Is 5% Window Tint Legal in Alabama? An In-Depth Look

is 5% window tint legal in alabama

Enhancing your vehicle’s privacy and looks with a sleek dark tint is enticing. But is getting 5% window tint in Alabama actually legal? This ultra-dark tint may seem appealing, but knowing the state’s tint regulations is crucial to avoid potential fines or legal issues.

In this detailed guide, we’ll uncover the answer to “Is 5% tint legal in Alabama?” We’ll dive deep into the state’s window tint laws, restrictions, permitted tint darkness levels, and everything you need to know before getting your windows tinted.

Alabama Window Tint Laws Explained

Like many states, Alabama has specific laws regulating how dark you can tint your vehicle’s windows. These laws are based on the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage.

VLT refers to the amount of visible light allowed to pass through the combination of the tint film and the factory-tinted glass. A lower VLT percentage means a darker tint, while a higher percentage indicates a lighter tint.

Here’s a quick overview of the general tint limits in Alabama:

WindowPassenger VehiclesMulti-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs)
Front Side WindowsMore than 32% VLTMore than 32% VLT
Back Side WindowsMore than 32% VLTAny Darkness Allowed
Rear WindowMore than 32% VLTAny Darkness Allowed

As you can see, the rules differ slightly for regular passenger vehicles like sedans and coupes versus multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) such as SUVs, vans, and trucks.

Passenger Vehicles – Sedans, Coupes, etc.

For standard passenger vehicles in Alabama, the front side windows (driver and passenger side) must allow more than 32% of light to pass through. The same 32% VLT limit applies to the back side windows and rear window.

This means that for these types of vehicles, having a 5% tint installed is not legal. A 5% VLT equates to an extremely dark tint that blocks out 95% of visible light, which falls well below Alabama’s limits.

Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) – SUVs, Vans, etc.

However, the tint laws are a bit more lenient for Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) like SUVs, vans, and trucks. While the front side windows still must allow more than 32% VLT, there is no specific VLT restriction for the back side windows and rear window.

In other words, according to Alabama law, 5% tint is legal for the backside and rear windows of multi-purpose vehicles only. So if you drive an SUV, van, or truck, you can legally have that desired blacked-out look on the rear windows.

Other Alabama Tint Regulations

Aside from the VLT limits, there are a few other notable window tint rules and regulations in Alabama:

  • Reflectivity: The tint film can’t be more than 20% reflective on any window. This restriction helps reduce excessive glare and light reflection.
  • Colors: Unlike some states, Alabama has no specific restrictions on tint colors. So in theory, you could use colored tints like red, blue, or green (though this may not be ideal for aesthetic reasons).
  • Medical Exemptions: Alabama does allow medical exemptions for special window tint needs. However, you’ll need to consult the specific details and process outlined in the state law.

Vehicle Classification Importance

As highlighted earlier, whether your vehicle is classified as a regular “passenger vehicle” or an “MPV/multi-purpose vehicle” plays a big role in determining if 5% tint is legal.

Some popular examples of MPV models where 5% tint would be allowed on the rear windows include:

  • Ford Explorer, Expedition
  • Chevy Tahoe, Suburban
  • Dodge Durango
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna
  • And most other SUV, van, and truck models

Essentially, if your vehicle has an extended rear cargo area or third-row seating, it likely falls under the MPV classification. But it’s still wise to verify with your local authorities or check your vehicle’s specifics.

Penalties for Illegal Window Tint in Alabama

penalties for illegal window tint in alabama

While getting a cool, dark tint may seem tempting, it’s crucial to comply with Alabama’s tint laws. Installing an illegal tint darkness level can lead to some unwanted consequences:

  • Fix-It Tickets: For first-time offenses, officers may issue a “fix-it ticket” requiring you to remove or replace the illegal tint within a set period.
  • Fines: Repeat violations could result in hefty fines, potentially hundreds of dollars depending on the county.
  • Safety Concerns: Extremely dark tints can obstruct outward visibility, creating potential safety hazards while driving. This is one reason why tint laws exist in the first place.
  • Legal Issues: In more extreme cases of flagrant violations, illegal tint could possibly lead to legal issues beyond just fines and citations.

So while that 5% tint may look awesome, it’s generally not worth the risk unless you have an eligible MPV that permits it on the rear windows.

Getting Legal 5% Tint in Alabama

If you do wish to take advantage of Alabama’s law permitting 5% tint on certain MPV windows, there are some important considerations:

  • Professional Installation: It’s highly advisable to have your tint installed by a reputable, certified professional shop. They’ll ensure the tint meets all regulations and is properly installed.
  • Side Mirror Requirements: Most tint laws stipulate that vehicles with heavily tinted rear windows must have side mirrors on both sides for proper rear visibility.
  • Legal Documentation: Check if your installer provides a visible compliance sticker or certification that verifies your 5% tint meets legal standards.

By going the professional installation route, you can avoid potential issues down the line with improperly tinted windows.

Potential Benefits of 5% Tint

For those eligible to get 5% rear tint in Alabama, there are certainly some appealing benefits that make this ultra-dark level desirable:

  • Enhanced Privacy: The darkest legal tint provides maximum privacy for rear passengers and stored belongings.
  • Heat Reduction: Blocking out 95% of visible light helps keep your vehicle’s interior cooler, reducing air conditioning needs.
  • UV Protection: Window tints help block harmful UV rays that can cause interior fading and skin damage.
  • Cool Aesthetic: Let’s face it – there’s just something sleek and stylish about a vehicle with blacked-out rear windows (when legal of course).

So while 5% tint isn’t a universal option in Alabama, it can certainly provide some nice perks for qualifying MPVs.

Understanding Alabama’s Tint Laws

No matter how appealing a dark tint might seem, it’s absolutely essential to understand and comply with Alabama’s window tint regulations.

With that said, it’s always a good idea to double-check the specific tint laws and enforcement policies in your local area. Some counties or municipalities may have slightly different interpretations or additional regulations.

Additionally, stay up-to-date on any potential changes to Alabama’s tint laws over time. Regulations can evolve, so make sure you have the latest accurate information before getting new tint installed.

By educating yourself and ensuring your vehicle remains compliant, you can enjoy the benefits of window tint while avoiding any legal headaches.


So in summary, is 5% window tint legal in Alabama? The short answer is: yes, but only for the backside and rear windows of multi-purpose vehicles like SUVs, vans, and trucks. For regular passenger vehicles, a 5% tint darkness level is not permitted.

Complying with your state’s tint laws is important not just for avoiding penalties, but also for maintaining proper safety and visibility while driving. If you do wish to get 5% tint on eligible MPV rear windows, be sure to go through a reputable professional installer.

While very dark tints can provide some great benefits like enhanced privacy and cooling, they may not be worth the risks if installed illegally. So make sure you understand Alabama’s regulations fully before making any tinting decisions.

By following the proper procedures and laws, you can enjoy having your dream blacked-out vehicle while staying on the right side of the law. Stay safe and happy tinting!

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