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Colorado Window Tint Laws In Detail
State officials recently updated the laws in Colorado revised statute 42-4-227 which allows a window tint of 27% or higher for all windows except the windshield on all motor vehicles registered in the state of Colorado. The windshield must have a 70% rating or higher, but this tint can only cover the top 4 inches of the windshield, not the entire thing. It is important to note that no window tinting may have a reflective or mirror like appearance. Also, vehicles operating in Colorado but registered in another state are allowed up to a 20% VLT rating on windows that are not the windshield.
Windshield Tint: The windshield tint laws are slightly different than other windows as Colorado state laws require a clear and unobstructed view of the road at all times. This means no obstructions hanging from your rear view mirror or in the dashboard that keep you from being able to fully see the road ahead of you. It also means you can’t have window tint on the windshield as it can make it harder to see road lines, signs, etc. The only tint allowed on the windshield is a strip that is no more than 4 inches tall across the very top of the windshield.
Front Side Window Tint: Window tint on front side windows must not be darker than 27% VLT. In vehicles that have the rear side windows or the rear window with a tint that is darker than 27%, the front side windows must not have any tint at all. This is why you never see semi-trucks and box trucks with window tint, as they cannot see out the back of their vehicles, so no tint is allowed on their front side windows due to safety concerns.
Back Side Window Tint: If the front side windows don’t have any tint at all, rear side windows may be as dark as you want. If the front side windows have a 27% or lighter VLT, then the rear side windows must also have 27% or lighter tint.
Rear Window Tint: The same goes for rear windows as rear side windows. If your front side windows don’t have any tint on them at all, then you are allowed to have your rear window as dark as you would like. However, if the front side windows have any tint, then the rear window must have a 27% or lighter VLT.
Sunroof Tint: Since sunroofs don’t affect your visibility of the road in front or behind your vehicle, there are no laws regarding window tint on sunroofs.
Why Do People Tint Their Vehicle Windows?
Window tinting has been around for decades because it can help keep sunlight out of the inside of the vehicle so that the interior temperature of the vehicle remains much cooler. It also keeps bright sun rays from warming up your legs and arms while driving and potentially giving you a sunburn. Many vehicle owners also choose to go with dark window tint because they simply like the look of it on their car and some choose it for privacy reasons. No matter what your reason for choosing to tint your windows is, make sure to keep your VLT values within the legal limits.
What Are The Penalties For Illegal Window Tint?
Penalties for having illegally dark window tint is a class B traffic infraction, so the penalties are usually just fines and maybe a few points on your license, but the real dangers come from not being able to see the road well which could lead to an accident an end up injuring yourself, your passengers or other people on the road. More on this below.
How Do I Know If My Tint Is Legal?
All vehicles in the United States come factory with a tint that is legal in all 50 states(if they come with window tint at all). So if your car only has factory window tint, then you know you are good to go, but if you or the previous vehicle owners had aftermarket window tint installed, you will need to check with your local police department, car dealership or buy a window tint tester. Some tint will come with a sticker or label showing what the VLT percentage is. If it does have this label, check to see if the numbers listed are within the 27% and 70% limits of Colorado law. Remember, if your VLT number is HIGHER than the legal limit, you are LEGAL. If your VLT number is LOWER than the legal limit, then you are NOT LEGAL.
Why You Should Obey These Laws
Most people would think, who cares if my tint is too dark, I can see fine. Well, that is where you would be wrong. Tint on the windshield and too dark of a tint on side windows severely reduces your ability to see the road, road markings, road signs, pedestrians, other vehicles and more. Combine this with driving at night and it becomes much harder to see clearly than with a legal tint. So obviously this has an inherent danger to it, but did you know that by operating a vehicle with illegal tint, you are showing negligence by willingly breaking the law which can end up costing you big time.
Let’s say you were to get into a car accident by side swiping the person in the lane next to you. Even if you used a turn signal and did all the right things, the fact that you knowingly broke the law and impaired your vision while driving, you may be found partially at fault for the accident. That can turn into very large sums of money paid out in settlements depending on the severity of your case.
Call An Attorney If You Have Questions
If you find yourself in a situation where you got in an accident and had an illegal window tint at the time, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney right away. You may get lucky and the police or other parties didn’t notice the illegal tint, but if they did notice it, it may take your accident settlement a different direction.
At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we have been dealing with car accident lawsuits for decades and with all that experience has come a world of knowledge that helps us be the top accident lawyers in Colorado. When you need the best representation you can find, contact us right away for expert legal services from your local Colorado Springs attorneys.
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We serve clients charged with crimes or injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.