Texas Window Tint Laws Explained-
Part one of a three part series explaining Texas tint laws
The Texas summer heat can be downright brutal. In fact that’s one reason that window tint is the number one after market accessory for automobiles in the Lone Star State. So given window tint’s popularity, the State of Texas has enacted laws that require compliance by Texas motorists.
You can be sure that failing to comply with these laws can result in fines, and failure to pass the state safety inspection. If your car is not properly tinted within the regulation limits, you can be ticketed and pulled over. And really, who wants to get acquainted with a DPS officer on the side of the highway? This means that you need to be fully aware of all Texas window tinting laws.
Way back in 1989, when we started Fletch Window Tint in San Antonio, the laws were quite different. I remember installing automotive tint that by today’s standards would definitely get those red and blue lights flashing behind you. Since laws change, and tint laws are no exception, we want to try to clear up any misunderstandings about what is legal and what’s not.
Why Are There Window Tinting Laws?
There are many different reasons why a driver would prefer to have tinted windows, but tint can become a hazard if not utilized safely. State Trooper Gabriel Medrano of the Department of Public Safety says the law is a safety issue, saying, "They want to make sure that you're able to see outside of your windows and it keeps everyone else safe to make sure that you see what's going on around you."
Texas Window Tint Laws
In Texas, the window tint laws are pretty straight forward. To get the most accurate information, we went straight to the Department of Public Safety website.
According to DPS “A clear (un-tinted) UV film is allowed anywhere on the front windshield without a medical exemption being required.”
This means a 70% or higher film is acceptable on the entire windshield. But what is the point of a clear film? Actually ceramic tint, like the ones installed here at Fletch Window Tint can reduce 99% of UV and up to 53% heat, because they target infrared heat, which is the largest percentage of heat coming through your glass.
What about a strip across the top of the windshield? Well the DPS has something to say about that too. “Sun screening devices must be applied above the AS-1 line. If there is no AS-1 line, sun screening devices must end five inches below the top of the windshield.”
What the heck is the AS-1 line you ask? Well you can find the AS-1 line by looking closely at the top of the windshield along the side. Usually about five inches from the top of the windshield, and along the side of the windshield a small mark will appear that reads “AS-1”. So that means that the “brow”, as tinter's like to call it, or the strip across the top of the windshield cannot go past the AS-1 line. That mark indicates where the bottom of the strip or “brow” can extend to.
If the windshield does not have the AS-1 mark then the rule is the strip cannot extend more than 5 inches from the top of the windshield at any given point.
Part 2 of this series will help explain laws pertaining to side windows on passenger vehicles, and the different requirements for trucks, SUVs and limousines.
At Fletch Window Tint we work hard to keep our customers informed about all aspects of window tint. We also offer the latest film technologies such as ceramic and infrared films, which provide greater heat rejection without requiring dark shades of tint. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at www.fletchwindowtint.com or call us at 210-669-2940.