How to Pass Inspection with Tinted Windows

It’s always exciting to tint your car windows. The benefits like reducing glare, heat, and providing added privacy are hard to resist. However, if you’re planning to tint your vehicle windows, you should know that it may affect the outcome of your car inspection. So, how do you pass inspection with tinted windows? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll guide you through the necessary steps, explanations, and tips to help you pass an inspection with tinted windows.

Steps to Pass Inspection with Tinted Windows

Step 1: Check your state laws for tinted windows

The very first thing you need to do is to check the state laws concerning the acceptable tint levels. Every state has different regulations, restrictions, and guidelines for how much tinting is allowed. Subsequently, if your car’s tint level exceeds the legal limit, you may be penalized during inspection. You can find the legal standard for your state by checking with the local DMV or DOT websites.

Step 2: Use legal tint films

Once you know the state laws regarding tinting, ensure that you only use legal tint films that comply with the limit. Legal films block out a limited amount of UV rays, glare, and heat while allowing optimal visibility. If you use illegal films or surpass the maximum limit, you will fail the inspection, and you’ll have to get them removed before attempting inspection again.

Step 3: Choose a reputable tinting service

When choosing a tinting service, it is crucial to select an experienced and certified professional. A reputable tinting service will ensure that the films comply with the state laws and have low reflectivity. They also provide a warranty for their products.

Step 4: Get the proper documentation for tinting

After tinting your car windows, ensure that you get proper documentation that supports the legality of the process. Documentation includes a receipt, warranty card, and a certificate of compliance. The certificate of compliance should specify the level of tint used, the manufacturer, and the installer’s information.

Step 5: Clean the tinted windows

Before the inspection, clean the windows properly to remove any dirt, smears, or stains that may obstruct visibility. Use a microfiber cloth, soap, and water or a cleaning solution specifically designed for tinted windows.

Step 6: Make an appointment for inspection

Now that everything is ready, schedule your inspection appointment at the DMV or a certified inspection service center.

Step 7: Remove any illegal accessories

Take off any illegal accessories that may hinder your car’s inspection, such as non-compliant taillights or headlights.

Step 8: Check all exterior lights

Check all the exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and backup lights, to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Replace any bulbs that are flickering or not illuminating.

Step 9: Check your windshield wipers

Ensure that your wipers are in good condition and effectively wiping away water from the windshield.

Step 10: Check the car’s emissions

Check your car’s emissions to make sure that the exhaust is operating within acceptable limits.

Step 11: Get a state inspection sticker

After passing inspection, you will receive a state inspection sticker that proves that your car has gone through an examination.

Step 12: Maintain your tint and inspection sticker

Finally, ensure that you take good care of your tint and the inspection sticker, so you don’t have to go through the inspection process repeatedly.


Tinting your car windows is legal, as long as you comply with the state laws regulating tint levels and installation standards. These laws aim to protect drivers’ safety by ensuring optimal visibility for the driver and preventing excess reflectivity that can blind other drivers. Additionally, keeping your car in good condition and ensuring that all components, including headlights, taillights, wipers, and emissions, are functioning correctly, is another critical aspect to pass an inspection with tinted windows.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use a reputable tinting service

Always choose a certified and experienced professional to avoid using illegal tinting films and ensure the correct installation that passes the state inspection.

2. Clean the tinted windows regularly

Clean the windows with microfiber cloth and soap to remove any smears or marks on the tinted window that may impact visibility.

3. Replace damaged taillights or headlights

Replace any broken or outdated taillights or headlights before attempting the inspection.

4. Check windshield wipers

Ensure that the wipers are working in good condition and clearing the windshield correctly.

5. Regular car maintenance

Regular car maintenance like oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, and replacements ensure that your car is operating in excellent condition, and won’t obstruct inspection.

6. Be prepared for any potential rejections

If you do happen to fail the initial inspection, make the necessary repairs, keep all the required documentation, and attend the re-inspection.

7. Stay updated with State laws

Always stay informed about the state regulations concerning tinting and any changes in laws to avoid being fined or failing inspection.

8. Have all the necessary documentation

Keep a record of your car’s tinting installation, warranty card, certificate of compliance, and other essential documents to prove your car’s certification.

9. Be patient and calm under pressure

Remember, inspection can take time and may feel overwhelming. Stay calm and patient throughout the process, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarifications.

10. Follow the State inspection checklist closely

Familiarize yourself with the state inspection checklist provided by the DMV to make sure you pass the inspection.

In conclusion, passing an inspection with tinted windows is possible if you follow the state laws regarding tinting, choose legal tint films, use a reputable tinting service, and maintain your car’s components correctly. By applying the tips and tricks mentioned, you can easily pass the inspection and enjoy the benefits of tinted windows.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tinted Windows when Passing Inspection


1. Enhanced Privacy – Tinted windows provide a degree of privacy by reducing visibility into your vehicle, which can be beneficial for cases of car burglary or in instances when you simply want to keep prying eyes away from your belongings.

2. Protection from Ultraviolet Rays – Tinted windows can shield you from up to 99% of UV rays, which can be harmful to your skin and eyesight when exposed for long periods.

3. Reduction of Glare – Glaring sunlight can be a significant driving distraction that can lead to accidents, but tinted windows effectively reduce glare, providing a clear view even on a sunny day.

4. Interior Protection – Tinted windows can help preserve the interior of your car by reducing fading and cracking of the dashboard, upholstery, and other materials from the sun’s harsh UV rays.

5. Aesthetic Appeal – Tinted windows can add an elegant look to your car by enhancing its style and your personal preferences.

6. Energy Efficiency – Tinted windows can help reduce the interior temperature of your car, which can lower the demands on your air conditioning system, thereby increasing fuel efficiency.

7. Increased Resale Value – Cars with tinted windows tend to have higher resale value as they provide added privacy, protection, and aesthetic benefits.

8. Safety – Tinted windows provide an extra layer of protection in case of an accident, as they help prevent shattered glass from flying around in case the windows break.

9. Comfort – Tinted windows can make your driving experience more comfortable by blocking out heat and glare, allowing you to focus on the road without being distracted by extreme temperatures or discomfort.

10. Reduced Eye Strain – By reducing glare, tinted windows can help reduce eye strain while driving for long periods, especially in bright sunlight.


1. Risk of Over Tinting – Over tinting can cause visibility issues and attract unwanted attention, which in turn can lead to a failed inspection.

2. Distracting Reflection – Sometimes, the metallic coating on the tinting can reflect sunlight or headlights, which can be distracting while driving.

3. Reduced Night Vision – Tinted windows can reduce visibility during nighttime driving, especially in poorly lit areas, making it harder to see potential hazards on the road.

4. Higher Cost – Getting quality tints installed by a reputable provider can be expensive, and opting for cheaper alternatives can compromise the functionality of the tinting.

5. Legal Limitations – Different states have different laws and restrictions on how dark you can tint car windows, so it’s crucial to be mindful of the legal limitations in your area.

6. Reduced GPS Signal – Tinted windows can weaken GPS signals, making it harder to navigate while driving.

7. Limited Warranty – Tinted windows have a limited lifespan, and most installers offer only a limited warranty covering the installation function of the window tinting.

8. Difficulty in Installation – Tint installation requires specialist tools and expertise, and inexperienced installers can cause damage to the car’s electrical systems or create unsightly bubbles in the tinting.

9. Tint Maintenance – To keep your tinted windows looking new, they require regular maintenance to prevent discoloration or peeling, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

10. Failed Inspection – Most states require vehicle inspections, and if your tinted windows do not meet the legal requirements, you may fail the inspection, which can lead to fines and even suspension of your driving privileges.


1. Why do some states have laws against tinted windows?

The laws against tinted windows vary by state, but generally they are in place to ensure public safety. Tinted windows can reduce visibility of drivers and pedestrians, making it more difficult to see potential hazards on the road.

2. What is the legal limit for tinted windows?

The legal limit for tinted windows also varies by state, but most states allow a certain level of tinting on the rear windows and back windshield. The front windows are usually allowed to have a lighter tint than the back windows.

3. Can I get pulled over for tinted windows?

Yes, if your tinted windows are darker than the legal limit, you can get pulled over and ticketed by law enforcement. It’s important to research the laws in your state and make sure your tinting meets the requirements.

4. What do I do if I failed a window tint inspection?

If you failed a window tint inspection, you will need to remove the tint and have your vehicle re-inspected. Some states may also require you to pay a fine for violating the tinting laws.

5. Can I remove the tint myself?

Yes, you can remove the tint yourself using a heat gun and scraper. However, it’s important to be careful and follow safety precautions when doing so to avoid damaging your windows.

6. Can I get a waiver for tinted windows if I have a medical condition?

Some states may allow for a medical exemption for tinted windows if you have a doctor’s note stating that you require the tinting for a medical condition. It’s important to check with your state’s DMV for specific requirements.

7. Do tinted windows affect my insurance rates?

Generally, tinted windows do not affect your insurance rates. However, if you have illegal tinting and receive a ticket, it could result in a higher premium.

8. Can I tint my windows myself?

Yes, you can purchase DIY window tinting kits and tint your windows yourself. However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and ensure that the tinting meets your state’s legal requirements.

9. Does tinted windows help keep my car cooler?

Yes, tinted windows can help reduce the amount of heat that enters your car, keeping it cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning. However, excessive tinting can also trap heat inside your car, making it hotter.

10. Can I use any type of window tinting?

No, there are specific types of window tinting that are approved for use on vehicles. It’s important to choose a high-quality tint that meets the legal requirements in your state.

11. How often do I need to have my window tint inspected?

The frequency of window tint inspections varies by state, but most require inspections when a car is registered or when the tint is first applied. Some states may also require periodic inspections to ensure that the tinting meets the legal requirements.

12. Can I tint the windshield?

Most states do not allow tinting on the front windshield, as it can reduce visibility and increase the risk of accidents. However, some states may allow for a very light tint on the top portion of the windshield.

13. What if I bought a car with illegal tinting?

If you bought a car with illegal tinting, it’s your responsibility to have it removed and replaced with legal tinting. You may also be required to pay a fine or attend a court hearing if you are caught with illegal tinting.

How to Pass an Inspection with Tinted Windows

If you have tinted windows on your car, you might be wondering if they will pass inspection. While laws regarding tinted windows vary by state, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to increase your chances of passing inspection. Here are some tips to help you pass an inspection with tinted windows.


Overall, passing an inspection with tinted windows can be a challenge, but it is possible. By following the guidelines set by your state and ensuring your tint is not too dark, you can increase your chances of passing. It’s also important to make sure your windows are properly installed and do not have any cracks or other damage. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of tinted windows without risking a failed inspection.


Thank you for reading our article on how to pass an inspection with tinted windows. We hope you found this information helpful and informative. Remember, the key to passing inspection is to know the laws in your state and to make sure your tint is within the acceptable limits. By following these tips, you can ensure your car is safe, legal, and stylish. Until next time, drive safely!