Ohio Tint Laws
Since tint laws vary from state to state, Ohio tint laws cover what is permissible when it comes to how dark the windows of any vehicle can be and what is and isn't exempt in the state of Ohio only.
Ohio window tint laws measure the level of tint by visible light transmission (VLT), which dictates how much light must be able to pass through a window that is tinted or covered in tinted film. Measured in percentages, a high VLT means more light can pass through. For example, a car window with 75% VLT allows 75% of all light to pass through the tint. A window with a 5% VLT allows only 5% of light to pass through, making it a much darker tint.
There are several reasons people opt for tinted windows on their vehicles, including:
- Style: Window tint film allows vehicle owners to add a little personality to their cars without worrying about damaging the vehicle's resale value. Tinted film is, therefore, a great option for those who lease their vehicles.
- Privacy: Tinted windows prevent people from looking into the vehicle, making it great for privacy within.
- Safety: Similarly, with tinted windows, even a vacant vehicle is safe from prying eyes, keeping safe any valuables inside and reducing the likelihood of burglary.
- Protection: In the event that the vehicle's windows are shattered, a film helps keep the glass together rather than spilling all over, protecting any passengers or passersby from shards of glass while also derailing attempted robberies.
- Energy conservation: With tinted film, the car is protected from the sun's harmful UV rays, which also makes vehicles cooler and more comfortable in hot weather.
Is Window Tint Legal in Ohio?
The guidelines for tinted windows in Ohio are the same for passenger vehicles as well as multi-use vehicles, such as SUVs and vans, and they refer to any transparent, non-transparent or reflective films, including those used as a screen against the sun:
- Front windows: Front windows can be tinted but must have a 50% VLT.
- Back passenger windows: There is no limit to how dark the back windows can be.
- Rear window: Similarly, there is no limit to how dark the rear window is tinted.
- Windshield: The windshield can be tinted so long as it is at least 70% VLT and is not red or yellow. The space above the AS-1 — approximately five inches from the top of the windshield — can be as dark as desired.
For all VLT percentages, the state laws allow a discrepancy of up to 3% in either direction — beyond that, the vehicle would be considered in violation of the tint laws. Ohio window tint law does not allow tinted window film to be reflective at all.
While Ohio tint laws are fairly lax when compared to other states' tint laws, there are certain exceptions and caveats that every driver should be cognizant of, such as:
- Colors: There are no limitations on which color tint is used on the front passenger windows, the back passenger windows or the rear window. However, yellow and red are prohibited on the front windshield.
- Certification: Ohio requires all window tints to be certified by the manufacturer. Window tint manufacturers who are from out of state need to certify their tinted film for sale in Ohio.
- Stickers: Every tinted film must prove it is certified by displaying a 1.5-inch square label between the glass and the tinted film. This label also needs to clearly display the manufacturer's name as well as the tinted film's VLT and reflective percentages.
- Mirrors: External rearview mirrors aren't mandatory unless the vehicle's rear window is tinted and the tint is darker than 50% VLT. That means, if the vehicle's rear window has a VLT of 35%, the external rearview mirrors are necessary, but if the tinted rear window has a VLT of 70%, it's considered unobstructed, so the side rearview mirrors are not necessary.
Exemptions to the Law
There are a few main exemptions to Ohio tint laws, in which the vehicle is allowed to have tinted windows as dark as needed without being in violation of the state laws:
- Medical:Ohio state law allows those who need darker tinted windows to be exempt from these laws, so long as they are able to provide a note from a physician or an optometrist stating that the individual requires darker tinted windows due to a medical condition. The exemption applies to any vehicle that is registered to the individual, their legal guardian, their spouse or their parent. The afflicted person — whether they're the driver or a passenger in such a vehicle — or the driver of the vehicle must always carry the certification of exemption to be produced to show authorities when requested.
- Limousines: The rear windows of commercial limousines — the windows behind the driver — are exempt from Ohio window tint laws. State law also defines commercial limousines as those that are chauffeured and carry up to nine passengers. The limousine must also have been hired for transportation on an hourly basis.
- Hearses: Any vehicle — including limousines — that is used to transport corpses is exempt from the window tint laws.
- School buses: School buses used to transport children with disabilities are also exempt from this law. However, the exemption is only for windows located behind the driver and excludes emergency door windows.
- Authorities: Law enforcement, including police, private attorneys and anyone with arresting power, is exempt from the tint laws for vehicles that are not marked with law enforcement insignia but are used in the course of duty. Vehicles used to transport police dogs are also exempt from the law.
Failure to adhere to the Ohio tint laws may result in a minor misdemeanor charge. Car sellers who sell vehicles that violate the state tint laws will be charged with a minor misdemeanor if they were aware of there violation at the time of the sale.
Personalize Your Vehicle With Tint Kits From Rvinyl
At Rvinyl, we're all about helping you customize your vehicle to truly reflect your personality. That's why we offer a range of DIY window tint kits with warranties, so you can easily spruce up your vehicle. Our window tint film is easy to install, so you don't need to hire a professional to do it, and we're happy to help you with any questions along the way.
Take advantage of the benefits of window tints today, or get in touch for more information.
*Disclaimer: This information is not provided by legal professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any legal advice or information provided by your state or legal professionals. The information covered in this resource does not necessarily reflect those of Rvinyl and/or its affiliates. If you have any questions, please contact your local state authorities and/or an attorney or other legal professional.