Opinion of VA State Police on out-of-state cars with tinted windows

Mr. Charles L. Vaughan
Captain W. Steven Flaherty
Internet Response - Virginia Sunshading Laws
Virginia law allows sunshading or tint film to be affixed to certain 
windows of passenger vehicles, provided specific light transmittance 
levels are maintained.  The front side windows, those windows adjacent 
to the driver on the right and left, may be equipped with sunshading 
material that does not reduce the total light transmittance through 
the material and glass to less than 50%.  The rear side windows and 
rear window or windows of passenger-carrying vehicles may be equipped 
with sunshading or tint film that does not reduce the total light 
transmittance level below 35%.  No film is permitted on the windshield.  
These provisions apply to all vehicles operated on Virginia highways, 
regardless of the registered jurisdiction.

Any person who operates a motor vehicle on the highways of this 
Commonwealth with sunshading or tinting films that reduce the 
total light transmittance below the legal levels is guilty of a traffic 
infraction.  Traffic infractions are punishable by a fine of not more 
than $200.  In addition to any fine, the court may assess associated 
costs.  If the person is convicted within one year of a second or 
subsequent violation of this nature, the court, in addition to any other 
penalty, may order the person to remove such tint film or sunshading 
material from the vehicle.

A police officer observing these violations will normally issue a traffic 
summons to the driver of the vehicle with improper sunshading material.  
Most drivers then are allowed to sign a summons as their promise to prepay 
the fine and cost or appear in court on the date specified in the summons.  
The states of Alaska, California, Michigan and Montana are not members of 
the Nonresident Violator Compact of 1977.  Residents of those states, if 
found to have committed traffic infractions, would be required to post 
a bond or collateral rather than being allowed to sign a summons.

There are no points assessed for violations of the window tint law in 

EM - 1/9/98