Some drivers are ticketed for violations because they are not aware of the rules surrounding aftermarket modifications to their vehicles. One of the most common modifications resulting in tickets involves window tinting. There exists some uncertainty about the rules in New York and this article will shed some light on tinted windows.
Under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, it is a violation for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway or street in New York if certain windows of their vehicle are treated with any material which has a light transmittance of less than seventy percent. VTL § 375(12)(a). However, this is not the rule in all states.
For example, in Florida a person is allowed to operate a motor vehicle with sun-screening material as long as the windows of the motor vehicle have a light transmittance of at least twenty eight percent. Stat Ann § 316.2953. Therefore, vehicles in Florida are permitted a much darker window tint than ones in New York.
Should operators of vehicles registered out of state receive tickets for tinted window violations? Well that of course depends. A nonresident of New York state is allowed to validly operate a motor vehicle without complying to the light transmittance requirements set forth in VTL § 375(12)(a), provided that they have complied with the provisions required for their vehicle which are set forth in their home state. VTL § 250(1).
If a police officer stops a motorist for this violation then generally he will utilize a “tint meter” to determine the actual transparency of the window. The tint meter, as the name implies, measures the transmittance of light and provides the officer with the degree of transparency.
Before applying any window tint or purchasing a vehicle with a window transparency modification be sure it complies with the applicable state’s registering laws. Even if the vehicle you purchase complied with another state’s rules regarding window tints, once you register it in a different state then you must comply with the new state’s rules.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding window tinting or any other traffic violations please do not hesitate to contact us at Riotto Law.
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The Law Office of James L. Riotto
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