Tint Regulations

Navigating Car Window Tinting Laws in Australia

Car Window Tinting Laws in Australia: What You Need to Know

If you’re considering tinting your car windows in Australia, it’s essential to know the legal requirements and restrictions. Tinting can provide numerous benefits, including protection from excessive heat, glare, and harmful UV rays.

However, darkened windows can also pose safety risks and potentially violate state and territory laws. Here’s what you need to know about car window tinting laws in Australia.

Different Rules and Regulations in Each State and Territory

Australia’s car window tinting laws vary by state and territory, with different requirements and restrictions. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws relevant to your location before you decide to tint your car windows.

In general, each jurisdiction regulates the visible light transmission (VLT) of tinted windows, which refers to how much light can pass through the glass. Table 1 shows the maximum legal VLT percentages for each jurisdiction.

Table 1: Maximum Legal VLT Percentages By Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction Windshield Front Side Windows Back Side Windows and Rear Window

New South Wales No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

Victoria No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

Queensland No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

South Australia No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

Western Australia No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

Tasmania No tint allowed 35% VLT 20% VLT

Northern Territory 15% VLT* 35% VLT 20% VLT

Australian Capital Territory 35% VLT 35% VLT 20% VLT

*Only if approved by an exemption permit. As seen in Table 1, most jurisdictions prohibit the use of tinted windshields, while some territories allow for exemptions, such as for medical or medical conditions.

The specifics of these exemptions may vary by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to confirm your eligibility before applying for them.

Front Side Window Tint Restrictions

In most jurisdictions, front side windows must have a minimum VLT of 35%. This regulation aims to maintain adequate visibility for the driver and passenger’s safety.

This limit also helps law enforcement officers to see the driver and passengers for identification purposes. Exceeding the maximum permissible limit can potentially result in hefty fines and demerit points.

Back Side Window and Rear Window Tint Restrictions

The maximum VLT allowed for back side windows and the rear window typically ranges between 20% to 35%, depending on the jurisdiction. The regulations allow for some tinting to reduce solar heat gain, protect upholstery, and increase privacy.

However, darker tints can limit the driver’s vision and present safety risks, especially at night or in poor lighting conditions.

Tint Reflection and Distortion Restrictions

In addition to regulating VLT, Australian window tinting laws also limit the level of tint reflection and distortion. Excessive reflection and distortion can distract other drivers and potentially cause accidents.

The degree of permissible reflection and distortion also varies by jurisdiction and may be dependent on specific vehicle types.

Factory-Made Windshield Tint Restrictions

Some car manufacturers equip their vehicles with factory-made tints that may not meet the legal requirements or exceed the permissible VLT limits in some jurisdictions. It’s crucial to ensure your car’s tint meets the legal requirements when purchasing from a dealer or private seller.

Otherwise, you may need to have the tint removed or replaced to comply with the laws.

Minimum VLT Requirement for All Windows

All Australian jurisdictions require a minimum VLT limit of 35% for front side windows and, in some cases, all car windows. Tinted car windows that do not meet the minimum VLT requirement can lead to fines and demerit points.

It’s essential to ensure that you comply with the minimum VLT limit and other laws before tinting your car windows.

Specific Vehicle Tinting Laws

Australia also has specific tinting laws for certain vehicle types, including commercial and passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks. These laws aim to address the unique requirements, such as the nature of the cargo or passengers, the size and shape of the windows, and the vehicle’s use.

It’s essential to confirm the specific tinting requirements for your vehicle’s type to avoid potential legal complications.

Source for Australia Window Tint Laws and Updates

The specific requirements and regulations can change over time due to new laws or policy decisions. It’s crucial always to check for updates and other relevant information from reputable sources.

The Australian Government’s National Transport Commission and the respective state and territory motoring authorities provide reliable resources and information on car window tinting laws and regulations. AU Vehicle Design Codes, Jurisdictions, and Penalties

Non-compliance with the Australian car window tinting laws can result in significant penalties, depending on the nature and severity of the violation.

The penalties can include fines, demerit points, or even imprisonment. It’s essential to comply with the VLT limits and other requirements to avoid legal trouble.

Factory Tinted Windows Clarification

Finally, it’s worth noting that factory-tinted windows follow different regulations and requirements. The original manufacture may determine the level of tinting for the windshields and windows.

It’s crucial to check with the vehicle manufacturer or consult your local motoring authority to ensure that the tint complies with the appropriate jurisdiction’s rules.


Car window tinting laws in Australia can be complicated and vary by jurisdiction. It’s critical to familiarize yourself with the respective regulations and requirements to avoid the potential legal consequences.

Remember to check for updates and information on reputable sources to ensure that you comply with all applicable laws. By following the laws and requirements, you can enjoy the benefits that window tinting can provide while keeping yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe on the road.

With the ever-increasing intensity of the sun’s rays during summer, having tinted windows in your car can go a long way in providing protection from the heat and UV rays. Auto window tinting involves applying a window film to the inside of the car’s windows to reduce the amount of visible light transmitted and reflected by the glass.

While people often associate window tint with enhancing the vehicle’s aesthetics, there are numerous other benefits to consider, such as energy efficiency, security, and privacy.

Explanation of VLT and Its Levels

Visible light transmission (VLT) refers to the amount of light that passes through a material such as glass. In window tinting, VLT is expressed as a percentage, which measures the amount of visible light that can pass through the tinted glass.

The higher the percentage of VLT, the more light allowed to pass through the glass, which provides better visibility and clarity. Conversely, the lower the VLT, the darker the windows, and the less light can pass through the tinted glass.

The maximum VLT for front side windows, back side windows, and rear windows varies by jurisdiction and generally ranges between 20%-35%. All Australian jurisdictions require that the driver’s and front passenger’s windows allow no less than 35% of natural light to pass through during daylight hours.

This regulation applies to all vehicles, except for those used for medical reasons, such as those requiring a sun shield for medical purposes. For the back side windows and rear window, theres generally more leeway regarding the amount of VLT allowed.

Benefits of Tinting Car Windows, Aside from Aesthetics

Aside from enhancing the car’s appearance, there are other benefits to tinting your car windows. Below are some of the most significant benefits.

1. Reducing Heat and UV Ray Exposure

Window tinting can significantly reduce the amount of heat and ultraviolet rays transmitted by the sun’s rays.

This is particularly important during the summer, where the sun’s intensity is at its highest. Window tinting can help lower the interior temperature of the car, making it more comfortable for passengers and reducing the need for air conditioning.

Ultraviolet rays can also damage the cars interior, such as the dashboard, upholstery, and electronic components. When exposed to sunlight, these materials can fade, crack, or warp over time.

Window tinting can significantly reduce the sun’s harmful UV rays, thus improving the longevity and overall health of the cars interior. 2.

Energy Efficiency

With the rising cost of fuel, energy efficiency is more important than ever. Window tinting can help reduce the amount of energy consumed by the air conditioning system by keeping the interior of the car cool.

By reflecting the sun’s rays and reducing the amount of heat transmitted through the glass, your car’s A/C system doesn’t need to work as hard, thus improving fuel efficiency. 3.

Improved Privacy and Security

Window tinting can offer significant privacy and security benefits. Tinting the windows can make it more challenging for passers-by to view the car’s interior, reducing the chance of a break-in or theft.

It can also make it more challenging to identify valuable items inside the car, reducing the likelihood of theft. 4.

Skin Protection

UV rays can penetrate through windows and harm your skin, causing aging signs and potentially contributing to skin cancer. Window tinting can reduce the amount of UV radiation entering your car, thereby reducing the risk of harmful effects on your skin.



Window tinting can provide several benefits to car owners, including heat and UV protection, energy efficiency, privacy and security, and skin protection. However, while tinted windows can be very beneficial, it’s essential to comply with all relevant regulations to avoid legal complications.

Knowing the VLT limits and other restrictions in each Australian jurisdiction can help you stay on the right side of the law and enjoy all the benefits of window tinting. In summary, the article provides valuable insights on the regulations and benefits of car window tinting in Australia.

It delves into different states and territories’ specifications, including levels of visible light transmission (VLT), the particularities of front and back windows, tint reflection and distortion, and minimum VLT requirements. Besides, the article also emphasizes the many advantages of window tinting that go beyond aesthetics: improving energy efficiency, privacy, security, and reducing heat, UV exposure, and skin damage.

Knowing how to comply with the legal requirements and choosing the proper tinting can help car owners stay within the law while reaping all its benefits. Window tinting is an excellent investment that improves safety, comfort, and sustainability in Australia’s hot climates and dense cities.

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