Good Question: Are dark-tinted windows legal?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — No doubt you’ve seen cars with dark-tinted windows driving around.

One viewer described them as “concerning and dangerous” but are they breaking the law? Mika asks: “What’s with the increase of vehicles with (non-factory) tinted-blacked out windows?”

Factory tint is typically pretty subtle, letting in about 70% to 80% of outside light. It’s the after-market tint that Mika is concerned about.

Rochester Police say that, for the most part, window tints are not legal in New York State. The only legal tint is what comes straight from the factory. RPD says tint level is measured with a tint meter that slides over the window to check transparency.

RPD’s traffic enforcement unit and several other officers have those tint meters with them on patrol. If you’re caught driving around with tinted windows, the consequence is a traffic citation.

The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles says the windshield and front side windows of a car cannot block more than 30% of light. You can see the DMV’s rules for tinted windows here.

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