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Car Window Tint Laws in Michigan With Explained Updates

Over the last decade, window tinting popularity has grown immensely among vehicle owners.

Hence, individuals who live and drive in Michigan must get familiar with window tint laws in Michigan, especially if you are thinking of performing this upgrade anytime soon.

Besides keeping out ultraviolet radiation and excessive heat from the cabin or interior to obtain a cooler and conducive atmosphere, especially in hot temperatures.

Window tinting also delivers additional privacy and complements the vehicle’s appearance when combined with other sophisticated accessories, such as flashy/attractive rims.

Failure to tint the windows to the acceptable/authorized Michigan tint laws could result in expensive fines when a law enforcement agent flags down your vehicle.


What Are Michigan Tint Laws?

The car window tint laws in Michigan are uncomplicated; so far, everyone gets the details rightly (the amount of tint that is acceptable on the windows).

The laws allow vehicle owners to drive with tinted windows, provided the acceptable levels or standards are adhered to.

Depending on the windows in question (front, side, or rear) or the position (driver’s or passenger’s end/side). The tinting percentage or authorized standards differ.

The Michigan window tint laws explain the code or instructions that govern the tinting of the vehicle windows.

This ensures the application and the material in use allow a certain amount of light to penetrate or flow through.

Car Window Tint Laws in Michigan 2022

Although the tint laws may be somewhat complex when you read through them or hear about them the first time. They are not hard to understand and adhere to when simplified.

  • Having the rear window tinted completely is permitted or considered acceptable. However, some rules guide such an application. For instance, the light penetration that must pass through the tint or the tint reflection can’t be more than thirty-five (35) percent. Also, the front doors must have efficient mirrors on both sides.
  • The front side windows can as well be tinted, provided the application is made correctly or according to the acceptable standards. In this case, the 4-inch rule must be observed or followed to avoid sanction.

The rule restricts the application to the top 4-inch of the widows using a material that keeps the tint reflection within thirty-five (35) percent. This rule is also applicable when it has to do with tinting the rear side windows.

  • The windshield can’t be completely tinted. The application or acceptable tint level/standard is the top 4-inch. Also, the material must keep the tint reflection within thirty-five (35) percent.
  • Although special tints are permitted. However, the vehicle owner must have a letter duly signed by an optometrist or a physician confirming/approving the tint application as a medical need/requirement.

Nevertheless, the tint must not at any time interfere with or restrict the driver’s ability to clearly see while driving on the highway.

VLT Means According To Michigan Tint Laws

VLT is the short form for Visible Light Transmission. This term depicts or explains the percentage or level of visible light penetrating or passing through the vehicle’s windows.

Basically, a low visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage/ level indicates that the application will be dark and vice-versa.

The lower the value, the darker the tint application becomes since it significantly lowers the amount of light that passes through.

For instance, a tint application with five (5) percent VLT is expected to be dark, making it a preferred option among individuals who desire total privacy.

Why Did The Window Tinting Law Enforce?

Although window tinting enhances the vehicle’s aesthetic, its effect on drivability can’t be ignored, especially at night or when driving under relatively low light conditions.

For instance, driving on roads with the absence of street lights or inside an enclosed structure (i.e., tunnel) could impair visibility or vision.

Driving a vehicle with a tinted window under such conditions would only reduce/lower the visibility further.

As a result, this action could compromise safety since the driver may not be able to see the activities happening on the road clearly.

The window tinting law was introduced to encourage a safer environment for all road users, ensuring the safety of road users (pedestrians, cyclists or other drivers),

Darkness of Window Tint in Michigan: (VLT According To The Michigan Law)

The higher the VLT percentage or value, the greater the amount of light that can penetrate or flow through the application, and vice-versa.

For instance, an eight percent (80%) VLT means the film on the tinted windows can allow up to eight percent (80%) of light that hits the window to penetrate.

Ideally, every state has an authorized/approved Visible Light Transmission percentage across the windows (windshield or front window, rear window, and front & back side windows).

However, Michigan’s law guiding window tint application does not state or specify any VLT value or percentage. This leaves every driver or car owner to decide on the desired VLT%.

Darkness of Window Tint in Michigan For Sedans

  • For the windshield/front window, the driver or car owner may settle for a non-reflective tint. Such an application is accepted or recognized under the law, provided it’s restricted to the top 4-inch.
  • The rear window doesn’t have a specified VLT% percentage. Hence, the driver can decide on the value.
  • Also, the desired VLT% is permitted for front-side windows (vehicle owners can specify the value they want or choose to work with). However, the application is restricted to the top 4-inch only.
  • Similar to the rear window, the driver can also settle for a desired VLT% for the back side windows.

Darkness of Window Tint in Michigan For Suvs and Vans

  • An interested car owner may decide to settle for a non-reflective tint for the windshield. However, the application is restricted or applicable to the top 4-inch only.
  • Each driver can settle for or go with the desired VLT% (any darkness is acceptable) for the rear window
  • While the desired VLT% is permitted for front side windows. Nevertheless, the application is restricted to the top 4-inch only.
  • Each driver can settle for or go with the desired VLT% (any darkness is acceptable) for the back side windows.

Reflection of Window Tint in Michigan: (According To The Michigan Law)

Widow tint has the ability to reflect the light that is hitting or coming straight at the window. Not only that, it can lower heat and glare significantly.

Nevertheless, before anyone has their window tinted, it is important to understand the window reflection according to Michigan tint laws to stay clear of trouble (fines or penalty).

Sedans Tint Reflection

  • The front and back windows’ tint reflection must not be above thirty-five (35) percent. Anything above this value is not acceptable and can result in a fine.

SUVs and Vans Tint Reflection

  • The same rule guiding the sedans tint reflection is applicable to SUVs and Vans. When trying to apply a tint across the front and back side windows, the tint reflection must not exceed thirty-five (350 percent under any condition.

Other Rules & Regulations For Window Tinting

  • Once the front window or windshield is tinted or obstructed, it is an offense for such a vehicle not to have side mirrors installed.
  • A truck/car owner may choose or settle for a desired tint color from the available options in Michigan. However, Gold & Silver are not allowed.
  • An interested individual doesn’t need the manufacturer to have the tint certified before it can be installed or applied on the vehicle.
  • You do not necessarily need a sticker to show or indicate that the applied tint is authorized, ideal, or acceptable under the car window tint laws in Michigan.

Medical Exemption of Window Tint in Michigan

There are exceptions to the laws that govern car tinting in Michigan. However, it must be supported or backed by the relative body or authority.

Some medical conditions warrant tinting the windows to a level that doesn’t conform to the regular/acceptable standard or authorized level.

For instance, applying a darker tint above the recommended or approved limit due to allergy to sunlight or skin cancer such as melanoma.

If anyone is medically exempted, which allows the use of special window tint to suit their medical history/condition.

It is important to have all the necessary papers or documents signed by a medical expert available in the vehicle/within reach at all times.

These documents should be presented or shown to any law enforcement agent whenever you get stopped or pulled over for the tint application.

Benefits of Window Tinting

01. UV Radiation Restriction

Driving a vehicle with tinted windows eliminates up to ninety-nine (99) percent of ultraviolet radiation. This lowers concerns about its effect on the skin considerably.

02. Protects The Interior

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation doesn’t affect the skin only. Its destructive/damaging attributes extend to vehicle components such as dashboard, seats, and steering.

When these accessories are overly exposed to UV, it could lead to premature crack or fade, lowering the vehicle’s attractiveness and value.

03. Eliminates Heat

The importance of tinted windows is well pronounced during hot weather, thanks to their ability to keep the interior/cabin cool up to about 60%.

This lowers/eliminates the need to put on the air conditioning system for a few minutes to regulate the cabin’s temperature or make the atmosphere conducive/bearable ahead of the next drive.

04. Privacy

Window tint installation/application offers an additional level of privacy by keeping the activities in the vehicle restricted from onlookers or strangers.

Penalties For Violating Window Tint Laws in Michigan

a) Tinting the windshield beyond the recommended standard (in case the application is excessively black) could result in vision obstruction.

The driver/vehicle owner could be charged with a civil infraction in such a situation.

As a result, the culprit will be penalized, resulting in the payment of a fine. It also comes with an extra two-point on their driving license/record.

However, if anyone decided to contest the charge, possibly if a case of wrong/false accusation.

A formal or informal hearing can be granted if the affected party fails to admit to the offense or charge.

b) In a situation where the driver admits responsibility for the charge raised against them, having an accumulated amount of points (up to 12) on their driving record could result in suspending the driving privileges they enjoy.

The Common FAQs of Window Tint Laws in Michigan

01. Can Anyone Drive a Vehicle With a Special Window Tinting/Treatment?

Individuals who do not have any health conditions that require the use of special tint application or window treatment (backed by a medical professional) must stick to the standard.

If an individual has no health-related condition, driving in a vehicle with tinted windows passed or approved as a medical exception is not advised, irrespective of the relationship shared with the owner (spouse, friend, child, or family member). You could be fined/penalized for it when caught.

The vehicle’s operation should be restricted to the individual who requires it or has their name registered or linked to the special window tinting.

02. How Much Fine Would a Driver Pay For Violating The Law?

If a driver is picked or documented for violating the laws guiding the application/use of tints on the windows in Michigan.

Such an individual may have to part with or pay as high as ninety-five (95) dollars, in addition to the additional/extra points (2) added to their driving record.

03. What is The Cost of Applying/Attaching a Window Tint?

There is no standard cost/price connected to the tint application. Nevertheless, the investment cost mainly depends on the tint quality used or applied.

On average, applying a classic tint on a sedan could cost between $100 and $150 (including labor).

On the other hand, settling for a top-quality or a more durable option like those made from ceramic could cost between $400 and $500 (including the labor cost), on average.

See More: Window Tinting Removal Cost

04. Where is The Prescription/Document For Medical Exemption Obtainable?

The document showing an individual is exempted from the window tint law or permitted to use special window tints due to their health condition can be obtained from any medical professional in Michigan.


Failure to adhere to the window tint laws in Michigan is considered a big offense and is punishable under the law.

It is important to stay true to the standard to prevent heavy fines and avoid arrests unless you have a medical history that allows a deviation and duly signed documents to back it up.

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