Canada Car Window Tinting Laws

Is It Legal to Tint My Front Windows and Windshield? We Have The Answers.

Why are after-market window tints for cars and trucks so popular?  Why does Tint Tech, the window-tinting specialists, have so many customers waiting for Tint Tech specialists to work their window-tinting magic on their vehicles?  The answer to those questions is not hard to figure out.

Window tinting, by Calgary’s Tint Tech (or some other window-tinting shop), has myriad benefits for your vehicle.  Auto window tinting provides privacy for you and your passengers.  Window tinting can dissuade would-be burglars, because they cannot see what is inside your car.  Window tint can also block out harmful UV rays to protect your skin and keep your car’s dashboard and upholstery from fading prematurely.  Window tint also can keep the interior of your car cooler because it reduces the amount of sunlight, and thus the amount of heat, that comes into the inside of your car.

Of course, we cannot forget the most important reason for having tinted windows – because it looks awesome!  Nothing enhances the look of your car more than tinting the windows.  Window tint provides the finishing touch to your prized sports car, or takes your normal sedan and gives it the sporty look you want.

With all of those benefits, why does law enforcement give window tinting such a bad rap?

Reasons Why Law Enforcement Officers Are Not Real Fans of Window Tinting

While it may seem unfair that police cars can have heavily tinted windows while the rest of us cannot, there are some legitimate law enforcement concerns surrounding window tint for regular cars on the road.

First, virtually every time a police officer executes a car stop, the officer does not know what he or she is getting into.  There have been cases where a low-risk, routine car stop, such as where the car was stopped for playing music too loud, turns into a deadly situation because the driver pulls a gun on the officer who approached the driver’s side window.  Thus, being able to see the driver and his or her movements and body language through a clear window can help an officer who is making a stop.

Second, with the exponential increase in texting while driving, police officers prefer to be able to see the driver in order to properly issue a summons for texting while driving.

Third, heavy tinting could dramatically decrease visibility when driving at night.  Therefore, law enforcement has a concern about public safety as well.

Recent Royal Canadian Mounted Police News Releases

Recently, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) put out a news release regarding window tinting.  It warns motorists with regard to window tinting throughout Canada.

Specifically, in June 2018, the RCMP Traffic Services warned motorists that they should remove any after-market tint from their front-side windows or face a possible fine.  Noting an uptick in distracted driving and seatbelt noncompliance, the RCMP states that tinted windows hamper the ability for police to “see through front side windows to ensure drivers are wearing their seatbelt and are not using cell phones or texting while driving.”

The warning also noted the safety issue with children and other pedestrians being unable to make eye contact with drivers at crosswalks, as well as a need to identify people who are driving erratically.

So, Is It Legal to Have Tint On My Front Windows or Windshield?

The answer to that question depends on which province you are talking about.  In Canada, window tint is regulated by Canada’s Motor Vehicle Law, as well as the laws for specific provinces.  Below, we discuss Canada’s Motor Vehicle Law, and then the specific tinting laws in each province.

Please note that when discussing the law in each province, we provide percentages.  Those percentages represent “visible light transmission levels” (VLT).  So, if the percentage of tint is 35% VLT, that means that 35% of visible light will pass through the window film.

In simple terms, the lower the percentage, then the darker the tint.  5% VLT is very dark (as it only lets in 5% of visible light), whereas 70% film is very light (letting in 70% of visible light).  Interesting fact – most automakers slightly tint their glass, usually to about 80% VLT.

  • Canada

The Motor Vehicle Act provides that no tint (not even light tinting) is permitted on windshields below 75 mm from the top of the windshield.  Moreover, no tint is permitted on the front side windows.  Residents who travel frequently between provinces may be wise to install car tint that is legal in the majority of Canada’s provinces.

  • Province by Province

 

Alberta

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

British Columbia

  • Windshield – tint can only go down 7.5 cm from the top of the windshield
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Manitoba

  • Windshield – tint can only go down 12.7 cm from the top of the windshield
  • Front Side – 50%

New Brunswick

  • Windshield – 70%
  • Front Side – 70%

Newfoundland

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

NW Territories

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Nova Scotia

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Nunavut

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Ontario

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Prince Edward

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Quebec

  • Windshield – tint can only go down 15 cm from the top of the windshield
  • Front Side – 70%

Saskatchewan

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

Yukon

  • Windshield – no tint allowed
  • Front Side – no tint allowed

* Source is https://www.tinting-laws.com/canada/ (the site indicates that it is frequently updated, so be sure to consult this website to get the most up-to-date information on tint laws).

Conclusion

In sum, window tint may be something you just have to have.  Yet, penalties can be harsh and law enforcement in Canada is not forgiving when it comes to illegal tint on car windows.  So, be sure to consult the applicable laws before deciding to get window tint.  But, once you have made the decision, and reviewed what the legal requirements are, be sure to talk to one of the window tint specialists at Calgary’s Tint Tech.  We can be reached at 403-968-8468.  At Tint Tech of Calgary we ensure that we will do a perfect job, the first time.  Call today.

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