Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Know Maryland's rules before you tint your car windows

Summer's here, with all its glory -- but if you're planning on being behind the wheel or in the car a lot this summer, you may not really enjoy those bright, sunny days as much as other people. Window tints are a great solution -- but they can also get you a hefty traffic ticket if you don't know the rules.

Here's a brief guide to the laws in Maryland and information you should know:

What is a legal window tint in Maryland?

Generally speaking, almost all automobiles manufactured today have some slight window tinting already. However, many people don't find that tint to be dark enough.

In Maryland, the maximum darkness of your windows must still allow 35% light transmittance. The front windshield on a vehicle cannot be tinted post-manufacturer below the AS1 mark. (Whoever does your window tinting can help you identify that point on your windshield.) Trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans have no restriction on the light transmittance requirement on their rear side windows and rear windshields. Passenger car vehicles are limited to the 35% light transmittance requirement on all windows.

In addition, it's illegal to use certain colors as a tint in your vehicle's glass. Reflective tints that are "mirrored" are prohibited, as are red, yellow and amber colors.

Are there any exceptions?

There are a few. Some individuals who suffer from serious disorders that make them sun-sensitive may qualify for a medical exemption to the 35% light transmittance requirement (although front windshields aren't exempt). This can be useful, however, if you have a child or regular passenger with a skin condition or another illness that requires them to avoid sun exposure.

Keep in mind, medical exemptions are usually only granted for serious conditions, like albinism and systemic lupus erythematosus. The card certifying the medical exemption, once granted, must be in the vehicle at all times.

Do you have other questions about Maryland's window tint laws for vehicles? Have you been cited for a violation due to this issue or another traffic violation? If so, consider contacting our office for a consultation to discuss your options.

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