The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

State Law Gets Tougher on Vehicle Window Tint

June 7, 2005

ATLANTA – A revised version of the state law — struck down as unconstitutional last year because it would have applied only to vehicles registered in Georgia — was reincarnated May 2, forbidding dark tinting on rear, side, and door windows of all vehicles, regardless of registration, according to the Web site, The Georgia State Patrol began issuing citations last week. Drivers with tinted windows in their vehicles must have them removed to avoid a ticket, said Joseph Swords, a communications equipment officer for the GSP's Rome, Ga., post. The law states that punishment for infractions can be as much as a $1,000 fine and /or 12 months in prison; but in Rome and Floyd County, the stakes aren't quite so high. The law’s tinting cutoff is 32 percent light transmission, plus or minus 3 percent. Materials that increase the level of light reflected off the glass by more than 20 percent also are illegal. Windshields are off-limits for tinting or glazing, except for the top 6 inches. "The window-tint law is a safety issue, not only for law-enforcement officers as they approach a vehicle during a traffic stop, but also for drivers so they can better see approaching vehicles while they drive," said GSP Commander Col. Bill Hitchens. There are some exceptions to the tinting law. According to the GSP, these include: adjustable sun visors not attached to the glass; signs or stickers displayed in a 7-inch square in the lower corner of the passenger side of the windshield or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the driver's side of the windshield; law-enforcement vehicles; and any federal, state, or local sticker or certificate that is required by law to be placed on any windshield or window. Also exempted under the state law are rear windshields and side windows — except the windows to the left and right of the driver — on multipurpose passenger vehicles; school buses and buses used for public transportation; buses and vans owned or leased by any religious or nonprofit organization; limousines; and any other vehicle where the windows or windshields have been tinted or darkened before factory delivery or permitted by federal law or regulation. Those who need tinting in their windows for medical reasons "can get a letter from their doctor and keep it in the car with them," said Swords.
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