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How are out-of-state/province cars with tint treated?


Guest copious

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Guest copious

Hey all, great forum! I'm not a tinter, just a guy who wants his car windows tinted. I have a silver 2006 Toyota Matrix and will be using this car to travel through many states and provinces and would like to know what the best compromise on tint levels would be. Currently, the car is registered in British Columbia, Canada where the law states that the front windows cannot have any tint. In about 6 months, I will be relocating and re-registering the car in either Ontario or Quebec. I will be spending a lot of time in the Toronto and Montreal areas and their suburbs. I'm leaning towards registering the car in Quebec.

About 14 years ago, I was living in British Columbia (Vancouver area) and had a brand new 1994 Ford SPAM with 50% on the fronts, 35% on the other sides and 5% on the back window (or something like that - the car had 9 windows including quarter windows and the back window, and each panel of glass was tinted darker from front to back). Despite having !!llegal tint on the front windows, I never had a problem. Then I registered the car in Ontario without any problems. Later, I registered the car in Quebec, again, no problems. I drove the car in New York, Vermont, Michigan and Ohio occasionally and never had a problem. Was I just lucky?

For the Matrix, I'm thinking of not tinting the front windows and going with 35% for all the other windows. A local tint shop said there is an off-black tint that is similar to what comes from the factory on many SUVs and minivans. He will tint my car this way for $250, or add another $45 for each of the front windows - which I probably won't do. Seems like a fair price. I paid about $200 cash back in 1995 for the SPAM. A darker tint would be nice so that while travelling, and the car is parked, people won't be able to see what's in the car. (I wil probably get an alarm installed too). But, I want something that is legal in all states and provinces to avoid potential problems ... or would cops usually let an out-of-state (or out-of-province) driver go or give a bit more slack?

I just want to keep the interior cooler in the summer and have some privacy.

Thanks in advance for any input!

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In Quebec the allowed vlt is 70%, very light. I once had to re tint a car that had to be ispected for tint,it had 20%. I tinted it at 70% and still did not pass but they (QPP) let it go. It's kinda stict there, but in Ontario the legal limit is 35%. Hope this helps in any way :thumb:thumb:thumb

Don't forget to read 'Reasons to Keep it Legal" this will help with your decision!!! :thumb

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Guest copious
In Quebec the allowed vlt is 70%, very light. I once had to re tint a car that had to be ispected for tint,it had 20%. I tinted it at 70% and still did not pass but they (QPP) let it go. It's kinda stict there, but in Ontario the legal limit is 35%. Hope this helps in any way :beer:lol2:thumb

Don't forget to read 'Reasons to Keep it Legal" this will help with your decision!!! :lol2

Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I know about the Ontario & Quebec limits, just wondering about other provinces and states. If I don't tint the front roll-up windows or the windshield, and just tint the remaining ones with 35% or 20% (similar to the darkness used OEM on many SUVs and minivans), I should be OK no matter where I drive, right? (as far as you know).

Where can I find the "Reasons to Keep It Legal" article?

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Guest copious

I found the "Reasons to Keep it Legal" thread. Some good points. But, there seems to be some discrepancy... one person, from Delaware, said (as I understood) 70% is legal everywhere, as long as it's not any darker than that. The next person, from California, said "front doors are !llegal. thats it."

Which is it? If 70% is legal everywhere, then I'm getting that on my front windows. But, from what I've found out, there are some places, like BC where I currently live, that NO tint is allowed on the front windows (except whatever comes from the factory). My 2006 Toyota Matrix has a very VERY light, slightly greenish tint built into the glass. Not sure what percentage it is, but I'd have to guess something like 95%! ;)

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Guest copious
the factory "solar shield" "safety flo-lite" and other windows on most new cars are around 70% VLT already......so I am sure your Matrix would be as well.

Thanks for the info! If my Matrix has the "solar shield" "safety flo-lite" that's already around 70%, I'd best not add any aftermarket tint. Too bad, because the car would look so much better with all the side windows tinted, even if the front ones were very light.

Maybe that's why the car mentioned earlier, by running free, did not pass even when re-tinted at 70% - since the car would have already had the "solar shield" "safety flo-lite" at 70% plus on top of that, the 70% aftermarket tint?

What's the absolute lightest aftermarket tint out there? If there's anything lighter than 70% I might give it a try, but then, like that article says, without tint, you don't EVER have to worry about a ticket for !llegal tint - no matter where I go, any state, any province (I'm beginning to doubt that cops would give "out of towners" a break or off with a warning.

For example, I drive through a state or province with a 0% tint law for the front windows, and my car is registered in Quebec, which allows 70%. So my car is legal for the province it's regsitered in, but not for the state or province I'm currently driving through... interesting scenario? What do you think would happen?

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Guest coredneck

I had dark tining on my vehicles for years and never had any problems until recently. I got stopped in UT back in March going to CA but in my opinion, the cop was using the tint as an excuse to check me out - digging for felonies such as dr*gs. I driven in states like WI, VA, CA, IA, UT which are known to mess with out of state motorists on tinting. From what you are planning, sounds like you won't have any problems. Most states give you leeway on tinting if you are from out of state, only a few will mess with you.

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Guest copious

That sounds good. If I stick to a moderate tint darkness (like maybe 35%) and NOT tint the front windows at all (even though I'd like to), AND make sure that the center brake light does not have tint hiding it, I should be fine no matter where I drive.

When I had my Ford SPAM, with the front windows tinted, I was always nervous about being pulled over, regardless of where I was driving. With the back windows tinted darker, it made the front look darker too. Every time I saw a cop, I'd put the front windows down almost every time. I hated doing that, and my new car actually doesn't have power windows, so that would be a bit tougher.

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