Many car owners in Colorado have tinted windows. Some prefer to have more shade inside of their vehicles while others tint their vehicles’ windows for aesthetic purposes. Whatever your reasons may be for tinting your vehicle’s windows, it’s important to know Colorado’s window tint laws for 2023. The state enforces relatively strict regulations when it comes to vehicle window tinting. If you violate these laws, even unintentionally, you risk fines and compulsory vehicle window modifications to bring your vehicle in line with the law.
Driving can be stressful in Colorado, and tinted windows in your vehicle can offer some privacy in traffic and increase your comfort while driving. In some cases, window tinting can enable safer driving. However, it’s essential to follow Colorado’s tinting laws at all times to avoid fines and other penalties.
Window tinting is a process of darkening the windowpanes on a vehicle to prevent light from entering the vehicle. While tinting can improve a driver’s visibility, reduce glare, and make driving more comfortable, tinting can also pose problems when it is too dark. The percentage of light that can enter a vehicle’s window is called Visible Light Transmission (VLT). Every type of window has a VLT percentage, and Colorado state law dictates what VLT percentage is acceptable for windows in different types of vehicles.
Some vehicles will come with window tinting, but in many cases, drivers have their vehicles modified with tinted windows. There are different laws for coupes and sedans compared to vans and SUVs, although currently, these standards are very similar. Additionally, there are laws against metallic or reflective finishes on vehicle windows. While the “mirrored” appearance may be aesthetically pleasing to some car owners, it is illegal to have mirrored or reflective windows due to the visibility risks these windows can pose to other drivers. For example, reflective windows can be dangerous in busy intersections and other high-traffic areas if they reflect sunlight directly into other drivers’ eyes.
Currently, sedans, coupes, vans, and SUVs have very similar window tinting restrictions:
Along with these basic VLT regulations, there are various other window tinting laws all Colorado drivers should understand:
It’s vital for all Colorado drivers to abide by these laws carefully. If you plan to have your vehicle’s windows modified with tinting, the service provider will likely verify that your preferred tinting aligns with state law. Most service providers will refuse to install window tinting that does not follow Colorado’s window tinting regulations.
If the police stop your vehicle for suspected violation of Colorado’s window tinting laws, you will likely receive a ticket and an official notice from the police that compels you to have your windows changed within a specified timeframe.
Simply put, any violation of Colorado’s window tinting laws can lead to significant penalties. While you may enjoy the look of darkly tinted windows, you must ensure your vehicle meets all applicable window tinting regulations. If the police notice your vehicle appears to be in violation of these laws, you are likely to face a fine and will need to pay to have your window tinting altered to comply with state law.
If the police stop your vehicle and discover that your windows violate Colorado’s window tinting law, you could face a ticket for as much as $500. Fines can increase depending on several factors, such as the presence of any other illegal modifications to your vehicle and your behavior that prompted the traffic stop. Ultimately, it’s best to ensure your vehicle complies with Colorado’s window tinting law if you plan to have your vehicle’s windows tinted or if you purchase a vehicle with already-tinted windows.
5 tint or 5% tint, commonly referred to as “limo tint,” only allows 5% of outside light through the window. This is the darkest type of window tint available, and it is only legal in certain vehicles under specific conditions. It is legal to have 5% tint on a vehicle’s rear window and rear side windows as long as the front side windows and front windshield have at least 70% VLT.
The short answer is yes; it is possible for a police officer to conduct a traffic stop if a vehicle is clearly in violation of Colorado’s window tinting law. However, many people are cited for tint violations after being pulled over for other reasons, such as moving violations. Ultimately, the best way for you to avoid being pulled over is to ensure your vehicle complies with Colorado vehicle window tinting laws and to drive responsibly at all times.
Customizing your vehicle can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it is essential to follow state law to keep yourself safe and to avoid fines and other penalties. If you experience a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or their poor visibility from illegal tinting, contact an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for legal recourse.