Tint Regulations

Navigating Car Window Tint Laws in Canada

Car Window Tint Laws in Canada

Are you considering adding tint to your car windows? Before you do, it’s critical to understand the regulations around car window tints in Canada.

Each province has its own set of rules, but there are some general guidelines that apply across the country. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at window tint laws, including the different types of tinting and the potential consequences of breaking the law.

Overview of

Car Window Tint Laws in Canada

It’s important to note that there is no national law governing car window tinting in Canada. Instead, each province has their own regulations in place.

This means that the rules around window tinting can differ substantially from one province to the next. Before you install window tinting, it’s important to investigate what’s permitted in your region.

Below, we’ll explore some general guidelines that apply to most provinces.

Windshield Tinting

In most provinces, windshield tinting is regulated under provincial traffic law. As a general rule, windshield tinting is not permitted in the vast majority of provinces.

The only exception is for medical purposes, where a doctor recommends a certain level of tinting to protect against medical conditions. Even in these cases, the allowed tinting typically varies from province to province.

In most cases, no more than 70% of visible light transmission (VLT) is allowed.

Front Side Window Tinting

Front side window tinting is the area of the vehicle that’s closest to the driver and front passenger. In some provinces, the front side window tinting is not allowed at all.

In others, a certain degree of tinting is allowed. In general, the allowed percentage of window tint reduces the closer the tint is to the driver.

For instance, the maximum allowable VLT in the windshield area is 70%, but it can be as low as 50% for the front side windows. In some provinces, front side window tinting is not allowed at all.

Back Side and Rear Window Tinting

In contrast to front side window tinting, back side and rear window tinting is generally allowed in virtually all Canadian provinces. The amount of permitted tinting varies, though.

In most cases, the degree of allowed tinting depends on where the windows are located. For example, rear windows might be able to be tinted darker than back side windows.

Generally, there are no restrictions on the amount of tinting in the back side and rear windows, but some provinces have specified the maximum VLT percentage that you can apply.

Side View Mirrors

One rule that applies to all the provinces is that vehicles with tinted windows must have the appropriate side view mirrors. Side mirrors are necessary for safety when passing or changing lanes, and help to make up for the reduced visibility that comes with tinted windows.

Without mirrors in place, drivers can be fined.

Reflective Tint

Some provinces have laws that prohibit window tinting that reflects high amounts of light. These rules are commonly in place to ensure that vehicles don’t create blinding reflections that can cause accidents on the road.

Depending on the province, these rules can vary.

Medical Exemptions

In some provinces, drivers with a medical condition that causes sensitivity to light can apply for an exemption to the window tinting rules. The driver has to be able to demonstrate that the condition affects their ability to drive safely without some level of tinting.

If an exemption is granted, the allowed tinting level might be different than the general regulations that apply to non-medical tints.

Certificate Requirements

Some provinces require that tinted windows come with a certificate of compliance. The certificate assures that the product adheres to any regulations or specific requirements that apply to that region.

This ensures that drivers do not find themselves in violation of window tinting regulations, and avoids potential fines.

Tint Sticker Requirements

If your province requires an inspection in order to ensure your car meets window tint regulations, you may need to attach a tint sticker to your car’s window. The tint sticker lets authorities know that the tint has been professionally installed and meets provincial guidelines.

Fine for Illegal Tinting

Breaking window tint laws can result in fines, and the amount of the fine depends on the province. Generally, the fine starts at around $100 but can be as much as $500 or more in some regions.

Furthermore, you may need to have the illegal tint removed and replaced before you can drive again. Depending on the extent of the tinting, the shade may need to be entirely removed, and a professional installer replaced with new, legal tinting.

Relevant Law

As mentioned, each province has its own set of regulations governing window tint laws. The relevant law might vary from one region to another, so it is best to consult with your local DMV to ensure that you are aware of the rules for your province.

In Summary

Car window tinting laws in Canada vary by province. Windshield tinting is prohibited in most regions but allowed with certain limiting VLT transmissions to alleviate medical reasons.

Front side window tinting is usually not allowed unless for medical reasons. In general, there are no regulations on the degree of back side and rear window tinting.

However, side view mirrors are necessary to maintain driver visibility with tinted windows. Some provinces have laws about tinting that reflects high amounts of light.

Exemptions for medical conditions may apply, and there may be certificate and tint sticker requirements in place. Breaking window tinting laws can result in costly fines, so it’s important to ensure your car adheres to regulations and know what your province’s relevant law is.

Car window tint laws in Canada vary from province to province, with different rules for front side, back side, and rear window tinting. Generally, windshield tinting is prohibited, while backside and rear window tinting have no regulations.

The rules around front side window tinting nuanced, and all provinces require side view mirrors with tinted windows. Reflective tint might not be permissible, and some provinces might have exemption systems for individuals with disabilities that make driving without tinting impossible.

Fines can be up to $500, but you can avoid getting fined and make your driving experience more pleasant by staying informed about your province’s tinting laws.

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