Window tint can make a positive experience in your driving experience. It adds privacy to your car and helps improve temperature control. Under the hot Colorado sun, it can make a huge difference in the temperature for passengers. Colorado regulates where you can place tint and the darkness permitted under Colorado window tint laws.
As a responsible driver, you must comply with the Colorado window tint laws. It is essential to know the rules and regulations concerning window tinting in Colorado to avoid penalties and fines. If you use tint improperly, you may receive a citation or ticket during a traffic stop. Using the wrong type of tint can also increase the risk of and liability for an auto accident.
What is the darkest legal tint allowed in Colorado?
Like other states, the primary window tint law in Colorado involves darkness. Colorado measures tint darkness by visible light transmission (VLT) percentage explained in more detail below. All tinting film from a vehicle manufacturer is legal in Colorado; however, many types of aftermarket tint are illegal. Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-227 requires cars to maintain unobstructed windows. Under that statute, improperly placed tint or tint that exceeds permitted darkness are considered obstructions. You may face a class B infraction if you violate this statute.
Colorado law states that the front windshield’s top four inches must allow at least 70% of light to pass through. For the front side windows, the limit is 27% or more light transmission, and the rear side windows can have any level of tint. However, the back windshield must also allow at least 27% of light to pass through. Under Colorado law, you may not place darker tint on front windows than you have on the rear windshield or rear windows. If there is any tint on the front windows, you must have 27% VLT tint film on the rear windshield and back windows. If you have tint on the back windows, you must have dual side mirrors to improve visibility for the driver. The state statute prohibits metallic or mirrored window tint on any windows. You also may not have red or amber tint film applied to any windows. You are not required to have a sticker or decal identifying the VLT of any film.
How to Measure Window Tint Darkness
The darkness of the window tint is measured by the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. This percentage refers to the amount of visible light that passes through the tinted windows. A higher VLT percentage means that more light passes through the windows, while a lower percentage means that less light passes through the windows.
If you are unsure of your car’s tint percentage, you can measure it using a tint meter. This device measures the VLT percentage, and it is essential to know your car’s tint percentage to avoid violating the Colorado window tint laws.
Penalties for violating Colorado’s window tint statute
If you violate the Colorado window tint law, you may face penalties, fines, and even having your vehicle impounded. Violating the window tint statute in Colorado is a Class B infraction. The penalties vary depending on the severity of the violation. For example, if your front side windows have less than 27% VLT, you will receive a ticket for $50. However, if you have more than one violation, the fines will increase, and you may also be required to remove the tinted windows. Moreover, if you continue to violate the Colorado window tint laws, you may have your car impounded, and you will have to pay a larger fine to release it. Therefore, it is crucial to comply with the Colorado window tint laws to avoid any penalties and fines.
Is windshield tint legal in Colorado?
Many people prefer tint on the front windshield to reduce sun glare into the driver and minimize heat at the front of the passenger compartment. Colorado law allows nonreflective window tint on the top four inches of the front windshield. That is typically the area at or above the rearview mirror. It is common for cars to use a blue or black tint in this area. You may have any VLT percentage in this area, regardless of whether any other window has tint or the VLT percentage of tint on any other window.
It violates Colorado requirements for an unobstructed view to tint the entire front windshield. Tinting over the front windshield may make it more difficult to see road, roadway signs and paint markers, traffic lights, pedestrians and other occupants on the road. Tinting over the entire front windshield may result in a traffic infraction as well as increase the risk of a car accident.
Medical Exemptions for Window Tint
Some states permit exceptions to window tint regulations if you have a medical condition that requires darker or different tint. Colorado is not one of those states. Colorado law does not allow medical exemptions to use special tint. If you request a medical exemption from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, you should expect the department to deny your request.
Illegal window tint and liability for car accidents
In addition to criminal penalties, you also risk liability for a car accident caused by illegal window tint. Colorado is a fault-based legal system for car accidents, meaning if you cause a crash you are responsible for paying the damages of everybody who experiences injuries or losses. When insurance adjusters or lawyers investigate the crash, they may gather evidence that includes inspecting the tint film to determine if it violates the state law.
If you cause a car accident due in any way to your window tint, the injured party (plaintiff) may prove your fault for the collision by presenting evidence of illegal window tint obstructing your view as a driver. The auto collision may result in an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit in Colorado courts. The plaintiff may hire a Denver car accident attorney to pursue a claim and meet the burden of proof. A lawyer can review evidence of the crash, hire reconstruction experts or experts to analyze the tint, speak with witnesses, take photos or videos and other evidence that the collision resulted from visibility obstruction due to illegal tint. The injured party may pursue claims for negligence or negligence per se. If the plaintiff proves your illegal tint caused the auto accident, you may be financial responsible for the victims’ damages. Excessive or improper tinting can cause dangerous road and driving conditions resulting in motor vehicle collisions.