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Blog - 3M Crystalline

Is Window Tint Legal in California?

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Being an associate in a tint shop, I often get asked whether or not window tint is legal.

The answer to that question is that it varies depending on which state you live in. For the sake of this post, we'll focus specifically on California tint laws, since G5 Tint Shop is located in California.

So you're driving down the Pacific Coast Highway with the beautiful sunset in the background and your fancy car tinted. This becomes your daily routine when one day you see those scary flashing blue and red lights behind you and you're pulled over. He asks to see your driver's license and insurance, asks where you're going. He tells you that he pulled you over for tinted windows but everything looks fine and you're good to go!

That was my experience being pulled over. However, not all policemen are created equal and not everyone is as lucky as I am to not have gotten and fines or fix-it tickets over the last four years. So lets talk about legal tinting policy in California.

Front Windshield

Generally your front windshield needs to be visible and clear. California allows at most 4 inches of tint from the top to protect you from some sunlight. This type of front windshield tint style is known as visor tint.

Front Side Windows

Your front side windows must transmit at least 70% of light. This is generally the lightest film that is offered. There will be no effects on the constant 99.9% UV Ray Rejection, but there will be higher light transmission into your vehicle and slightly less heat rejection than some dark shades.

Back Side Windows/Rear Window

Any darkness is allowed for rear windows. To address another common concern: "Will my car look weird with two different shades?". The answer is no, the different shades of tint usually blend together very well to make your vehicle look and feel cool. In fact, many cars that you drive past everyday have differently shaded front and rear windows. Think about how many of those vehicles you actually noticed.

Recommended Film

The film that I recommend that has the highest heat rejection within the legal range is the 3M Crystalline Series CR70. This film rejects 50% of solar energy, 97% infrared, and 99.9% of UV Rays while staying within the legal limit of tint with 70% light visibility (69% to be exact, but who's counting?). The 3M CR70 gives you the greatest comfort without the worries of being pulled over.



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