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Understanding Colorado's Window Tint Regulations

Updated: Feb 21

Window tint on truck j9's luxury auto detailing

Window tinting is a popular way to enhance the appearance of a vehicle and provide privacy for its occupants. However, each state has its own regulations regarding the darkness of window tint, and Colorado is no exception. If you're a Colorado resident or planning to visit the state, it's important to understand the window tint regulations to avoid any potential fines or legal issues. In this article, we'll dive into the specifics of Colorado's window tint laws and provide some helpful tips for staying within the legal limits.


Why Are There Window Tint Regulations?


Before we dive into Colorado's specific regulations, it's important to understand why these laws exist in the first place. Window tint regulations are in place for safety reasons, both for drivers and law enforcement officers. Dark window tint can obstruct a driver's view, making it difficult to see other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles on the road. It can also make it challenging for law enforcement officers to see inside a vehicle during a traffic stop, which can be a safety concern.


What Is the Legal Tint Percentage in Colorado?

In Colorado, the legal tint percentage varies depending on the type of vehicle. For passenger vehicles, the front side windows must allow at least 27% of light to pass through, while the back side windows and rear window must allow at least 27% of light to pass through. This means that the tint cannot be darker than 27% on these windows.

For SUVs, vans, and trucks, the front side windows must allow at least 27% of light to pass through, while the back side windows and rear window must allow at least 27% of light to pass through. However, there is an exception for these larger vehicles. If the manufacturer has installed factory tint on the back side windows and rear window, the front side windows can have a darker tint of up to 27%.


  • 27% is the darkest legal limit for your front two windows.

  • You can have any tint on the back windows.

  • You can have 70% on your windshield.

  • A visor strip/brow is allowed and specific to each windshield.

How Is Tint Percentage Measured?

Different tint percentages available by 3m at j9's luxury auto detailing

Tint percentage is measured using a tint meter, which is a device that measures the amount of light that passes through a window. This is the only accurate way to determine if a vehicle's window tint is within the legal limits. Law enforcement officers use tint meters during traffic stops to ensure that vehicles are in compliance with the law.


Tips for Staying Within the Legal Limits

Now that you understand the legal tint percentage in Colorado, here are some tips for staying within the legal limits:


Research Tint Percentage Before Installation

Before getting your windows tinted, it's important to research the legal tint percentage in Colorado. This will ensure that you don't accidentally get a tint that is too dark and risk getting a ticket or having to remove the tint.


Use a Reputable Tinting Company

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Using a reputable tinting company is crucial for staying within the legal limits. A professional tinting company will be familiar with the regulations and will be able to provide you with a tint that is within the legal limits for your specific vehicle.


Avoid DIY Tint Kits

While DIY tint kits may seem like a cost-effective option, they can be risky when it comes to staying within the legal limits. These kits often come with a one-size-fits-all tint, which may not be compliant with Colorado's regulations. It's best to leave window tinting to the professionals to ensure that you are within the legal limits.


Regularly Check Tint Percentage

Over time, window tint can fade or become damaged, causing it to become darker than the legal limit. It's important to regularly check the tint percentage on your vehicle's windows to ensure that it is still within the legal limits. If you notice that your tint has become too dark, it's important to have it removed or replaced to avoid any potential legal issues.


What Happens If You Have Illegal Tint?

If you are pulled over and your window tint is found to be darker than the legal limit, you may face a fine and be required to remove the tint. The fine for illegal tint in Colorado can range from $50 to $500, depending on the severity of the violation. In some cases, you may also be required to remove the tint and have your vehicle inspected by law enforcement to ensure that it is now within the legal limits.


What is the likelihood that you'll get pulled over for tint in Colorado? Slim. Our police force generally won't bother you if you are a law-abiding citizen and you look unsuspecting. If you draw a lot of attention yourself or are trying to avoid unwelcome interaction with police, it may be best to stay in the restrictions of the law.


Other Considerations for Window Tinting in Colorado


While tint percentage is the main factor when it comes to window tint regulations in Colorado, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind:


Medical Exemptions


In some cases, individuals may be exempt from the tint percentage regulations due to a medical condition. If you have a medical condition that requires you to have darker tint on your windows, you may be able to obtain a medical exemption. This requires a doctor's note and approval from the Colorado Department of Revenue.


Tint Reflectivity

In addition to tint percentage, Colorado also has regulations regarding the reflectivity of window tint. The front side windows must have a reflectivity of 20% or less, while the back side windows and rear window must have a reflectivity of 35% or less. This is to ensure that the tint does not create a glare for other drivers on the road.


As the consumer, you shouldn't have to worry about this number much. Find a trusted professional and they will keep you in the legal limits.


Conclusion


Understanding Colorado's window tint regulations is important for both safety and legal reasons. By following the legal tint percentage and using a reputable tinting company, you can enhance the appearance of your vehicle while staying within the legal limits. Regularly checking the tint percentage and being aware of other considerations, such as medical exemptions and tint reflectivity, can also help you avoid any potential legal issues. With this knowledge, you can confidently enjoy your tinted windows in Colorado.


If you are needing a trusted professional shop J9's Luxury Auto Detailing based out of Colorado Springs, CO is the perfect shop.

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