New Mexico Tint Laws

Window tints serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. Keeping your car from heating up too much and preventing heat and glare from entering the cabin are some of the primary reasons to get them installed.

Despite this, many states restrict or limit the application of tint laws without banning them outright. This is because extremely dark tints can become a safety hazard for those both inside and outside the car.

Each state has its own measures in place to determine guidelines around the use of window tints. New Mexico, too, has several legal requirements. Find out what they are in this article.

Window tint application in New Mexico

In the state of New Mexico, window tint is entirely legal, which makes it easier for people to tint to their car windows. However, it is crucial to do so within the boundaries that the law draws.

These limitations are in place to ensure that the tint does not become too reflective or dark as this can hamper visibility.

Another reason why overly dark tints are outlawed is that they makes it difficult for law enforcement officials to identify vehicle occupants.

In general, however, when it comes to the level of darkness, the law is relatively liberal compared to several other states in the country.

Permitted Window Tint Darkness

Car window tint VLT levels compared

Visible light transmission, or VLT, is a unit of measurement used to measure tint darkness or transparency.

Low VLT% indicates higher tint darkness. For instance, a 5% VLT tint film will allow 5% of visible light to pass through it. Find below the required window tint VLT levels in New Mexico.


Windshield: Only the upper 5″ of the windshield can be covered with non-reflective tint.
Driver-side windows: 20% VLT is required.
Passenger-side windows: 20% VLT is required.
Rear window: 20% VLT is required.

SUVs and Vans

Blue Nissan Evalia camper van

Windshield: Only the upper 5″ can be covered with a non-reflective tint.
Driver-side windows: 20% VLT is required.
Passenger-side windows: No limit.
Rear window: No limit.

Acceptable Tint Reflection

Black BMW sedan with chrome-like reflective tint

As opposed to tint darkness, which refers to visible light making it past the tint film, reflection has more to do with the amount of light that’s reflected off.

Unlike the darkness level, New Mexico is a bit stringent with the level of reflection. No matter what type of vehicle you own, reflective tints are not permitted in New Mexico.

Other New Mexico Tint Rules You Need to Know

Other tint rules in New Mexico are as follows.

  • Color: You cannot use yellow, amber or red.
  • Label: Manufacturers should label and certify their films or tints.
  • Side mirror: Both side mirrors are essential if the other windows are tinted.
  • Medical exceptions: You can provide a physician’s certificate for exemptions.
  • Sticker requirements: You should use a sticker before you apply the tint.
  • Charges: You can be fined around $75 for violations.

State of New Mexico Info

Flag of New Mexico

New Mexico is situated in the southwestern part of the United States

It is full of mountainous topographies, as a result of which it has an alpine climate with generally cold and dry conditions, although it can get quite hot in the summers too.

There are 33 counties in this state. It is one of the largest states in the country but has one of the lowest population densities. The state has several parks, forests and cultural monuments.

Population: 2,115,877
Capital: Santa Fe
Registered vehicles: 1,783,151
Total lane miles: 150,216
Number of highways: 3

Wikipedia | State Website

Tint law references: 2021 New Mexico Statutes

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