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Is Dark Window Tint Illegal?

Is Dark Window Tint Illegal?
When police officers are doing their jobs, their lives are on the line. The last thing you want your window tint to do is make their jobs more difficult.

Installing window tint on your vehicle not only enhances its appearance but can noticeably reduce the inside temperature during the summer months. A word of caution if you opt to install the darker window film products, you may discover the police may have an issue with it, and here’s why.

Compromised Safety

Vehicles with windows tinted darker than regulations permit, can pose a tremendous safety risk for police officers when they approach the vehicle at a roadblock, as their visibility into the vehicle is greatly reduced. Not only is the officer unable to see what drivers or passengers are doing, they can’t make eye contact with individuals inside the vehicle. Excessively dark windows can conceal illegal activity, which puts officers on high alert when approaching.

Reduced Visibility

Excessively dark windows on a vehicle can compromise the driver’s ability to identify and respond appropriately to road conditions and obstacles. In fact, the combination of overly darkened windows, poor weather and night-time often creates a hazardous situation. Excessively dark windows prevent vital eye-contact communication between a driver and a pedestrian crossing the street, as well as inhibiting the driver’s ability to interpret images in their side-mirrors. As of 2016, Ontario is overhauling it’s window tinting legislation because of the high number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities related to obstructed vision of a driver due to their vehicles excessively dark window tinting. The CBC has the full story.

Monitoring Seat Belt and Phone Usage

All provinces have laws related to seat belt usage and the drivers use of a mobile device. When a vehicle’s windows have been tinted too dark, it makes it much more difficult for law enforcement officers to confirm if drivers and passengers are in compliance. Having dark window film on a vehicle prevents the officer from identifying non-seat belt wearers from a distance, they must now take extra steps to pull vehicles over to confirm their suspicions.

How Dark is too Dark?

There is no one size fits all regulation as to what degree of tinting is allowed on a vehicle. For individuals who travel from province to province with their vehicles, this can pose a problem. For example, Nova Scotia only allows the small strip of rear tinting from the manufacturer-nothing after market, while Quebec gives tinting the nod, as long as up to 70% of the light gets through. B.C. has a ban on ALL front window tinting. FindLaw Canada has the in-depth scoop. This is why we offer such a huge selection of tinting products – we want to make sure that all our customers get their desired effects, while remaining on the right side of the law.

A general rule is that law enforcement officers must have a clear line of vision through both front windows of a vehicle at all times.

The only time darker tint products are allowed, is when drivers or passengers have health conditions aggravated by excessive sun exposure. In this case, a recent doctor’s note must be produced to law enforcement if requested.

Before you tint your vehicles windows, make sure you consult with your local tint shop as they will direct you to the right product best suited for you. Give us a shout if you have any questions.

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