North Carolina Window Tint Laws (Last Update 2024)

In 2001, North Carolina enacted car window tinting laws, and it is essential to understand these regulations to ensure compliance with the law while enhancing the comfort and aesthetics of your vehicle. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore North Carolina’s window tinting laws and shed light on the intricacies you need to know to stay on the right side of the law.

North Carolina Automobile Window Tint Laws
North Carolina Automobile Window Tint Laws

Understanding Window Tint Darkness

One crucial aspect of North Carolina’s tinting laws is the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage, which determines the amount of visible light allowed through your car windows. The rules for sedan cars and SUVs or vans differ:

Tint Darkness for Sedans

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear Window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.

Tint Darkness for SUVs and Vans

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches.
  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Controlling Light Reflection

Window tint can reflect incoming light, reducing glare and heat. In North Carolina, the law specifies the maximum allowed window reflection:

Tint Reflection for Sedans

  • Front Side Windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.
  • Back Side Windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.

Tint Reflection for SUVs and Vans

  • Front Side Windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.
  • Back Side Windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.

Additional North Carolina Tinting Rules

Beyond darkness and reflection, North Carolina has several other important regulations:

Side Mirrors

If the back window is tinted, dual side mirrors are required.

Restricted Colors

The use of RED, AMBER, and YELLOW colors for tinting is not permitted.

Tint Variance

A 3% variance is allowed, up to 32% VLT.


Film manufacturers are not required to certify the film they sell in this state.


No sticker to identify legal tinting is required, but a medical exemption sticker is necessary if applicable.

Medical Exceptions

North Carolina allows medical exemptions for special tint. For specific terms of the exemption, consult your state law.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that interpretations of North Carolina tinting laws may vary by county or place of residence.

Exceptions to the Rules

North Carolina window tinting requirements do not apply to windows on the following types of vehicles:

  • Excursion passenger vehicles for sight-seeing or travel tours.
  • Motor homes with specific facilities.
  • Ambulances.
  • Property-hauling vehicles (rear window only).
  • Limousines.
  • Multipurpose vehicles designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers.
  • Law enforcement vehicles.
  • Vehicles with a medical exception issued by NCDMV.

What Is the Darkest Legal Tint in NC?

Tinted windows in North Carolina cannot measure darker than 32 percent with a North Carolina-approved window tint meter. The tint on a windshield cannot extend more than 5 inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever is longer.

How to Obtain a Tint Exemption in NC

North Carolina permits windshield tint with 70% Visible Light Transmission (VLT) under medical waivers. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles Medical Review Program (NCDMV) can issue the permit for 2 to 5 years, and you must display a medical exception sticker in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window.

Fines and Insurance Implications

A tint ticket in North Carolina could result in a $50 fine plus court costs, totaling up to $238. Additionally, a window tint ticket can affect your car insurance rate, just like any other violation on your record.

Smoked Headlights in NC

According to NCDOT and NC G.S. 20-129(d), it is illegal in North Carolina for taillights or reflectors to be covered or obscured by tint if the original red end lenses or clear lens covers are not originally manufactured with tint.

Please note that while we strive to provide accurate information, it’s essential to verify the latest details with your local DMV or law enforcement authorities, as laws and regulations may change over time.

Stay informed and stay legal with your vehicle’s window tint, and enjoy a comfortable and compliant ride in North Carolina. For any updates or corrections to this information, please feel free to contact us. We are your trusted industry leader in providing accurate window tint laws.

FAQs North Carolina Window Tint Laws

What is the Legal Tint Limit in North Carolina?

This FAQ would explain the maximum darkness allowed for window tints in North Carolina, typically expressed as a percentage of Visible Light Transmission (VLT).

Are There Any Specific Rules for Front, Back, and Rear Windows?

This question addresses if there are different tint limits for different windows on a vehicle.

Does North Carolina Allow Reflective or Mirrored Tints?

This question focuses on whether reflective or mirrored tints are legal in North Carolina and, if so, to what extent.

Are There Exemptions for Medical Reasons?

This FAQ provides information on whether North Carolina law allows for exceptions to tinting regulations for medical purposes.

What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tint Laws?

This question would discuss the fines or penalties one might face for having window tints that do not comply with state regulations.

Do Tint Laws Vary by Vehicle Type in North Carolina?

This addresses whether the tint laws differ between passenger vehicles and other types of vehicles like trucks or SUVs.

Is a Tint Certification or Sticker Required in North Carolina?

This FAQ would explore whether drivers need to have their tint certified or display a sticker that proves the tint is within legal limits.

How Does North Carolina Measure Window Tint Compliance?

This question discusses the methods used by law enforcement or inspection stations to determine if a window tint meets legal standards.

Can I Have Tinted Windshields in North Carolina?

This FAQ would clarify the legality and limitations of tinting a vehicle’s windshield in the state.

Are There Color Restrictions for Window Tints in North Carolina?

This question would provide information on whether certain tint colors are prohibited under North Carolina law.

Cities within the state of North Carolina

Certainly! Here are some of the major cities within the state of NC: Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, Asheville, Concord, Gastonia, Jacksonville, Chapel Hill, Huntersville.

Key Aspects of North Carolina Tint Laws

The article details the permissible tint limits, reflection levels, and other important aspects of the window tint laws in North Carolina.

Related Articles for Further Reading

While understanding the tint laws in North Carolina, you might also be interested in exploring more about window tints in general. Here are some articles that can provide additional information:

Tint Laws in Other States

For those who frequently travel to other states or are curious about how North Carolina’s laws compare to other regions, here are some articles on window tint laws in different states:


Staying informed about the window tint laws in North Carolina is crucial for any vehicle owner. By understanding these laws and exploring related topics, you can ensure that your vehicle is not only compliant but also benefits from the many advantages of window tinting.