Ask A Trooper: How much can windows be tinted?

Published 5:04 pm Friday, October 7, 2022

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question: I’m seeing more and more vehicles in Minnesota with dark tinted windows. I thought there was a law prohibiting dark tinted windows on both the driver and passenger windows but back windows can be dark. Unless the laws changed and I didn’t know. Thank you

Answer:   In Minnesota, you can have your windows tinted to a light transmittance of 50%, but not less.  Light transmittance is the amount of light that is required to pass through both the window and the tint film.

Before any tint material is applied to your windows, a vehicle comes from the factory with tint already inside the glass material. No window comes from the factory at 100%  light transmittance.  My experience has been that most vehicles are already at 75% before any modifications.

• No vehicle can have ANY tint to the front windshield.

• Passenger cars are limited to 50% on all side and rear windows.

• Pickups, vans, and SUVs are limited to 50% on the front side windows.

• Pickups, vans, and SUVs are not limited on the rear side and rear windows. (Can be less than 50% behind the front seat).

• Squad cars, limousines, and vehicles used to transport human remains by a funeral establishment are not limited on the side and rear windows.

More people are getting prescriptions from doctors to have window tint darker than 50%.  If people have any type of medical conditions which are affected by the sun, they are allowed to have window tint darker than 50%.

The proper document will need to be in the vehicle to show law enforcement upon request. The document will need to specifically state the minimum percentage that light transmittance may be reduced to satisfy the prescription or medical needs of the patient; and the prescription or statement contains an expiration date, which must be no more than two years after the date the prescription or statement was issued.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)