Tint Regulations

Clear and Dark: Understanding New Zealand’s Window Tint Laws

New Zealand Window Tint Laws

Have you ever wondered if youre allowed to tint your car windows? Perhaps youre considering getting your windows tinted, and youre not sure where to start.

Luckily, in New Zealand, we have clear laws and regulations regarding window tinting. In this article, well be discussing everything you need to know about legal window tint in New Zealand, from the different types of windows to the minimum visible light transmittance (VLT) percentages allowed.

Legal Window Tint in New Zealand

When it comes to window tint darkness in New Zealand, there are different requirements for different types of windows. The types of windows include the windshield, front side windows, back side windows, and rear window, which we will be discussing in detail below.

Windshield Tinting Requirements

Windshields are one of the most important windows in the car, and for good reason. They provide essential protection from the wind, rain, and other elements while driving.

In New Zealand, windscreens must not be tinted below a certain level, and this level varies depending on the type of windscreen. For example, if your car has a factory-made tinted windscreen that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Land Transport Rule (NZLTR), then the tint level will be legal.

However, if the windscreen is not factory-made, then the tint level must not be lower than 75% VLT, and a 10cm anti-glare band must be in place at the top of the windscreen. The anti-glare band is a horizontal strip at the top of the windshield that is not tinted.

This band must be between 6.5cm and 12.5cm deep. If the anti-glare band is not included, the windscreen will not meet the legal requirements.

In addition, drivers should avoid putting stickers on the windscreen as this can obstruct vision and reduce visibility, leading to a potential safety risk.

Side Window Tinting Requirements

The requirements for side windows are slightly different from those for the windshield. In New Zealand, the driver’s side window and front passenger windows must have a minimum VLT level of 35%.

This means that the tint darkness must allow at least 35% of visible light to pass through. This requirement applies to all vehicles, including passenger cars, multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), and SUVs.

Nonetheless, there is no acceptable VLT level for the back side windows of passenger vehicles.

This means that you can have any level of tint on the back side windows of your car. However, if youre driving an MPV, keep in mind that the back side windows must have a minimum of 35% VLT.

To ensure that you comply with these regulations, you can use a window tint calculator, which will tell you the VLT level of your window. If the VLT level is lower than 35%, you should have your windows retinted to avoid any fines or penalties.

Rear Window Tinting Requirements

For the rear window tint, the rules can be slightly different, depending on whether your car is a Class MA vehicle or an MPV. In Class MA vehicles, the legal requirement is that the rear windshield should have a minimum VLT level of 35%, the same as the back side windows.

Nonetheless, youre free to tint the rear window as much as you like for any other vehicle, including MPVs. However, keep in mind that excessive levels of tinting can be a safety hazard, which can impair your vision and reduce visibility. It is also crucial to ensure that your back window is free from any defects.

Do not have any stickers obstructing the view or any tint with excessive reflection on the rear window. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that you have at least one functioning rearview mirror if you have tinted the rear windows, which will help you see what is happening behind you.

Other Regulations

It is worth noting that in New Zealand, advertisements on car windows are not allowed, whether they are tinted or not. This is to ensure that car windows are not used as a platform for advertising, as this can be a distraction to other drivers on the road.

Additionally, scratches, discoloration, or bubbling on car windows cannot exceed a certain level, as this can interfere with the driver’s vision and pose safety risks. To comply with these regulations, it is essential to have your windows checked regularly by a professional.

Final Thoughts

Window tinting can be a stylish and functional addition to your vehicle. However, it is crucial to ensure that you comply with legal regulations and VLT levels to avoid penalties and maintain the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.

By following these guidelines, you can drive confidently with the peace of mind that comes with a tinted car window. In conclusion, we have discussed the legal requirements for windshield, front side, back side, and rear windows in New Zealand.

We have also emphasized the importance of adhering to these regulations and provided links to further information for anyone looking to tint their car windows. If youre interested in tinting your car windows, make sure that you consult a qualified professional to ensure that your car meets legal requirements.

When looking to get your car windows tinted, there are specific regulations and requirements you need to follow to ensure that your car is both safe and legal on New Zealand roads. In this article, we will cover in greater detail the specific requirements for windshield, side, and rear window tinting, including the VLT percentage and restrictions that apply.

Windshield Tinting

The windshield is a crucial component of your car, which is why there are specific requirements for windshield tinting. The primary objective of these regulations is to ensure that the windshield maintains adequate visibility to minimize any potential risks to drivers, passengers, and other road users.

Windshield Tinting Requirements

The regulations stipulate that the entire windshield must allow a minimum of 75% of visible light transmittance (VLT). This means that no window tinting can be applied to the front and rear windshields of cars if it blocks more than 25% of the light.

However, if you drive a car with a factory-made tinted windshield that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Land Transport Rule (NZLTR), then your car’s tint level will be legal. Apart from the visible light transmittance, if the windshield has a print, it must abide by the same requirements.

Specifically, the total tinting measurement cannot exceed one millimeter except for a top portion with a maximum of 25mm. However, there are specific regulations regarding the use of an anti-glare band on windshields.

If the windshield is not factory-made and does not contain any special tinting, the tint level must not be lower than 75% VLT, and a 10cm anti-glare band must be in place at the top portion of the windshield.

Windshield Tinting Restrictions

There are specific restrictions to follow when applying film tinting to the windshield. First, you cannot apply any tint percentage to the top five centimeters of the windshield, extending no further than the bottom of the sun visors.

This area is essential for full visibility while driving. Furthermore, the tint strip, or anti-glare band, must be between 6.5cm and 10cm deep (measured from the top of the windshield), covering the topmost area, ensuring an anti-glare shield for the driver.

Lastly, you’re not allowed to apply any tinting film on the windshield if it extends beyond five centimeters at the side or 10 centimeters from the top.

Side and Rear Window Tinting

Visible Light Transmittance (VLT)

The VLT is a measure of the total light coming through the windows, and it is essential that the glass in your car follows specific guidelines. While you can choose to have your windows tinted, there are specific limits to ensure that your visibility is not impaired while driving.

For the side windows of passenger vehicles (sedan, station wagon, hatchback, sports car, and convertible cars), the minimum VLT is 35%. In other words, at least 65% of the light must pass through the tint.

Note that the minimum VLT applies to the driver’s side, the front passenger side, and the back side windows of the passenger car. However, the back side windows of an MPV must also have a minimum VLT of 35%.

Requirements for Passenger Vehicles

It is essential to know that when tinting the windows of your car, you must adhere to the specific guidelines and requirements set out by the New Zealand Transport Agency. One such requirement is that back side windows must maintain a clear view of rearview mirrors.

If there are any obstructions that prevent the driver from fully seeing the road behind them, they must be cleared. Apart from adhering to the VLT limit, if the side windows of your car exceed a certain level of tint, you will need to add an additional left-side mirror, which helps increase visibility and aids safe driving.

Other Types of Vehicles

Different types of vehicles follow different rules and guidelines when it comes to window tinting. For example, a truck or a van is considered a commercial vehicle, and there are different regulations in place for these classes of vehicles.

The windows on commercial vehicles and limousines follow a different set of guidelines. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, there may be additional requirements to comply with.

It is therefore crucial to do your research, and if needed, consult with professional window tinting service providers for more information on the specific requirements for your vehicle type. In summary, window tinting is a common modification made by many car owners to enhance their car’s aesthetics and increase its privacy and security.

As a car owner seeking to get your car windows tinted, it is essential to follow the laws and regulations imposed by the authorities. Adhering to these rules will help ensure that you are not putting yourself, your passengers, or other road users at risk of accidents.

By following the regulations, you can enjoy your tinted windows and ride in style while maintaining the highest safety standards. In addition to the specific requirements for windshield, side, and rear window tinting, there are other important regulations to keep in mind when it comes to tinting your car windows in New Zealand.

These regulations cover various aspects, including stickers, advertisements, sunroofs, scratches, and defects. It is crucial to be aware of these regulations to ensure your vehicle meets the necessary standards.

Other Window Tinting Regulations

When it comes to window tinting, there are certain regulations regarding stickers, text, and advertisements that must be followed. These regulations are in place to ensure clear visibility and avoid distractions on the road.

Stickers or decals are not allowed to obstruct the driver’s vision through the windows. This means that stickers or decals must be placed in a way that does not hinder the driver’s ability to see the road and other surrounding traffic.

In addition to stickers, text or advertisements on car windows are also subject to regulations. Window tinting should not have any words, letters, or designs applied that significantly obstruct the driver’s or passenger’s view of the road.

This is crucial for safety on the road, as clear visibility is essential for maintaining awareness of other vehicles and potential hazards.

Relevant Laws

Various laws and regulations govern window tinting in New Zealand. These laws aim to ensure that vehicles on the road meet specific standards and maintain the safety of both the driver and other road users.

One of the relevant laws is the Australian/New Zealand Standard 2366:1999 Windscreen Repairs. This standard provides guidelines for repairing windshields, including considerations for cracks and other defects.

Any cracks or defects on windshields should be repaired promptly according to the standards outlined in this guideline. A clear windshield free from defects ensures optimum visibility and safety for the driver.

Another relevant law is set by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), specifically the Vehicle Windows, Wipers, and Mirrors section. The NZTA outlines regulations and requirements related to the visibility, maintenance, and usage of vehicle windows.

It covers various aspects, including window tinting, windscreen wipers, and mirrors. These regulations play a crucial role in maintaining the safety and functionality of the vehicle’s windows, ensuring clear visibility for the driver.

Additionally, the NZ Land Transport Rule, Rule 32012/1, specifically covers regulations regarding glazing, windscreen wipe and wash, and mirrors. This rule establishes specific requirements for the maintenance and use of vehicle windows, including the guidelines for tinting, windscreen condition, and proper functioning of wipers and washers.

It is essential to familiarize yourself with this rule to understand the legal requirements for your vehicle’s windows and related components.


If your vehicle has a sunroof or moonroof, it is important to note that tinting regulations also apply to these windows. The same VLT requirements mentioned earlier for side windows and rear windows apply to sunroofs as well.

Ensure that the tinting on your sunroof complies with the legal VLT limits to avoid any legal consequences. Scratches, Discoloration, Bubbling, and Defects

In addition to tinting regulations, it is crucial to keep your car windows in good condition.

Scratches, discoloration, bubbling, and other defects on window tint can impair visibility. It is important to have these issues addressed promptly to ensure clear visibility while driving.

Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to identify and rectify any defects or issues with your window tint.

Cracked Windshields and Windows

Lastly, cracked windshields and windows are not only a visibility concern but also a safety hazard. A cracked windshield can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle and may not provide adequate protection in the event of an accident.

Therefore, it is crucial to address any cracks promptly and seek professional repair or replacement services to maintain the safety and functionality of your vehicle. In conclusion, while the specific regulations regarding window tinting in New Zealand cover the darkness and visibility requirements, there are additional regulations related to stickers, text, advertisements, sunroofs, scratches, and defects that must be adhered to.

Familiarizing yourself with these regulations and ensuring that your vehicle complies with them is essential for both your safety and legal compliance. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are crucial to ensure clear visibility and safe driving conditions for yourself and other road users.

By following these regulations, you can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while maintaining the highest safety standards on the road. In conclusion, understanding and adhering to the regulations and requirements for window tinting in New Zealand is essential for both safety and legal compliance.

From the specific requirements for windshield tinting, such as the anti-glare band and visible light transmittance levels, to the restrictions on side and rear window tinting, it is crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure clear visibility while driving. Additionally, other regulations concerning stickers, text, advertisements, sunroofs, and the maintenance of windows play a vital role in maintaining safety on the road.

By being knowledgeable about these regulations and adhering to them, you can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while keeping yourself and others safe. Remember to regularly inspect and address any defects or issues with window tint, and promptly repair or replace cracked windshields and windows.

Stay informed, follow the guidelines, and enjoy the benefits of tinted windows while ensuring a safe and legal driving experience.

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