Window tint will be tested during state inspection starting January 1

December 27, 2016 07:02 PM

There's no escaping it now, every car in the state will soon have to go under the tint meter to pass inspection.

“We do have people calling now to have some tint removed, but we're not flooded yet with phone calls, but I expect that might change after the first of the year after people start getting inspections,” said Rick Martin, Tint World.

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The law requires that at least 70 percent of light must pass through front windows. At Tint World on Central Avenue, owner Rick Martin tested glass with a tint meter for us.

A Ford Focus with factory windows that had not been tinted just passed with 73 percent.

A Ford Mustang's factory windows that had not been tinted came in at 76 percent.

All side windows and the windshield are tested on cars.  Only the front windows and windshield are tested on SUVs, trucks, and vans.

A Porsche SUV’s back windows tested at 21 percent. The windows would pass under the new law.

Owner Rick Martin says the law doesn't allow much of a tint at all. He would prefer for a law like the one in Massachusetts, where 35 percent of light must pass through.

“That's actually a nice shade. It provides some privacy, yet it's light enough while they're driving that law-enforcement can see the driver clearly enough,” said Martin.

The 70 percent limit isn't new. It was just up to police to enforce with tickets.  Now it's up to inspection shops like Broadway Auto Clinic in Menands.

“I would say the super majority it will not affect, but there will be people who will not be happy when they find out they'll have to have the tint removed,” said Sandra Hameroff, Broadway Auto Clinic.

Tint is a film that can be removed, but it's often tricky and messy.  It provides privacy, shade, and cools the car's interior.

The justification for the new law is to ensure police can see drivers. Hameroff has been in the inspection business for over 20 years. She likes the new law.

“Personally, I feel that it's good for law enforcement. Especially when they're walking up to a vehicle,” said Hameroff.

Hameroff also noted she’s found it difficult to drive at night with tinted front windows. 

Martin says he has never seen a factory window that would violate the law.

There are exemptions for people with certain medical conditions, and different rules for cars made before 1992.  See the actual DMV guidance sent to shops in the web extra.

WEB EXTRA: Tinted Windows Law


Asa Stackel

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