Window Tint Laws in Missouri
Ryan Bradley | January 27, 2023 | Missouri Law
Most states — Missouri included — have laws in place that regulate the degree to which a vehicle’s windows can be tinted. Tinting your windows beyond what’s allowed by law puts you at risk of ticketing and fines. However, the tint on your car’s windows can land you in much deeper trouble than a fine alone.
Whether you’re a driver with tinted windows or you’ve been involved in an accident with one, all Missouri drivers should be aware of the surprising legal consequences that can come out of an accident involving a vehicle with its windows tinted darker than state laws allow.
Why Does Missouri Regulate Window Tint?
Tinted windows offer privacy and reduce glare from the sun. However, window tint can also create hazards. Missouri’s compromise is to allow window tint up to a certain degree.
The two biggest safety concerns associated with tinted windows are visibility and glare.
When an ambulance arrives at the scene of a car accident, or the police need to speak with a vehicle’s driver, the inability to see what’s happening inside the car can create safety issues for both the vehicle’s occupants and the first responders.
The other problem with a dark window tint has to do with how the sun’s rays reflect off a heavily tinted window. Tints within a legal grade are permitted specifically because they allow a certain amount of light to penetrate the glass. A darker tint means more light is reflected off and into the eyes of other drivers on the road.
A dark window tint can also seriously impact a driver’s ability to see clearly, especially at night.
How Dark Can Car Windows Be in Missouri?
Missouri law sets different window tint limitations depending on which type of window is tinted. Missouri doesn’t allow any tint at all to a car’s windshield, except for above the AS-1 line.
The top segment at the top of a windshield, often called the “shade band,” usually comes tinted from the manufacturer. This area typically encompasses the top five inches of the windshield, and manufacturers often tint it during production to help reduce glare that would directly impact a driver’s vision.
The full list of Missouri’s windshield tint regulations includes:
- No tint to the front windshield, except for non-reflective tint above the AS-1 line
- A tint of 35% or above allowed for the front driver and passenger windows
- No limitations on tint for the rear passenger windows
- No limitations on tint for the rear windshield
Windshield tint is measured by the percentage of how much light can permeate the tint. A tint restriction of 35% or greater simply means that 35% percent or more light can get through the glass.
Missouri does allow one exception to window tint laws. Drivers can apply for permits allowing a darker tint if they have a valid medical reason for doing so. Drivers who are granted such a permit are required to display a decal on their car’s rear window or bumper.
What Happens When a Missouri Accident Involves Tint?
Missouri police cars have tint meters that can assess a car’s window tint, and officers are allowed to pull over a driver if they suspect an illegal tint. Having windows tinted below 35% is a Class C misdemeanor in Missouri and can lead to both a ticket and a fine.
However, a too-dark tint can cost you more than just a ticket. Since window tint is directly related to visibility issues, an illegal tint can have serious financial repercussions if you end up in an accident.
If another driver claims that your tint was the reason for the crash, you can end up bearing responsibility for some or all of the accident.
By ensuring any tint on your car’s windows follows Missouri law, you can avoid additional complications in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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