Know the window tinting rules

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Although it does not happen often, drivers in Illinois can receive tickets for their vehicle windows being too tinted. 

State law dictates that windshields can have a non-reflective tint on the top six inches, while side and rear windows must allow more than 35 percent of light in. 

The rules get more complicated for combinations. 

If the tint is 30-35 percent in the rear, motorists can have up to 50 percent of visible light transmission. If the tint is below 30 percent in the rear, the front windows cannot be tinted. 

“It’s not something we aggressively look for like drugs, but there are some stops made throughout the year on it,” Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said of window tinting. “It’s just not a heavy enforcement priority for us.” 

If a motorist is stopped for window tinting, they can face a $50 to $500 fine on the first offense and be charged with a petty offense. On the second offense, the fine goes up to $100 to $500 and is a Class C misdemeanor.

In this area, individuals could face problems with purchasing a car they think has legal tinting but does not. 

That is because Missouri’s laws are more lenient, allowing any percentage of visible light transmission on the back side windows and rear windows. That state’s rules are the same as Illinois’ for the windshield and front side windows. 

So, if someone buys a vehicle in Missouri, it may not have legal tinting here. 

“People just need to realize the window treatment law is it has to reach 35 percent,” Rohlfing said. “If somebody buys something and is not sure if it’s legal, they can set an appointment with us and we can run the meter on it.”  

After the sheriff’s department uses its window tint meter to check a vehicle, a person could then get it corrected without receiving a ticket. 

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