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New York Laws On Tinted Windows

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.

Out Of State Vehicle Operators

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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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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