Tinting your car windows can give you that cool, sleek look and a bit more privacy, but before you go all out with those dark tints, it's important to know what the law says about how much tint is too much tint in Minnesota.

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Minnesota law is pretty specific about how dark the tint on your vehicle windows can be, and it's different for sedans and SUVs.

Why Is Dark Window Tint Illegal in Minnesota?

illegal window tint fine mn

The main reason for the window tint laws in Minnesota is to make sure that law enforcement officers can see inside your vehicle if they need to, and that you, as a driver, can see clearly too.

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What Level of Window Tint is Legal in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, vehicle window tint laws are based on two measures:

1. Visible Light Transmission (VLT): the percentage of light that passes through the car's window into the interior


2. Tint Reflection: the percentage of light reflected by your windows.

window tint laws mn

Here is a breakdown of what level of window tint is allowed on vehicles in Minnesota:

❌ No vehicle can have any tint on the front windshield.

🚗 Passenger cars are limited to 50 percent light transmission on all sides and rear windows; must not be more than 20 percent reflective

🚙 Pickups, vans, and SUVs are limited to 50 percent light transmission on the front side windows; must not be more than 20 percent reflective

⬛ Pickups, vans, and SUVs are not limited on the rear side and rear windows. (Can be less than 50 percent light transmittance behind the front seat); must not be more than 20 percent reflective

🚔 Squad cars, limousines and vehicles used to transport human remains by a funeral establishment are not limited on the side and rear windows.

mn tint laws

According to Minnesota State Trooper Sgt. Troy Christianson, most vehicles come from the factory with tint already inside the glass.

"No window comes from the factory at 100 percent light transmittance. My experience has been that most vehicles are already at 75 percent before any modifications," he said

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Other Minnesota window tint rules worth noting include no restrictions on tint colors and no restrictions on tint on side mirrors.

What is the Fine For Illegal Window Tint in Minnesota?

visible light transmission meter mn police
Visible Light Transmission Meter (canva)

Police officers in Minnesota can pull over vehicles suspected of having illegal window tint. Many officers keep window tint meters in their patrol cars to test the visible light transmission.

According to tinting-laws.com, a 3% tint variance is allowed in Minnesota

Excessive tint is an equipment violation as opposed to a moving violation and the penalty varies by county. Still, you can bet on the ticket costing upwards of $200 after court fees and surcharges are added in.

Can I Get a Prescription For Dark Window Tint in Minnesota?

Sgt. Christianson says more and more people are getting prescriptions from their doctors to have windows tint on their vehicles darker than the 50 percent allowed by law.

"If people have any type of medical conditions in which they are affected by the sun, they are allowed to have window tint darker than 50 percent. The proper document will need to be in the vehicle to show law enforcement upon request," Sgt. Christianson says.

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The document will need to be specific about the minimum percentage of light transmittance the patient needs. Prescriptions must be renewed every two years.

So, before you hit up the tint shop, make sure you know the rules to avoid any tickets or fines.

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Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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