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VERIFY | Yes, North Carolina has limits on window tints for your car

One viewer asked about what's allowed under North Carolina law.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As warmer weather settles in the Carolinas, many people are looking for ways to stay cool. Tinted windows on your car can help cut down on the heat.

But what's allowed in North Carolina?

Wayne Sulkey emailed the Verify team about tinted windows, saying he thought North Carolina had a law banning deeply tinted windows.


Does North Carolina have a tint limit for vehicle windows?



This is true.

Yes, North Carolina law puts a limit on tint for vehicle windows.


Window tinting restrictions are written into North Carolina code. Lawmakers passed the regulations about 20 years ago.

The law outlines vehicles on North Carolina roads have to comply with window tinting restrictions. They include:

  • Total light transmission of the tinted window shall be at least 35% 
  • Vehicle window that, by use of a light meter approved by the Commissioner, measures a total light transmission of more than 32% is conclusively presumed to meet this restriction

"It is shaded just a bit so you can still see into the vehicle," Homan said. "But it's not so dark that you can't see into the vehicle. So year, it's just a little bit of a filter."

State-licensed mechanics and inspectors can check a vehicle for tint levels. If they suspect a vehicle doesn't meet state standards, the inspector can use a tool to measure the tint in the windows.

"They'll get a light meter or inspection card to see if it meets the state law... to make sure it's not too dark," Homan said.

That costs an extra $10.

There are some exceptions, including medical waivers drivers can apply for to get a stronger tint. SUVs, trucks, and minivans can also get a different tint.

If a driver is caught with illegally-tinted windows, they could be charged with a simple misdemeanor and $200 fine.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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