Window tinting has several benefits, from enhanced appearance to increased privacy and cooler temperatures. However, in Colorado, as in most other states, car owners have to comply with legal limitations when having window tinting done. How well do you know the Colorado Springs laws on window tinting? Here are the essential facts you need to know.
Colorado Window Tinting Laws
The window tinting laws in Colorado mostly refer to VLT – visible light transmission. This is a measure of the percentage of visible light that passes through a window. An untinted window would generally have a VLT of 100%. With the addition of tinting film, the VLT decreases to the desired level. The VLT level chosen (legal limits notwithstanding) depends on the exact purpose of the window, as well as the amount of light it will typically be exposed to. In theory, VLT levels can range from anywhere between 100% and 0%. In practice, obviously, lowering the VLT is only viable within a certain range before visibility drops too low.
Colorado law states that a car’s side windows and rear window can have a VLT of no less than 27%. When it comes to the windshield, up to 70% non-reflective tinting is allowed on the top four inches of the glass. The rest of the surface of the windshield must be entirely transparent. Full tinting of the windshield is prohibited because it goes against the legal requirement for a completely unimpeded view of the road. If the back window is tinted, the car must have mirrors that allow good visibility of possible obstructions and hazards. Unlike in some other states, Colorado does not require vehicle windows to carry a sticker that marks the tint job as legal. The violation of these laws is a Class B infraction and a finable offense for the operator of the vehicle. If a vehicle with illegal tinting is involved in an accident, there are other implications as well. If a driver has a window tint with an illegal VLT and causes an accident from lack of appropriate visibility, that driver may be regarded as liable for the collision and the resulting damages.
Note that the liability is with the operator of the vehicle, not the shop that installed it. Some car owners are willing to accept the risk by having darker tint installed. Check with your shop for details.
Window tint reflection in Colorado
Some tints have a metallic or reflective appearance. This serves little practical purpose and is more a question of style. In Colorado, these tints are not an option, as the law does not permit their use on front, side or rear windows.
Other Colorado window tint rules and regulations
Some states allow certain medical exemptions to window tinting regulations. Colorado is not one of these. There are no exceptions regarding the VLT levels and reflection requirements in the state. Colorado also does not allow any colored tinting; red or amber tints that might be available elsewhere are not an option here. No certification or labels are required for window tinting in Colorado.
There are possible exceptions to the 27% rule, but only under very specific circumstances. The front windows can never have a lower VLT than 27%, and the windshield below the top four inches cannot be tinted at all. However, the rear and backside windows can be darker than 27% provided that the windshield and front windows allow 70% light transmittance.
On the other end of the spectrum
Even if you don’t want to darken your windows, you might still want the important health benefit of UV Protection. Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists recommend additional UV protection, particularly if your skin or eyes are very sensitive or at high risk of UV damage. XPEL makes a film for exactly this purpose. You can let 70% to 80% of the light through while blocking over 99% of the sun’s damaging UV rays and up to 98% of the heat.
XPEL film is backed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
If you are looking to enhance your vehicle’s appearance, protect its interior and enhance its privacy, contact Pro Auto Spa, the leading provider of Colorado Springs window tinting. We also provide ceramic coatings and other car detailing services. If you have any questions about Colorado Springs laws on window tinting, we will be happy to run through all the regulations before proceeding with your window tinting work. Contact us today.