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Is it legal to tint a windshield? Here’s a quick answer.

It is illegal to drive a vehicle (passenger or multipurpose) with a full windshield tint in the State of Illinois. Non-reflective tint, however, is legal on the top six inches of a windshield.

In this article we’ll break down why there are laws against tinting a windshield in the first place, what penalties and enforcement are in place, how you can become exempt and where you can go to get your windshield tinted. 

Safety Concerns

Driving a vehicle with a full windshield tint creates poor visibility for the driver. Tinted windshields have played a part in countless car accidents, so lawmakers decided to prohibit windshield tints that obscure the driver’s vision.

Driver Identification

Much like they make it difficult for the driver to see out, full windshield tints also make it difficult for people to see in. While it may add for privacy, it also prevents drivers and passengers from being identified by first responders in the case of an accident. You don’t want to wait for the firefighters to grab the “Jaws of Life” before your family or friends can be notified you were in an accident! 

Penalties and Enforcement

So if driving with a fully tinted windshield is illegal, how is that law enforced, and what are the penalties? Here’s a quick explainer. 


To enforce window tint laws, police are equipped with tint meters that quickly determine how dark a windshield tint is. This means that if you’re driving with a tinted windshield and you get pulled over, the police officer can tell easily whether your windshield tint is illegal. 


Penalties for driving with a fully tinted windshield vary based on the number of prior offenses. A first violation is considered a petty offense and can come with a fine of anywhere from $50 to $500. Multiple violations on the other hand are a C Misdemeanor and can come with a fine between $100 and $500. 

Medical Exemptions

A medical exemption is the only way someone can be exempt from Illinois windshield tinting law. The vehicle owner must have a certified letter or statement from a licensed physician to verify the owner has one of the following qualifying conditions:

  • Lupus Erythematosus
  • Albinism
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Severe drug photosensitivity

Tinting Options

When it comes to tinting your windshield, you have two options in terms of coverage: stay legal and tint only the top six inches, or take the risk and illegally tint the entire windshield. 

Top 6 Inches

If you want to get your windshield tinted legally in Chicago, Simon’s Detail has a few different options for tinting the top six inches of a windshield:

  • LLumar ATC | Standard Window Tint 
  • LLumar CTX Series | Ceramic Tint
  • LLumar IRX Series: Infrared Rejecting Ceramic Tint

Full Windshield

If you just have to tint your entire windshield, regardless of the law, Simon’s Detail is happy to install one of our various options from Lllumar. Just remember that we are not liable if you are in legal trouble for driving with a full windshield tint!

  • LLUmar AIR Series | Clear Ceramic Tint
    • Film is clear so it’s almost impossible to see
    • Does not obstruct the driver’s view
    • Impressive heat-rejecting power
    • Helps protect against injuries from shattered glass
    • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation because it shields against more than 99% of damaging UV rays

Where Can I Get My Windshield Tinted?

As mentioned above, if you’re in Chicago, Simon’s Detail in Lincoln Park/Bucktown is a great option. Again, we offer several options from Llumar ranging from standard tints to infrared rejecting ceramic tints. Just click below to get a free quote!

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