How to Test Vehicle Window Tint Percentage

by Jeremiah Blanchard

Window tint on vehicles isn't just a decorative customization. Tint reduces interior temperature during hot months, and acts as security to keep people from spotting valuables through your window. Window tint can also give the driver privacy from nosey passersby. During an accident, the tint film itself can hold together the glass in the windshield and keep it from shattering. While tint has many advantages, extremely dark tint can get you a traffic ticket in certain communities. Knowing how to test your vehicle window tint percentage is the key to avoiding a costly fine while traveling.

Testing Vehicle Window Tint Percentage

Roll the car window halfway down. Use a tint meter, such as the Tint Meter Model 100 by Laser Labs, Inc., to check the vehicle tint percentage. This tool is widely used by law enforcement and is the most accurate way to test tint percentage.

Place the tint meter on the window by sliding it onto the partially rolled down window. The tint meter has a slot on it specifically designed to slide onto a window. The meter will activate upon sliding it onto the window. There is no "on" or "off" switch.

Read the digital display on the tint meter. This will give you your exact tint percentage, or opacity rating. Check this rating with your local law enforcement to determine wether or not it is within the legal tint limit of your state. All states tint limits vary slightly.


  • close Most states require tint levels to be maintained at 30 percent opacity or greater. Some states strictly enforce tint laws, too. In Texas, for example, tint levels have a range depending on which window the tint is applied, such as side windows have a tint level of 25 percent.

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