Car window tinting is more than just a luxury, with most car makers offering window tint on new vehicles to help reduce harmful UV rays and achieve a more comfortable ride. As a result, there has been a rise of older vehicle owners wanting to tint their car windows.
With a high demand for car window tinting on both new and old car owners, we explore Australian Laws around window tinting and how it could affect you.
Whether you have chosen to DIY or get it professionally done, it’s a good idea to understand what are the laws of window tinting in your state.
Illegal window tinting can lead to hefty fines as well as a defect notice, which results in taking your car over the pits, which costs you time and money.
For most new car owners, your vehicle may come with standard privacy glass or as an optional extra-cost feature with a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of between 15-26% to stay within the legal limit.
Window tint protection is measured in Visible Light Transmission or known as VLT, which is the amount of light that can pass through your window.
Find out what are the legal vehicle window tinting laws in your state below:
Australian Car Window Tinting Laws 2020
1. Western Australia Window Tinting Laws
Legal tint in WA for all passenger vehicles must have a 35% minimum light transmission for front side windows and 20% VLT on rear and backside windows. This means the darkest legal tint Perth can offer is 35% VLT. Only the uppermost part of the windscreen can have a tinted strip on top, equaling to either 10% of the total windscreen area, or a portion of the windshield above the reach of the wipers, whichever is greater.
Other WA tinting laws can include:
- Reflective or mirror-like tinted film is not permitted above 10% reflectance level.
- Any defects including bubbling, damage, discolouration or deteriorated film that impacts the driver’s vision is not accepted.
- Certain vehicles that are exempted can include ambulances, hearses, trailers and caravans, sunroofs and glazings located in the roof of the vehicle, and all glazings of upper deck and double-deck vehicles
- Medical exemptions may apply providing documentary evidence has been supplied from a medical specialist.
2. Australia Capital Territory Window Tinting Laws
Similar to WA, front side windows must have more than 35% VLT with back side and rear windows more than 20%. No window tinting is allowed on the windscreen except the uppermost part of the windscreen that is equal to 10%. The ACT law also states that no other coating or tinting is permitted on windshields which reduces light transmission, which includes installing fully transparent UV overlay.
Other ACT tinting laws can include:
- Any windows within the vehicle must have at least 70% VLT.
- Factory-made windscreens can have up to 70% VLT.
- Windows that are behind the driver, such as in a limousine, ambulance or hearse have no darkness limit.
- Any vehicles designed to carry goods including, trucks, vans, utility vehicles, or similar, where vehicle construction reduces the need to see through the rear window while driving have no VLT limit for tinting windows behind the driver.
- Window tint reflection must not exceed 10% reflectance level and must not have any bubbling, damage, discolouration or other defects.
3. New South Wales Window Tinting Laws
Same laws apply to NSW with front side windows at 35% VLT, back side and rear windows at 20% VLT. However, if the vehicle is fitted with two rear view mirrors, 35% VLT is allowed. No window tint is permitted on the windscreen except for the uppermost part of the windshield equalling to 10%.
Other NSW tinting laws can include:
- All reflective or mirror-like window tint is not allowed.
- Any bubbled, damaged, discoloured or deteriorated window tint that impacts the driver’s vision is not permitted.
- Vehicle must have dual exterior rear view mirrors in order for side windows or rear window tinting.
- Factory-made windshields may have up to 70% VLT. All aftermarketing windscreen tinting is not permitted besides the uppermost part.
- Vehicles that are registered prior to 1st of August 1994 also must have 35% minimum VLT unless a darker tint was already fitted.
- Vehicles including trucks, vans, utility or similar that are designed to carry goods and where vehicle construction reduces the need to see through the rear window while driving have no VLT limits for tinting windows behind the driver.
4. Northern Territory Window Tinting Laws
The NT is a little more lenient with their tinting laws and allow front side windows to have a minimum of 35% VLT and a minimum of 15% VLT on the back side and rear windows. Windshields are only permitted to have a tinted strip on the top part, equaling to 10% of the total windscreen area, or the portion of the windscreen that is above the reach of the wipers.
Other NT tinting laws can include:
- Reflective or mirror-like tinted film is not permitted above 10% reflectance level.
- Front windscreens on all vehicles manufactured before 1971 may 70% VLT.
- All interior car windows must have over 70% vehicle light transmission.
- All windows behind drivers of vehicles that carry goods including trucks, vans, and utility have no limit to window tinting.
5. Queensland Tinting Laws
Just like it’s neighbouring states, there must be a minimum of 35% VLT for front side windows and 20% on the back side and rear windows. Only the uppermost part of the windscreen can be tinted, equaling to 10%. However, if the vehicle has two rear view mirrors, all windows except the windshield can have a minimum VLT of 20%.
Other QLD tinting laws can include:
- Any reflective or mirror-like film must not exceed a 10% reflectance level.
- Any film that is damaged, bubbled, discoloured, or otherwise deteriorating that impacts the drivers vision is not permitted.
- Factory-made glass on windscreens for vehicles built before 1971 may have up to 70-75% VLT.
- All interior vehicle windows must have over 70% VLT if factory made and no less than 35% with aftermarket tint.
6. South Australia Window Tinting Laws
For all South Australians, you are required to have a minimum of 35% VLT for all front side windows and at least 20% VLT for back side and rear windows. The front windscreen is only allowed to have a thin strip equalling to 10% on the uppermost part of the windshield.
Other SA tinting laws can include:
- Windows behind the driver must have 20% visible light transmission effective as of February 2018.
- All reflective or mirror-like film must not have a reflectance level over 10%.
- All interior car windows must allow for over 70% light transmission.
- Any vehicle made before 1971 may have a VLT of 70% on the front windscreen.
7. Tasmania Window Tinting Laws
Tasmania has similar tinting laws to WA where front side windows must have a minimum of 35% visible light transmissions with back and rear windows at 20% VLT. Only a small strip is permitted on the windscreen, which can equal to 10% or just above the reach of the wipers. Windows behind the driver, such as the rear side and rear window, can have a 20% minimum light transmission or more providing the vehicle has 2 rear view mission mirrors on both sides of the vehicle. If there are no side mirrors, a minimum of 35% is required.
Rear windows for any vehicles carrying goods can have any tint of darkness providing the vehicle is designed primarily for delivering goods.
Other Tasmania tinting laws can include:
- A maximum of 10% reflectance level is allowed for reflective or mirror-like film.
- All vehicles made before 1971 can have up to 70% VLT on the front windscreen.
- Factory-made windscreens may have up to 70% light transmission or more. Aftermarket tint is not permitted.
- Any windows behind the driver or large vehicles including buses, vans, limousines, utility, ambulances, and hearses can have any window tint percentage.
8. Victoria Window Tinting Laws
The laws are a little more strict in Victoria with front, rear and back side windows all needed to have a minimum of 35% visible light transmission. Windscreens may only have a small tinted strip on the uppermost part that is just above the reach of the wipers, or 10%.
Other VIC tinting laws can include:
- Any sort of reflective or mirror-like film must not exceed reflectance levels of 10%.
- Any factory-made windshields on vehicles before July 1971 can have up to 70-75% visible light transmission.
What does tinting my windows do for me?
If you are sitting on the fence about tinting your windows then you may want to take some notes. Window tint provides a protective layer that not only removes glare but also blocks out harmful UV rays which we all know can do some considerable damage to your skin.
These rays can also infiltrate their way into the interior of your car and damage any parts exposed to the light. By adding tint to your windows not only blocks harmful UV rays to humans but can also protect the interior of your car. If in doubt, it is always good to consult professionals about the best-suited options for yourself and your vehicle.
Dean’s Autoglass can tint any window of any car model and year in a few hours only. We also supply glass products and tinting services for commercial fleet and heavy machinery. You can read more on the use of tinting in there commercial and mining sectors in the article just linked.