What is the Darkest Legal Tint Allowed in Maryland?

what is the darkest legal tint allowed in maryland

Looking to get your car windows tinted for style, privacy, or protection from the sun’s rays? As you shop around, one key question comes up: what is the darkest legal tint allowed in Maryland?

The darkest tint you can legally have in Maryland depends on whether you drive a passenger vehicle or multi-purpose vehicle. Passenger vehicles can have a 35% VLT tint on all windows. Multi-purpose vehicles have no tint darkness restrictions on rear windows and can go as dark as you like.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:

  • What the tint laws in Maryland actually say
  • Allowable levels of window tint darkness for different vehicle types
  • Tint percentage and VLT explained
  • Reflectivity and color rules for tint
  • Medical exemptions for darker tint in Maryland
  • Penalties for breaking the Maryland tint law
  • And more…

So whether you want to go as dark as legally possible or avoid any issues down the line, read on for an in-depth look at Maryland window tint laws and regulations.

Overview of Maryland Tint Laws

Maryland’s window tint law sets different restrictions on tint darkness for passenger vehicles versus multi-purpose vehicles like vans and SUVs.

This difference mainly comes down to the back windows. While passenger vehicles have a 35% VLT limit all around, MPVs can go darker than 35% VLT on rear windows since they often come with factory privacy glass.

Beyond the rear tint specs, rules mostly focus on the windshield and front side windows:

For all vehicle types in Maryland:

  • Non-reflective tint with 35% VLT allowed on AS-1 line of front windshield
  • Front side windows limited to 35% tint
  • No red, yellow, or amber tint permitted

Keep reading for more specifics or jump ahead if you drive a car, truck, or SUV.

What is VLT Percentage?

Before going any further, it helps to understand what the percentages actually mean when it comes to window tint.

VLT stands for visible light transmission or transmission percentage. It measures the amount of external light that can pass through your car’s windows.

  • A higher VLT % means more light gets through, so the tint is lighter.
  • A lower VLT % blocks more light and indicates darker tint.

For reference:

  • Clear glass has a VLT of about 90%
  • A 5% VLT film would be extremely dark limo tint
  • Most vehicle window tint ranges from 15-75% VLT

Maryland restricts automobile window tint based on minimum allowed VLT percentages. So when a 35% VLT limit is in place, that means your car’s windows must allow at least 35% of incoming light to filter through.

Levels of Allowable Tint Darkness in Maryland

levels of allowable tint darkness in maryland

With VLT basics covered, let’s look at the specifics of how dark you can legally go in Maryland based on vehicle type.

Passenger Vehicles

This category includes all standard private use automobiles like coupes, sedans, station wagons, and hatchbacks.

Maryland tint law mandates the following VLT limits for passenger vehicle windows:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective 35% VLT tint allowed on top 5 inches or AS-1 line
  • Front side windows: 35% VLT minimum
  • Rear side windows: 35% VLT minimum
  • Back window: 35% VLT minimum

So if you drive a pickup truck, car, station wagon, etc. none of your windows can be tinted darker than 35% visible light transmission in Maryland. While it blocks glare and heat, this 35% tint still allows a good level of light in.

Multi-Purpose Vehicles

In Maryland, multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) like vans, SUVs, and trucks have different rear window tinting allowances:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective 35% VLT on top 5 inch/AS-1 line
  • Front side windows: 35% VLT
  • Rear side windows: No darkness limit
  • Back window: No darkness limit

This means you can go as dark as you want on rear passenger windows and cargo area windows. 5% limo tint would even be legal on back windows of MPVs in Maryland.

Just keep the VLT above 35% on front seat side windows since officers need to be able to see inside vehicles during traffic stops.

Other Maryland Tint Rules and Restrictions

Along with understanding the light transmission percentages that govern tint legality in Maryland, several other window tinting car rules must be followed:

Tint Color

Limo tint-style colors that are reflective or limit outside visibility like amber, red, gold, yellow, and mirrored finishes are illegal in Maryland. Stick to traditional dyedblack window tint instead.

Tint Certification

Only install window tinting film that meets industry standards and is certified for use in Maryland by the manufacturer. Reputable shops exclusively use compliant film.

Windshield Mounted Electronics

Maryland prohibits GPS and other electronic devices from being mounted in areas of the windshield where window tint is allowed. Don’t let installers place electronics behind tinted sections.

Medical Exemptions

Those with medical conditions like lupus or skin cancer can qualify for special doctor-certified exemption permits allowing extra dark tint. Submissions require Maryland State Police approval.


Violating Maryland’s tint law leads to a $50 fine. To regain legal status, you must remove excess tint within 10 days and file corrected vehicle inspection paperwork within 30 days or risk additional fines up to $1000.

Can You Get a Ticket for Window Tint in Maryland?

can you get a ticket for window tint in maryland

Yes, Maryland law enforcement can issue citations and fines to any vehicle found in violation of the state’s window tinting restrictions. Offending cars also face mandatory tint removal orders.

To check for compliance, officers may use tint meters that calculate light transmittance percentages. So even if your tint looks borderline acceptable, you could still get a ticket if your windows measure too dark.

As such, it’s critical to have a professional shop that’s familiar with Maryland’s regulations perform your window tint installation. Ask for documentation proving the VLT levels used comply with state requirements for your specific automobile make and model.

The Bottom Line: Tread Carefully with Dark Window Tint in Maryland

While rules vary for passenger vehicles versus MPVs, no civilian vehicle can have darker than 35% VLT tint on Maryland front seat side windows or windshields. And any rear tint for sedans and coupes cannot go lower than 35% visible light transmission as well.

Yet with ultra dark 5-15% limo tint film available for back windows of multi-purpose vehicles, it may seem tempting to push boundaries. Just don’t take the risk unless you enjoy fines plus mandatory tint removal. Only break the law if you have an authorized medical waiver.

We hope this guide has helped explain the key need-to-knows when it comes to the darkest legal window tint in Maryland. Drive safely and responsibly.

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