Rhode island window tint law 2023

Rhode Island Window Tint Law Explained: Stay Legal and Cool

Have you ever considered tinting your vehicle’s windows to reduce glare, protect your privacy, or enhance its appearance? If you live in Rhode Island, you’ll want to understand the state’s window tint law before changing your car or truck.

Rhode Island window tint law limits the darkness allowed on different vehicle windows. If you violate these rules, you could face a fine or even have to remove the tint altogether. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need about Rhode Island window tint law, from the permitted tint levels to frequently asked questions.

Permitted Levels of Tint

The amount of light that can pass through tinted windows is measured in percentages, known as visible light transmission (VLT). In Rhode Island, the legal limits for VLT are as follows:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed along the top six inches of the windshield or down to the AS-1 line, whichever comes first. The VLT for this area must be at least 70%.
  • Front Side Windows: Tint on these windows must allow at least 70% of outside light to pass through.
  • Back Side Windows: Tint on these windows can be any darkness, as long as the vehicle has side mirrors that provide a view behind the driver.
  • Rear Window: The tint on this window can also be any darkness, as long as the vehicle has side mirrors that provide a view behind the driver and the VLT is at least 70%.

Prohibited Types of Tint

In addition to the VLT requirements, Rhode Island window tint law also prohibits certain types of tint. The following are not allowed:

  1. Red tint on any window
  2. Blue tint on the front windshield or front side windows
  3. Any shade that is more than 20% reflective
  4. Any shade that is considered “one-way” or “mirrored.”

Permitted Vehicles

Rhode Island window tint law applies to all motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. However, there are some exceptions to the rules. The following types of vehicles are permitted to have darker tint than what is otherwise allowed:

  • Limousines: Rear side and rear windows may have tints as dark as 5% VLT.
  • Medical Exceptions: If a driver or passenger has a medical condition that requires reduced exposure to sunlight, they may be permitted to have darker tints on their vehicle.

Benefits of Window Tinting in Rhode Island

Window tinting offers many benefits for drivers in Rhode Island, including:

  1. Reducing heat and glare: Tinted windows can block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, reducing heat and glare inside your vehicle and making driving more comfortable.
  1. Increasing privacy: Tinted windows can provide increased privacy and security, as they make it harder for people to see into your car.
  1. Protecting against UV rays: Tinted windows can also protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
  1. Improving the look of your vehicle: Tinted windows can add a sleek, modern look to your car, making it stand out from the crowd.

How to Choose the Right Type of Tint for Your Vehicle

When choosing window tint for your vehicle in Rhode Island, it’s essential to consider factors such as:

  • The budget: Some types of window tint are more expensive than others, so it’s essential to consider your budget when selecting.
  • The level of tinting you need: Rhode Island law requires certain levels of VLT for different windows, so you’ll need to choose a tint that meets these requirements.
  • The type of tinting: There are several different types of window tint available, including dyed, metalized, and ceramic. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the style that best fits your needs is essential.
  • Professional installation: While some types of window tint can be installed yourself, it’s often best to have a professional do the job to ensure the best results and avoid legal issues.

DIY Window Tinting vs. Professional Installation

When deciding whether to install your window tint yourself or hire a professional, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  1. Your experience level: Installing window tint can be challenging and time-consuming, so it’s essential, to be honest about your abilities before attempting the job yourself.
  1. The quality of the tint: Professional-grade window tint is often higher than DIY options, so it may be worth the extra cost to ensure the best results.
  1. Warranty protection: Many professional window tint installers offer warranties on their work, which can provide peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.
  1. Legal compliance: Professional installers are familiar with Rhode Island window tint law and can ensure that your tint meets all legal requirements.

What to Do If You Receive a Ticket for Tint Violations

If you’re pulled over and cited for violating Rhode Island window tint law, it’s essential to take the following steps:

  • Stay calm and respectful: Arguing with the officer or becoming aggressive is unlikely to help your case and may worsen things.
  • Ask for clarification: If you’re unsure why you’re being cited, ask the officer to explain the specific violation.
  • Contest the ticket in court: You can contest it if you were unfairly cited or issued. Consider hiring a legal professional to assist with your case.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Window Tinting

There are several myths and misconceptions about window tinting that are important to address, including:

  • It’s illegal: Window tinting is legal in Rhode Island if it meets specific requirements.
  • It reduces visibility too much: Tinted windows can reduce visibility slightly, but most types of tinting are designed to maintain good visibility while reducing heat and glare.
  • It damages your car’s windows: Properly installed window tinting should not damage them and can help protect them from scratches and other damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering tinting your vehicle’s windows, you may have questions about Rhode Island window tint law. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

Q: Can I tint my windows darker than permitted under Rhode Island law?

A: No, doing so could result in a fine and having to remove the tint.

Q: Can I get a ticket for having a tint that’s too dark?

A: Yes, law enforcement officers can issue a citation for violating Rhode Island window tint law.

Q: Is there any way to appeal a ticket for violating window tint law?

A: You can contest a ticket in court, but you’ll need to provide evidence that the tint was within legal limits at the time of the citation.

Q: Can I install window tint myself?

A: While it is possible to install window tint yourself, it is often best to have a professional do the job to ensure the best results and avoid any legal issues.

Q: Is window tinting expensive?

A: The cost of window tinting can vary depending on factors such as the type of tint used and the size of your vehicle’s windows, but it is generally affordable and can provide many benefits.


If you decide to tint your windows, be sure to have the work done by a reputable professional who understands Rhode Island window tint law. And if you’re ever pulled over or cited for violating these rules, it’s essential to understand your rights and options for contesting the ticket in court.

In conclusion, understanding Rhode Island window tint law is essential to tinting your vehicle’s windows. By following the permitted tint levels and avoiding prohibited types of tint, you can enjoy the benefits of window tinting while staying within legal limits. And if you have any questions or concerns about Rhode Island window tint law, don’t hesitate to contact a local legal professional for guidance.

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