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Window Tint in Tennessee – what’s the law?

The are many drivers in the city of Memphis and the state of Tennessee who have tinted windows to help beat the ferocious summer heat we tend to experience. Tinted windows also play a part in protecting individuals and their property from prying eyes. Alternatively, you can be sure that when a police officer with the Memphis police department sees heavily tinted windows he/she only sees an opportunity to make an investigative stop.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney


The experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Chiozza Law Firm have handled more cases than they can remember where the nature of the police stop and subsequent arrest all started with tinted automobile windows. When an officer pulls someone over for having tinted windows, they are usually doing so to investigate whether there is other criminal activity taking place. As noted in an article published by Edmunds, one of the top five ways to get pulled over by police is to have heavily tinted windows. If you insist on having aftermarket installed tint in the state of Tennessee, you should know the following rules and laws:                                                          

  • Window tint is measure by the percentage of visible light that comes through your car windows, referred to as Visible Light Transmission (VLT). A lower percentage of VLT will result in a darker tint.
  • Per T.C.A. 55-9-107, the percentage of tint is essentially the same for an SUV or sedan. Under this TN law, you must allow for more than 70% of light for any tint installed on a windshield. As for side and back windows, you must allow for 35% of visible light transmission.
  • You cannot have metallic or mirrored tint installed on any of your vehicle’s windows.
  • As a consumer, you are also required to have the installer place a sticker in between the tinting film and glass on the driver’s window which confirms and identifies legal tinting.
  • The owner/operator/installer is not prevented from using colored tint.
  • There are medical exceptions the Tennessee window tinting law which require you to have a note from your treating physician in the vehicle at all times. Because the law is subject to change, we recommend you contact the Tennessee Department of Safety or an experienced attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm to discuss your legal options if you fall under this medical exemption.


We cannot stress enough that if you want to tint your automobile windows, only have a licensed and reputable installer perform the work. An experienced tint installation expert will certainly know the above-referenced laws and ensure that the tint on your vehicle complies with state law. Illegally installed window tint can land you a ticket. Even if you are pulled over by police for having tinted windows and are free from any criminal activity, you can still be given a city court citation if you do not have proof that the illegal tint on your windows has been removed.

If you have any questions related to any type of legal matter, including personal injuries, auto accidents, medical malpractice and criminal defense, the Chiozza Law Firm has more than 60 years of experience serving residents the Mid-South and beyond. We try not to limit our areas of practice, but if we cannot properly represent you or handle your case, we will do our best to refer you to an attorney who can. Feel free to call 901-526-9494, or email Brian Chiozza at brian@chiozzalaw.com for emergency matters. 




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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 4:37 PM
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