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Illinois Window Tint Laws are important for drivers to be aware of in order to ensure their vehicles comply with state regulations. These laws dictate the amount of light that can pass through a vehicle’s windows, known as Visible Light Transmission (VLT), as well as other specifications for window tinting. Abiding by these rules not only keeps drivers on the right side of the law, but it also ensures their safety, as proper window tinting can reduce glare, protect against harmful UV rays, and provide increased privacy.

The state of Illinois allows for different VLT percentages on various windows, depending on the type of vehicle in question. For example, sedans must have a VLT of 35% or higher on their front side windows, while SUVs and vans have no restrictions on their rear side windows, meaning they can choose any level of darkness for these specific windows. Apart from the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) requirements, the Illinois Window Tint Law also states that if a vehicle has any tint on the rear window, it must have dual side mirrors. Additionally, there are no specific colors of tint that are regulated or prohibited by the law. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, drivers in Illinois can maintain both legal compliance and improved driving safety.

Illinois Window Tint Laws Overview

General Regulations

In Illinois, there are specific regulations that govern the application of tinted film on vehicle windows. If the rear window has any tint, it is mandatory to have dual side mirrors. The law does not impose any restrictions on particular colors of tint.

There is a 5% tolerance for tint variance, which means that if a front-side window is required to have a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 35%, having an actual VLT of 30% is considered acceptable. However, the law prohibits the placement of any signs, posters, window applications, reflective materials, or non-reflective materials on the front windshield. Nevertheless, a non-reflective tinted film can be applied to the uppermost part of the windshield, as long as it does not extend more than 6 inches down from the top.

Allowed Tint Levels

Different vehicle types and window locations have varying legal tint limits in Illinois:


  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used
  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint allowed for the topmost 6 inches

Multi-purpose Cars (SUVs and vans):

  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used
  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint allowed for the topmost 6 inches

To ensure compliance with Illinois tint laws, drivers are encouraged to consult professional window tint installers and regularly check for updates on window tint regulations.




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Illinois Window Tint Law: Legal Exceptions and Medical Exemptions

Process for Obtaining Medical Exemption

In Illinois, if you have certain medical conditions, you may be eligible for an exemption from window tint laws. To get a medical exemption, you need a licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse from any U.S. jurisdiction to fill out and sign a medical exemption form on your behalf. The form should state your medical condition and confirm that the exemption is necessary because of it. After submitting and getting approval for the form, you will receive a sticker that indicates your exemption, which you can display on your vehicle.

Permitted Medical Conditions

The state of Illinois recognizes specific medical conditions that may qualify for a window tint exemption. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, examples of these conditions include systemic or discoid lupus erythematosus, disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis, and albinism. These conditions may cause an individual to be photosensitive or have a heightened sensitivity to sunlight, thus warranting the need for darker window tints to protect their health.

It is important for drivers with medical exemptions to follow the proper procedures and adhere to any restrictions outlined by the Illinois window tint law.

Penalties for Violations

Fines and Citations

Violating Illinois window tint laws can result in fines and penalties. For a first-time infraction, a driver might face a fine ranging from $50 to $500. If you commit multiple offenses, the fines become more severe, ranging from $100 to $500. It’s crucial for drivers to stay informed and make sure their window tints comply with the law to avoid these fines and citations.

Vehicle Impoundment

Although Illinois window tint laws do not explicitly mention vehicle impoundment as a penalty, excessive violations of the law might lead to more severe consequences. Drivers should ensure they are in compliance with the VLT (Visible Light Transmission) requirements and other regulations to avoid potential vehicle impoundment or further legal issues.

To steer clear of penalties, drivers must ensure their front side windows have at least a 50% VLT, while back side windows and rear windows can have any VLT. Complying with these requirements and other regulations will protect drivers from fines, citations, and possible vehicle impoundment.

How to Ensure Compliance

Compliance with Illinois Window Tint Laws is essential for drivers to avoid penalties and ensure safety on the road. This section discusses steps to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Choosing a Reputable Installer

When getting window tinting, it’s crucial to choose a reputable installer. A professional with experience adhering to the state’s specific regulations will ensure your vehicle meets the required Visible Light Transmission (VLT) levels. For instance, Illinois law mandates that front-side windows should have a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of at least 50%. However, there are no restrictions on the VLT for back-side windows and rear windows.

To find a reputable installer, consider seeking referrals from friends or reading online reviews. When discussing your tinting needs, be sure to ask about their familiarity with Illinois regulations and if they provide a warranty or guarantee for their work.

Staying Updated on Law Changes

Laws may change over time, and it’s essential to stay updated on any changes to Illinois window tint regulations. To remain informed, drivers can:

      • Join online forums or follow social media accounts focusing on Illinois traffic laws, which often post about changes to the regulations.
      • Regularly check the Illinois General Assembly website, where changes to the law are posted.
      • Speak with local law enforcement or visit their websites for updates on traffic laws.

By staying informed about the current window tint laws and choosing a reputable installer, drivers can ensure their vehicle remains in compliance with Illinois regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties. It’s also vital to remember that safety should always be the top priority when it comes to tinting vehicle windows.


Frequently Asked Questions

Legal tint percentage in IL?

In Illinois, the legal visible light transmission (VLT) for window tinting is 35% for the front side windows of sedans and 35% or higher for SUVs, vans, and trucks. This means that the tint must allow at least 35% light to pass through the window. The rear window and back side windows do not have any restrictions for SUVs, vans, and trucks. For more information, take a look at the Illinois General Assembly guidelines.

Is 15 percent tint legal in Chicago?

No, a 15% VLT tint is not within the legal requirements in Illinois. As stated above, front side windows must allow at least 35% of light to pass, making a 15% VLT tint illegal.