North Carolina Window Tinting Laws

Window TintingSUV with Window Tinting There is an additional charge to check a vehicle with tinted windows. All windows with applications of after‐factory window tinting must be checked during the safety inspection. (See exceptions below)

Windows may not be any darker than 35% visible light transmission. This standard is considered to be met if the window tint is no lower than 32% visible light transmission when measured by the station with a photometer.

Windshield tinting is allowed, however the combination of the factory tint and the after-market tint cannot have a light transmittance of less than 32%. The tint on the windshield cannot extend more than five inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever is longer.

The window tinting restrictions apply without exception to the windshield of the vehicle. However, they do not apply to any other window of the following vehicle types:

  • A window of an excursion passenger vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (27) a.
  • A window of a for‐hire passenger vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (27) b.
  • A window of a common carrier of passengers, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (27) c.
  • A window of a motor home, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (27) d2.
  • A window of an ambulance, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (27) f.
  • The rear window of a property‐hauling vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20‐01 (31).
  • A window of a limousine.
  • A window of a law enforcement vehicle.
  • A window of a multipurpose vehicle that is behind the driver of the vehicle. A multipurpose vehicle is a passenger vehicle that is designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers and either is constructed on a truck chassis or has special features designed for occasional off‐road operation. A minivan and a pickup truck are multipurpose vehicles.
  • A window of a vehicle for which DMV has issued a medical exception permit.

Medical Exceptions

A person who suffers from a medical condition that causes the person to be photosensitive to visible light may obtain a medical exception permit. To obtain a permit, an applicant shall apply in writing to the Drivers Medical Evaluation Program and have his or her doctor complete the required medical evaluation form provided by DMV. The permit shall be valid for five years from the date of issue, unless the Drivers Medical Evaluation Program directs a shorter time. The renewal shall require a medical re‐certification that the person continues to suffer from a medical condition requiring window tinting.

A person may receive no more than two medical exception permits that are valid at any one time. A permit issued under this subsection shall specify the vehicle to which it applies, the windows that may be tinted, and the permitted levels of tinting. The permit shall be carried in the vehicle to which it applies when the vehicle is driven on a highway. DMV shall give a person who received a medical exception permit a sticker to place on the lower left‐hand corner of the rear window of the vehicle to which it applies. The sticker shall be designed to give prospective purchasers of the vehicle notice that the windows of the vehicle do not meet the requirements of G.S. 20‐127 (b), and shall be placed between the window and the tinting when the tinting is installed. DMV shall adopt rules regarding the specifications of the medical exception sticker. Failure to display the sticker is an infraction punishable by a two hundred dollar ($200) fine.


Back to Top