Illinois Tint Laws

Window tint laws in Illinois were put forth in 2009, making them relatively recent compared to most other states.

The purpose of these laws is to examine and ascertain the legality of aftermarket window tint films for publicly and privately owned vehicles in the state.

Window tint helps to protect your car’s interior from fading and cracking due to excessive heat. It also does the job of keeping your car cool and providing ample protection from glare.

In this article, we’ve discussed the legality of window tint in Illinois along with some of the most important guidelines you need to know about.

Window tint installation in Illinois

Even though the state of Illinois permits the use of window tint, it imposes limitations on how dark or reflective the film can be.

These rules are enforced by the state in order to maintain safety for you, your passengers, and for other vehicles around you.

This also means that you should do your best to find reliable professionals who will install the right kind of tint on your car windows.

Note that legality can also differ based on whether you are installing tint film on your front windshield, front windows, rear passenger windows, or rear windshield.

Permitted Window Tint Darkness

Tint darnkess levels compared in Illinois

Window tint darkness is gauged with the help of something called VLT, which is short for visible light transmission.

This unit of measurement indicates the opacity of your window tint. It points to how much visible light can pass through the film and into your car.

VLT is typically denoted in percentage form. For example, if your tint film has a VLT of 30%, it means it can let 30% of the ambient light into your car. The higher the number, the more transparent the tint.

Below we’ll discuss the VLT requirements for sedans, SUVs, and vans in Illinois.


White Porsche Panamera with reflective window tint.

Windshield: For the upper 6″ of the windshield, you can use a non-reflective tint.
Driver-side windows: The tint should have 35% VLT.
Passenger-side windows: The tint should have 35% VLT.
Rear window: The tint should have 35% VLT.

SUVs and Vans

Windshield: You can use a non-reflective tint for the top 6″ of the windshield.
Driver-side windows: The tint should have 50% VLT.
Passenger-side windows: No limitations.
Rear window: No limitations.

Acceptable Tint Reflection

Tint reflection refers to the percentage of light that the window tint film can reflect.

It’s worth pointing out the difference between tint darkness and reflection. Darkness is measured in VLT and has to do with measuring the amount of light entering the car. Reflection measures the amount of light bouncing off the windows.

White SUV with black window tint in Illinois.

Generally, a higher percentage of reflection indicates that it will be difficult to look inside the car. It’s almost like a 2-way mirror effect.

If you dig the look of reflective tint, you’re going to want to know what the state allows, and what the law is. In Illinois, reflective tint is not permitted on either sedans, SUVs, or vans.

Other Illinois Tint Rules You Need to Know

Here are some of the other relevant rules that you need to know about:

Color: You can use any tint color in Illinois.
Certification: No certification is required by the manufacturer.
Sticker: You do not need a sticker to indicate that your tint is legal.
Side mirrors: If you tint the back windows, you should install both side mirrors.
Medical exemption: You need a written doctor’s certificate if you need a non-compliant tint.
Violations: $50-$500

State of Illinois Info

Flag of Illinois

Illinois is a part of the Midwest region in the United States. It is the 6th most populated state.

It has several industries and businesses along with mining operations, tourism, agriculture, and other areas adding to the economy.

The state is also quite centrally located regarding transportation and connection between different parts of the country.

Illinois also has over 100 counties and several major cities. The state is full of plains, forests, hills, and rivers.

Population: 12,671,469
Capital: Springfield
Registered vehicles: 4,617,096
Total lane miles: 306,658
Number of highways: 24

Wikipedia | State Website

Tint law references: Illinois Compiled Statutes Sec. 12-503
Medical exemption info: Illinois Tinted Window Medical Certification

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