Car Glass Tinting Can Cause You Trouble

Christine Mecca of Cheektowaga enjoys the car she received as a Mother's Day present. What she no longer can enjoy is the tinting on the car's windows which were part of the present.

She had it removed after she was stopped by the police.

After pulling Christine over, the police told her
the tints were illegal because they were too dark. She wondered why the shop where she had the work done never told her there might be a problem.

New York State law says the responsibility for auto tinting lies with the driver not a shop. State Police as well as other departments check glass with what's called the tint meter. The required standard: 70% of the light needs to get through the tint.

Captain Mike Nigrelli, NYS Police: "It's buyer beware. We're not going to say to a driver, 'Give us the name of a shop where the work was done.' The onus is on you to be sure you're in compliance with the law."

So YOU need to find out if a tinting job complies with the requirement that 70% of the light is passing through a tint job. This standard applies to the windshield as well as side windows. The back windshield can be as dark as you like as long as both side mirrors are mounted on your vehicle.

There is one exemption to this tinting standard. If you're sensitive to light and you have a doctor's note, you may be able to get a special waiver from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The lesson Christine learned from this experience is ask before you have any tinting applied. That's a move the State Police recommends as well.

600450 Car Glass Tinting Can Cause You Trouble
Date: 4 June 2004

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