, no points, basically pay and go. Since then, *knock on wood* never been pulled over. I've had 18% on all my vehicles since then, and 3 vehicles have had no front plate either, and never been ticketed.
 

jpfive

Member
Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2019
588
557
Pensacola, FL
I don’t live in California and I’m not a lawyer, that said, I would assume it’s about the same as no front license plate. I know some states don’t require a front plate while others do. As long as you can show where the car is registered, where you live, and maybe the tint law in your state (print out from a .gov site and not just the first google hit) I doubt you would (possibly could?) get a ticket. Still, don’t be a dick to cops and if it’s a dark tint, make sure your windows are down by the time he gets to your car (including the back ones) so they can clearly see into both the front and back. I would imagine it’s really stressful approaching a car without being able to see in it at all...

My thoughts also. FYI, the legal limits in FL provide for visibility into the car. I've never wanted to push that, as the darker tints have always seemed more cosmetic than useful to me. A lot of my family in law enforcement, so very much appreciate their position on this.
 
To take it as a grain of salt, almost every car in So Cal has their windows tinted. Yes it is illegal to have them under 70% i think in the front, no cop is going to go out of their way to pull you over for tint. They have bigger problems they can take on. If you do get pulled over here in Socal, it usually for something else, and they just add the tinted fee on the ticket. As other advise here, just go lighter on the front, maybe like a 30-35% to make it seem not tinted.

I got pulled over doing a Canyon Run, the officer couldn't get me speeding, but just for window tint. I took it the shop I got it done, removed them, paid the 20$ fix it ticket fee, and I was on my way. Then I went back to the shop and owner gave me 50% discount for coming back.
 

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