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Old 07-15-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
smitpsk
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Default PA window tint laws

I just got hassled by a campus cop at Clarion University who wrote me a warning about the tint on my car..... Unfortunately, the warning is legit and I need to have it removed or I will get fined. I have had my cars to tinted for years and never have been bothered. I've googled the PA laws and they seem to contradict themselves. I love how my car looks with the tint and want to keep it. How do I fight this and not be hassled in the future?

Has anyone ever heard of an optometrist writing a note that tint is recommended due to sensitive eyes? Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
crabsandwich
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Passenger cars - no tint what so ever on any windows

Trucks/SUVs - rear and rear side view windows can be tinted. Front windows cannot.

PA basically adopted the same federal regulations when it comes to window tint. 75% is the max and if you look at the etching on the bottom of most sideview windows that is what the windows come from the factory at. Trucks and SUVS are different for some reason and can have the back windows tinted.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
JeremyPA
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optometrist will not write a note because you can just wear sunglasses for those sensitive eyes of yours
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
aldsar
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change your license plates and dont register it at your school. I graduated with ~$500 worth of campus security tickets, they make great toilet paper.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
LIChuck
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Hmmm.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:12 PM   #6
Jive Turkey
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honestly just leave it. like you said, how many times have you been hassled in how many years?

i like having tint too much to remove it. i understnad its illegal, so when i get a ticket i dont complain.

also having tint has saved my ass more times then i can count when a cop pulls me over for speeding or somehting else and simply writes a tint ticket.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
illldeca
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Just pay the ticket
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
danger1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illldeca View Post
Just pay the ticket
Dont give those cocks the satisfaction. Fight the ticket anyway u can.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
PaperPlane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabsandwich View Post
Passenger cars - no tint what so ever on any windows

Trucks/SUVs - rear and rear side view windows can be tinted. Front windows cannot.

PA basically adopted the same federal regulations when it comes to window tint. 75% is the max and if you look at the etching on the bottom of most sideview windows that is what the windows come from the factory at. Trucks and SUVS are different for some reason and can have the back windows tinted.
It's actually 70%
http://www.tintlaws.com/laws/PA/
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #10
Shik
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Busted

Coming home from my in-laws in New Cumberland(Harrisburg) and got pulled over in Lemoyne. Cop said my window tint was too dark. I was like "Whaaaaa???" I only have it on my rear windows, absolutely nothing on the front sides or windshield"

He measured it. 8% I told him it was 5% tint. He said, wagons, SUV's, minivans, trucks, no problem. Passenger cars, no good. $134.50 or something like that. Thank you, officer

I'm paying it but not removing it. I like the privacy it gives my kids in the back and the fact that the sun doesn't melt their faces on long trips. Please don't mention the pull down sun shades as an option.

The thing that pissed me off the most is that he explained that there is a prominent hi-end car dealership in the area that tints the rear windows on every car they put on their lot and that they cite people who bought cars from there all the time. Awesome.

I know it's the law, but the discrepancy between cars and basically everything else is ridiculous.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:44 AM   #11
Timhatch14
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I got pulled over last year for tint 6 or 7 times. It was 20% on a white chevy cruze. Never got a fine always a warning and they told me I should take it off. Now that I got my wrx I won't be tinting it. I'm afraid if I go out to dinner and have 2 beers and get pulled for tint it will land me a dui.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:25 PM   #12
S.E.P_WRX
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I was pulled over a week ago for speeding (30 MPH over.) When I pulled off onto the shoulder, I rolled down all my windows (20% tint), threw my keys onto the dashboard and had both hands on the wheel. The cop grabbed my info and walked back to his car. He briefly came back to ask about my tint. He told me the reason why you can't have ANY tint was for the safety of himself. Which I understood. He said since I made his approach easy, he wasn't going to give me a ticket for anything... Yes, I was shocked!! lol

I took this advice from a friend of mine who is a cop. So, I am here to pass along the message.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:09 PM   #13
Shik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.E.P_WRX View Post
I was pulled over a week ago for speeding (30 MPH over.) When I pulled off onto the shoulder, I rolled down all my windows (20% tint), threw my keys onto the dashboard and had both hands on the wheel. The cop grabbed my info and walked back to his car. He briefly came back to ask about my tint. He told me the reason why you can't have ANY tint was for the safety of himself. Which I understood. He said since I made his approach easy, he wasn't going to give me a ticket for anything... Yes, I was shocked!! lol

I took this advice from a friend of mine who is a cop. So, I am here to pass along the message.

Hope this helps!
Great info!

I could not have been nicer and more cooperative with the cop. And I totally get the law is there for the safety of him. But, gang bangers/physco's don't drive anything but 4-door passenger cars?!!? So an owner of an '08-'14 WRX sedan can't have tint, but an owner of a '08-'14 hatch can?!? The cop says "yes". WTF?

His explanation was "cargo privacy" . Sedans have trunks that are concealed. Everything else the cargo is not concealed. So tint is for his safety and the privacy of your cargo?

He also said that "not many are aware of window tint laws". Yeah? So how about a warning?

And one last cry-baby rant. State Inspection shops are not required to check for window-tint or the percentage of it if it is present. So it's not important enough for an inspection station to fail your car if you have it, but it's important enough to get pulled over on a busy highway and hit me with a $134.50 citation. Completely lame.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:20 PM   #14
modestmod
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The laws are confusing and contradictory. Here's a newspaper story about it from a while ago:

THE way the New York City public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, sees it, Officer Russel Timoshenko might be alive today if it weren’t for tinted car glass. In July, the officer was shot and killed, and his partner, Herman Yan, was wounded by assailants hidden from view by the dark tinted windows of an S.U.V.

“Police officers are putting their lives on the line every time they approach a car with blacked-out windows,” she said.

As a result, Ms. Gotbaum has called for stricter tint laws, hoping to make New York State’s already restrictive limits on window tinting even more imposing. But even though New York has one of the toughest tint laws in the nation, it and other states have found it difficult to get cars with dark windows off the streets because of exceptions to their own rules and conflicting federal standards.

Window tint laws can be confusing partly because there are federal standards and state standards, and each state has its own. (The International Window Film Association’s state law chart is at iwfa.com/industry.htm.

There are also different rules for trucks, including S.U.V.’s. Worse, because of differing state laws, a darker tint that is legal in, say, Connecticut, could get you a ticket while driving through New York.

Car manufacturers live by the rules of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All car windows from the manufacturer must allow 70 percent of visible light through. What people think of as untinted car windows are actually a 70 percent tint. The federal rules for trucks, which includes S.U.V.’s, are less stringent. They are required to have a clear windshield and front windows.

Back and rear windows can be tinted to any darkness if the vehicle has side mirrors. Almost all factory tints are pretty dark, allowing in only about 20 percent of the light.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines what qualifies as a truck based on its intended use. “There is a little bit of wiggle room as to what you can classify as a truck,” said Bob Dallos, an engineering group manager for General Motors. For instance, the Chrysler PT Cruiser is classified as a truck.

Once owners get their cars from the dealer, they are held to state tinting standards. New York, for example, keeps the federal standard of 70 percent for all but the rear window, meaning owners cannot tint the other windows at all. The rear window can be tinted to any darkness if the car has mirrors on both sides

But there is a Holland-Tunnel-size loophole. Cars classified as multi-passenger vehicles can have any tint on the back and rear windows, provided the vehicle also has side mirrors. By New York statute M.P.V.’s are described as any vehicle “designed to carry 10 persons or less and constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.”

That comprises a broad variety of vehicles including S.U.V.’s, minivans, limos and trucks.

In New Jersey, no tint may be applied to the front driver or passenger window of cars or S.U.V.’s. The rest of the windows can be tinted to any darkness if the car has two side mirrors. Cars in Connecticut may tint front and back windows as long as 35 percent of visible light comes through the tint. Back windows can be any darkness provided there are two side mirrors. For S.U.V.’s, only the front windows are held to the 35 percent standard; back and rear windows can be tinted to any darkness as long as there are two side mirrors.

Less stringent states, particularly those in the Sun Belt, allow darker tint. In Arkansas, front and back windows and the top of the windshield can let through as little as 25 percent of visible light.

Automakers put their tint right into the glass, but aftermarket tints are films applied on the windows with adhesive. There are two broad categories of window films with different characteristics: those that reflect light and those that absorb light. Reflective films are metallic; absorptive films have dyes, pigments or ceramics in them.

States also vary on how reflective a film may be and the allowable color of the tint. Some have a medical exception that lets drivers use extra-dark tint if a doctor says they are sensitive to light.

While cars with tints that are legal in their home state can be ticketed in a more restrictive state, state troopers said they are unlikely to stop a car for illegal tint alone. For example, a law in Georgia that would have enforced tint laws only on cars registered in the state was thrown out in court as discriminatory against residents. The tint law now applies to cars passing through Georgia, but the police say they largely don’t enforce it. Nor is New Jersey’s law widely enforced.

“It’s a violation of our motor vehicle law, but are we going to cite you each and every time you come through the state? No,” said Dennis Hallion, a New Jersey state trooper and chairman of the National Troopers Coalition.

Still, the law gives some lawyers civil rights concerns. “It’s one of those traffic regulations that lets police search anyone, anywhere, whenever they want to,” said Albert Alschuler, a professor of law at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

The bill to tighten New York’s law is being drafted by State Senator Eric Adam of Brooklyn, a former policeman. The proposal includes amending the law to prohibit unlimited tinting of the rear windows and including tint as an item on annual car inspections. It would increase penalties on drivers, including a $250 surcharge, money that would go into a fund for officer safety and training and for enforcement, and penalize shops that install illegal window films. It would also require shops to record the license plates of cars it tints, the license of the driver buying the tint and the darkness of the tint installed.

Shops said the proposal would be a hardship. “It would pretty much crush the automotive tinting business in New York State,” said Jim Murphy, owner of Putnam Window Tint in Mahopac, N.Y. Mr. Murphy, who said his shop tints about 1,200 vehicles a year, said he would support a limit of tint that allows 50 to 35 percent of visible light through.

Car owners say they like the tint because of the way it looks, the privacy it provides and the way it protects skin and upholstery from the sun while keeping the car’s interior cooler.

John Cervoni, 44, of Bayside, Queens, was stopped twice for illegal tint in the last six months. Mr. Cervoni said he paid the tickets and kept the film.

“It’s like $35,” he said, “and it’s a small price to pay to keep a $200 tint job.”

There are photos with the story as well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/au...0Maybe%2520Not.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:54 PM   #15
Shik
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modestmod, great article.

Quote:
“It’s a violation of our motor vehicle law, but are we going to cite you each and every time you come through the state? No,” said Dennis Hallion, a New Jersey state trooper and chairman of the National Troopers Coalition.
A logical approach.

I guess I just ran into the wrong cop at the wrong time. Wish my fine was only $35!!!
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