Kentucky Window Tint Law
Updated: May 2
Unlike in other states, Kentucky's window tint law tends to be more complex. The law took effect in 1994 and is intended to ensure we all toe the line and stay safe while on the roads. It also spells out various specifics, such as the darkness of the tint or its reflective properties.
Plus, it outlines how different vehicle windows should be tinted, including the vehicle type. Thus, any meaningful conversation about the law should factor in these elements to ensure everyone fully grasps what it entails.
So, before paying for tinting services, you might want to look at the state's tint law. Well, here are the basics of the law, including a definition that can help you determine how dark your tint ought to be:
Visible Light Transmission
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is the percentage of light allowed in through your window film and glass. The higher the VLT%, the lighter the tint, and vice versa. Vehicle window tint law in Kentucky defines the VLT% vehicles should have based on the type of vehicle and includes other regulations, as you'll notice below.
Window Tint Kentucky Law for Passenger Vehicles
Based on existing tint laws across the state, each vehicle's windows are only allowed to have a certain VLT%. For starters, passenger Vehicles should not have reflective tint above the AS1 line - the horizontal line that goes across a vehicle's front windshield. Upon closer examination of your windshield, you might see a horizontal line running across the windshield - about 5 inches from the top. This is the AS1 line. It might also be denoted as such, albeit in tiny script.
Usually, A VLT of 35% is the maximum for the front side windows. In short, your sedan's front windows should not let in more than 35% light. As for the other windows, the ky tint law dictates the following:
The back side windows (behind the driver): 18% VLT
Back windows (rear windshield): 18% VLT.
Essentially, this implies that the front side windows allow more light than the rear or back windows. And from the law's perspective, it helps improve the driver's visibility.
Window Tint Kentucky Law for Multi-Purpose Vehicles
If you're thinking of security window film for your multi-purpose vehicle (SUV or van), the same rules apply in relation to the AS1 line. Thus, you can install tint above the AS-1 line, although it shouldn't be reflective. Meanwhile, here are the permissible VLT percentages for the windows:
Front side: 35%
Back side: 8%
FAQs About Window Tint Legality by Percentage
Not everyone is conversant with the law. Plus, regulations keep changing as they try to keep up with products, installation methods, and other variables. To this end, you might have queries buzzing around in your head. Here are some of the typical questions people ask regarding tint legality be percentage:
Is 5% Tint Legal in Kentucky?
No, 5% tint is illegal in Kentucky. However, 5% tint is permitted if you want to tint your windshield above the AS1 line or top 5-6 inches.
Is 20% Tint Legal in KY?
Yes, you can tint your back-side windows and rear windshield with 20% VLT tint. This applies to passenger vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles (SUVs or vans).
Is 18% Window Tint Legal?
Yes, 18% tint is legal, provided you use it on the back side windows or rear window of any type of vehicle. However, if you opt for a darker tint, it should be within the maximum variance of 3%. This is the tint variance or allowable limit.
Reflective tint helps to reduce the sun's glare. Plus, it prevents your vehicle's interior from turning into an oven. That said, it isn't allowed on the windshield of any vehicle.
As far as the front side windows go, window tint Kentucky law states that the tint applied should not be more than 25% reflective - the maximum allowable limit. The law also permits up to 35% reflective tint on side windows behind the driver's seat. This applies to sedans and multi-purpose vehicles.
Other Applicable Regulations
The window tint law in Kentucky has a few other provisions you need to pay close attention to. These include:
Restricted colors: You can choose a tint color you fancy as it's not prohibited.
Certification: Only buy certified film. The law requires manufacturers to certify their tint. Talk to the dealer or technician offering auto window tinting services to ensure they use certified film.
Stickers: You should display a sticker after installing window tint. The sticker identifies your tint as legal and must be placed inside your front doorjamb - driver's side.
Side mirrors: Both should be tint-free and properly installed if you opt for rear windshield tint.
Medical Exceptions: The state's tint law bars you from using a darker tint - the rule applies across the board. In short, everyone should abide by the regulations in place.
Most people are law-abiding citizens. But in some cases, you might go against the law, perhaps out of ignorance or oversight. If you fail to stick to the rules, you could be on the hook for a class B misdemeanor.
That means a fine of up to $250 or a jail sentence lasting three months could be in your future. However, if the police determine that your tint creates a traffic hazard, you might get slapped with a class A misdemeanor. The punishment for the same is harsher - up to $500 in fine, a jail sentence not exceeding 12 months, or both.
Endeavor to know Kentucky window tint law and other related regulations like the back of your hand. That way, you can avoid legal trouble when driving around with tinted windows.
Seek Clarity if You're in Doubt
Sometimes, law enforcers interpret the law differently. And while the provisions are explicit, don't be surprised if Kentucky tinting laws are enforced differently in different localities.
Avoid legal hiccups by ensuring your car windows have the correct tint percentage. Alternatively, you can always carry a copy of the law to show the police if they stop you. Who knows, it could save you from getting a citation.
The law is also subject to change. So, keep abreast of new developments by regularly checking for updates. It's also advisable to counter-check the info we've provided. To do this, you can inquire about the same at your local DMV.
Overall, don't make assumptions - adhere to the law, stay informed, and only work with reputable firms offering quality window tinting Louisville KY services. For instance, you won't go wrong with Sun Tint, as we are sticklers for quality and have been serving Louisville customers for years. We're also conversant with the law and endeavor not to put you in the law's crosshairs. So, if you need tinting services, you know the drill. Otherwise, stay on the safe side.
Louisville, New Albany, Radcliff & Lexington Locations
Louisville: (502) 254.0001
New Albany: (812) 944.0001
Radcliff: (270) 390.4446
Lexington: (859) 519.3277