There are a lot of benefits to tinted windows, but it is important that you know what the North Carolina tint laws are in order to avoid breaking them. In this article, we will cover all of the legal information about NC tint law, including how dark or reflective the window tinting can be and who needs a NC car window film permit. 

NC Tint Laws 2021

Visible light transmission and window tint darkness

There are a number of different rules and regulations that apply when driving in North Carolina, but one thing you should know is the percentage or amount of light allowed through your windows. This can be referred to as Visible Light Transmission (VLT); it’s how much sunlight gets into the car from outside sources like trees or sky via rays coming directly at us without being absorbed by something else first. The VLT allows only 20% UVB rays which means we need more window tinting if we want protection from these harmful radiation waves!

Window tint laws darkness for Sedans


Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line or top 5 inches.

Front side car windows

Must allow more than 35% of light in.    

Back side car windows

Must allow more than 35% of light in.    

Rear window

The rear window must allow more than 35% of light in.  

Car Window Tinting Percentage

Window tinting laws darkness for SUV and Vans


Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturer’s  AS-1 line or top 5 inches.    

Front Side windows

Must allow more than 35% of light in.     

Back Side windows

Any darkness can be used.     

Rear Window

Any darkness can be used.  

Window tint in North Carolina 

Window tint can reflect incoming light and reduce glare and heat. North Carolina window tint law permits a certain window reflection when using tint so make sure you pay attention to this as well. 

Window tint reflection for sedans

  • Front Side windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.     
  • Back Side windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.  
  • Window tint reflection for SUV and vans: Front Side windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.    
  • Back Side windows: Must not be more than 20% reflective.  
North Carolina Tint Laws
North Carolina Tint Laws

Other North Carolina tint laws

Additional Window Tint Laws in North Carolina

In addition to the laws concerning VLT, North Carolina has some other important rules that apply when it comes time for window tinting.

Tinted windows can only use colors in the film, but drivers may not go against state law by using red or yellow.

The law requires that if you have a tinted back window on your vehicle, then dual side mirrors are also required.

North Carolina is the only state in America that doesn’t require film certification before selling within its borders.

Drivers with tinted windows also do not need a sticker to identify legal tinting.

North Carolina allows for a 3% variance in VLT.

Medical Exemptions

North Carolina offers an exemption to window tinting laws for individuals who are photosensitive.

Unfortunately, these individuals may need darker window tints and can access them by applying for a medical exemption permit.

Medical exemption permits are obtained through the NC DMV’s Medical Review Program and can last up to five years.

It is a requirement for these drivers to remain in their vehicles and have medical exception stickers on the window.

More Facts About NC Car Tint Laws

North Carolina has a few more laws regarding tinted car windows. You must follow all of the regulations and it’s also important to understand them before having your windows tinted so as not to have any problems later on down the line!

You know what they say about cars with tinted windows- you can’t see the driver’s side! Dual side mirrors are necessary if your vehicle has this type of accessory, and thankfully North Carolina doesn’t restrict colors either.

The state of North Carolina offers medical exemptions to tint law for those who need it. If you plan on applying, make sure that your application is in order and know the rules!

North Carolina requires a photo Exception for people who are photosensitive to light. The best way to get your car tinted is with darker window tints so that you can avoid the sun’s glare when driving at night or in areas where sunlight may be scarce.

If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, then the North Carolina DMV Medical Review Program is there for you. You just need to fill out an application and they’ll review your case!

When you receive an exception permit, it means that the car is not subject to certain laws and restrictions. You cannot use your permit for different vehicles or carry it while driving other cars on public roads with a valid Virginia registration plate. In addition, there will be an official sticker provided by DMV called “exception stickers” which must be displayed prominently in the lower left corner of the rear window when driving any vehicle displaying them; a $200 fine applies if these conditions are violated.

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