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Are tinted windows illegal? When it comes to Illinois window tinting laws, there are a few things you need to know before booking a window tinting service. But before we talk about this, let’s answer the most basic question: “Is window tint illegal?”

Is Window Tint Illegal?

Window tints are not illegal in Illinois, and window tints are not illegal in Chicago, either. That being said, there are limits to how dark you can go. For example, a 5(%) tint is not legal for windows in Illinois. The legal window tint percentage varies based on the type of vehicle and where the tint is installed. 

What Do the Tint Percentages Mean?

Tint percentage is measured in “Visible Light Transmission”, or VLT. Visible light transmission refers to the percentage of visible light that can pass through the window tint. A 5% tint would mean only 5% of visible light is able to pass through the window tint. Here’s a breakdown of what VLTs are allowed by Illinois (and therefore Chicago) law.

Illinois and Chicago Tint Laws

Passenger Vehicles (Sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, station wagons)

Multipurpose Vehicles (SUVs, vans, pickup trucks, minibuses, RVs, campers)

  • Windshield: Only non-reflective tint on the top six inches is legal on multipurpose vehicle windshields in Illinois. 
  • Front Side Windows: Window tint darker than 50% VLT is illegal.
  • Back Side Windows: Any level of VLT is legal.
  • Rear Window: Any level of VLT is legal.

Yes, but you will need either:

A. a Tinted Window Certification from the Illinois Secretary of State


B. the willingness to face legal repercussions if the vehicle is to be driven (We are not liable for any criminal proceedings stemming from an illegal window tint) 

Obviously there are some people out there with private car collections that don’t see driving on the open roads. In these cases questions of illegality do not apply. 

In Chicago and interested in tinting your windows?

If you’re looking for Chicago window tinting, you’ve come to the right place! Simon’s Detail, located in the Lincoln Park – Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago’s Northside, is an authorized installer of Llumar Window Films. Using a computerized system, our expert technicians cut the film with precision to the exact contours of the vehicle’s windows. A protective ceramic coating is then applied to the window tint at no additional cost. Get a quote or book your appointment today!

Have a question about window tinting? Reach out below and we’ll be happy to assist! 

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