Is too much window tint against the law?

Published 10:18 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

How much window tint can I have on my windows?
— Madison, of Niles

Madison, now that summer is approaching, dispatch receives many calls in reference to window tint.

This is a primary stop, meaning law enforcement can stop a Michigan-plated vehicle that has window tint on the front passenger and driver window or the windshield to investigate.

MCL 257.709 states:

“(1) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle with any of the following:

(a) A sign, poster, nontransparent material, window application, reflective film, or non-reflective film upon or in the front windshield, the side windows immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger, or the sidewings adjacent to and forward of the driver or front passenger, except that a tinted film may be used along the top edge of the windshield and the side windows or sidewings immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger if the material does not extend more than four inches from the top of the windshield, or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.

(b) A rear window or side window to the rear of the driver composed of, covered by, or treated with a material that creates a total solar reflectance of 35 percent or more in the visible light range, including a silver or gold reflective film.

(c) An object that obstructs the vision of the driver of the vehicle, except as authorized by law.

(2) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if driver visibility through the rear window is obstructed, unless the vehicle is equipped with two rearview mirrors, one on each side, adjusted so that the operator has a clear view of the highway behind the vehicle.

The exception to this is if “(e) A special window treatment or application determined necessary by a physician or optometrist, for the protection of a person who is light sensitive or photosensitive, if the owner or operator of a motor vehicle has in possession a letter signed by a physician or optometrist, indicating that the special window treatment or application is a medical necessity. However, the special window treatment or application shall not interfere with or obstruct the driver’s clear vision of the highway or an intersecting highway.”


Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to