Jump to content
Express Window Films
spacer
Express Window Films
spacer
jeffreyfox

Does 88% VLT automotive tint film exist?

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

To add clear UV protection to driver side windows, California requires the film to have 88% VLT.  That doesn't seem to exist.  I checked the specs for all manufacturers.  Llumar has UV Protection Clear Window Film at 87%, and 3M has CR90 at 86%.  That's pretty much clear, but if the issue ever came up with an officer checking on our film, 87% < 88% and I could technically be ticketed.

 

Is it even possible to add UV protection film to front windows in California?  Does 88% VLT film exist?

 

Edited by jeffreyfox

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, jeffreyfox said:

Hello,

 

To add clear UV protection to driver side windows, California requires the film to have 88% VLT.  That doesn't seem to exist.  I checked the specs for all manufacturers.  Llumar has UV Protection Clear Window Film at 87%, and 3M has CR90 at 86%.  That's pretty much clear, but if the issue ever came up with an officer checking on our film, 87% < 88% and I could technically be ticketed.

 

Is it even possible to add UV protection film to front windows in California?  Does 88% VLT film exist?

 

 

As far as I understand from reading the law, there is an "or" you're missing.  Aftermarket film must allow more than 88% of light in, or minimum 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows.  So you need to go to shops that carry 80% or 90% and have them meter a sample of the film on your vehicle...make sure they pull off the adhesive liner and stick it on your glass because the liner will make the numbers lower by 1-2%. Stock automotive glass varies, so one film may be completely legal on one vehicle and illegal on another.  So the number you need to focus on is the 70% VLT once the tint is applied.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, DynamicATL said:

 

As far as I understand from reading the law, there is an "or" you're missing.  Aftermarket film must allow more than 88% of light in, or minimum 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows.  So you need to go to shops that carry 80% or 90% and have them meter a sample of the film on your vehicle...make sure they pull off the adhesive liner and stick it on your glass because the liner will make the numbers lower by 1-2%. Stock automotive glass varies, so one film may be completely legal on one vehicle and illegal on another.  So the number you need to focus on is the 70% VLT once the tint is applied.

 

Thanks for your reply.  But, there is no "or".  The film itself has to be 88% VLT or above.  The window must be above 70% VLT after adding the film.  Both conditions must be met.  Ask a California police officer, and he'll plainly tell you you're not allowed to add darkening tint to your front side windows, even if they're completely clear from the factory, and this is why.

 

A clear window is typically 88% VLT, so if I added an 87% VLT film (Llumar AU 85), that would reduce it to 76.6%.  This is way above federal standards for visibility, and certainly not unsafe, but not in compliance with the letter of California law.  If I got asked for papers on my tinting when pulled over and showed him 87%, a cop could write me up for it not being 88%.

 

You mentioned shops that carry 80% or 90%.  Do you know of a film product by name that's 90%?

 

EDIT:  I just found out the front windows on my car are already 80% VLT!  So if I added 87%, that would put me below 70% total.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Edited by jeffreyfox

Share this post


Link to post

You really need to stop by a local shop to discuss since only they will be the experts since they tint daily in California.  However, I am going need you to use a little common sense...no disrespect meant.  Once the window film is applied to the vehicle, please tell me how you, a police officer, or anyone else going to know the percentage of the window film??  Even if you go by the window film specs found online, there are variances when it comes to the actual product between master rolls.  For example, Llumar CTX 35 states it is 37 VLT online but I have personally metered it at 38-42 depending on the roll.  As you have found, there are no films with a VLT of 88% or higher based on online specs.  So based on your way of looking at it, then not one single person in the entire state of California has legal window tint.  In reality, once the job is already completed, the only measurement that can be done is the total VLT which will be legal if it is 70% or above.  So once again, you need to take your vehicle to a tint shop and have samples applied to see what works on your vehicle.

 

On a side note, stock automotive glass can range from low 70's up to mid 80's...don't go by online specs, get your glass metered.  Also, the reason they state 88% as the darkest film is that they are basing it off of 80% automotive glass...0.88 x 0.80 which hits right at 70%.  In reality, your stock glass might not be 80%.

Edited by DynamicATL

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, DynamicATL said:

You really need to stop by a local shop to discuss since only they will be the experts since they tint daily in California.  However, I am going need you to use a little common sense...no disrespect meant.  Once the window film is applied to the vehicle, please tell me how you, a police officer, or anyone else going to know the percentage of the window film??  Even if you go by the window film specs found online, there are variances when it comes to the actual product between master rolls.  For example, Llumar CTX 35 states it is 37 VLT online but I have personally metered it at 38-42 depending on the roll.  As you have found, there are no films with a VLT of 88% or higher based on online specs.  So based on your way of looking at it, then not one single person in the entire state of California has legal window tint.  In reality, once the job is already completed, the only measurement that can be done is the total VLT which will be legal if it is 70% or above.  So once again, you need to take your vehicle to a tint shop and have samples applied to see what works on your vehicle.

 

On a side note, stock automotive glass can range from low 70's up to mid 80's...don't go by online specs, get your glass metered.  Also, the reason they state 88% as the darkest film is that they are basing it off of 80% automotive glass...0.88 x 0.80 which hits right at 70%.  In reality, your stock glass might not be 80%.

 

Ha, well, I've gone to several local shops.  In Los Angeles, everyone who tints their windows gets illegal tints.  It's just assumed that's what you want.  If you ask about legality, the shop guys all say "70% is the minimum" for the front, and I see there's some reason to it as you explained, but then they offer darker tints for the front windows anyway as if we didn't talk about what we just did, and all the cars on their lot have dark front windows.  One guy was different.  He said (before I even asked anything), "You can't legally tint your front windows, so whatever we do here will be illegal.  Okay?"  I guess it's like speeding or rolling through Stop signs.  We all do it, and hope not to get caught.  Since this tinting is for my wife's car, I would prefer not to set her up with anything she has to worry about.

 

As far as enforcement, some police officers have a small tool they use to measure the VLT.  I have no idea how common it is, but the tool exists.  And you're supposed to carry a document from the installer with the film maker's specs on it (for front windows).  I found one shop in the state that mentioned they'll give you the cert, but they're two hours away.  Everyone local looked at me like I was nuts if I mentioned that.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, most cops will have a meter on them usually being the slide model that can only do the rollup windows.  There is also a 2-piece model so that you can do solid pieces of glass like the windshield.  The shop that said you can't legally tint your front windows might not have carried any lighter options for it...a lot of window films don't come in an 80% and much less in a 90%.  I don't know how far they are from you, but contact the shop below.  They are a high-end 3M shop that is a member here, they might be able to help clarify.

 

AutoSkinz

27525 Newhall Ranch Rd, Unit #9

Valencia, CA 91355

(661) 347-8468

autoskinz.com

Edited by DynamicATL

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/3/2019 at 3:50 PM, jeffreyfox said:

 

Ha, well, I've gone to several local shops.  In Los Angeles, everyone who tints their windows gets illegal tints.  It's just assumed that's what you want.  If you ask about legality, the shop guys all say "70% is the minimum" for the front, and I see there's some reason to it as you explained, but then they offer darker tints for the front windows anyway as if we didn't talk about what we just did, and all the cars on their lot have dark front windows.  One guy was different.  He said (before I even asked anything), "You can't legally tint your front windows, so whatever we do here will be illegal.  Okay?"  I guess it's like speeding or rolling through Stop signs.  We all do it, and hope not to get caught.  Since this tinting is for my wife's car, I would prefer not to set her up with anything she has to worry about.

 

As far as enforcement, some police officers have a small tool they use to measure the VLT.  I have no idea how common it is, but the tool exists.  And you're supposed to carry a document from the installer with the film maker's specs on it (for front windows).  I found one shop in the state that mentioned they'll give you the cert, but they're two hours away.  Everyone local looked at me like I was nuts if I mentioned that.

Xpel CS black 88 would meet the requirements that you are asking for.  I added a link to the specification of the film.   You can go to Xpel.com and use the dealer locator to find a dealer in your area.  I hope this information helps you.  

 

https://www.xpel.com/web-assets/downloads/XPEL-PRIME-Spec-Sheet-USA-V2-1.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
58 minutes ago, redneckj said:

Xpel CS black 88 would meet the requirements that you are asking for.  I added a link to the specification of the film.   You can go to Xpel.com and use the dealer locator to find a dealer in your area.  I hope this information helps you.  

 

https://www.xpel.com/web-assets/downloads/XPEL-PRIME-Spec-Sheet-USA-V2-1.pdf

 

Is the film lighter than listed online?  The specs you linked shows it is 86% out of the box.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×