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You Don't Want to Break This San Diego Window Tinting Law! Here's Why.

Understanding California’s Window Tinting Laws and How to Avoid Being Fined

When you think of car audio, you think of the team at Stereo Depot. We are the premier destination for car stereo installation in San Diego and the surrounding areas. However, we don’t stop there. Stereo Depot is also well known for having the best selection and widest variety of car accessories and upgrades. We’re not only the best car alarm installation in San Diego, we can do anything from custom lighting, wheels and rims, and even professional window tinting.

One of the main questions that we get about window tinting is in regards to the legality of it. As the locals know, California has very strict window tinting laws and local officers aren’t afraid to enforce them. This makes people hesitant about the idea of getting window tint installed, despite the very obvious benefits. Window tint not only gives drivers privacy and elevates the look of their vehicles, but it also filters out at least 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. That means that the window tint is preserving the interior of your car while also keeping internal temperatures cool. On a hot and sunny San Diego day, your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard because the window tint has blocked most of the heat coming in.

What Are the Window Tint Laws You Need to Know in 2021?

If you’re considering getting window tint installed on your vehicle, then you should brush up on the window tint laws so you know what’s legal. Currently, California state law dictates that reflected window tint isn’t allowed on the first 4” of the front windshield and the front side windows. Additionally, up to 70% of tint darkness is allowed in combination with the factory-tinted windows that came with the vehicle. However, in the case of backseat passenger windows and the rear windshield, any tint darkness may be used. This rule applies to all types of vehicles (car, SUV, truck, etc.).

What Are the Color Restrictions I Should Know About?

In addition to the rules we mentioned above regarding tint and reflective tint, there are also rules against which colors can be used. Blue, red, and amber are strictly OFF LIMITS. If you get one of those colors installed, you can expect to be promptly pulled over and given a ticket. However, any other color should be fine.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Rule?

When it comes to window tint, there is actually an exception to the window tint rule and how dark you can take it. The caveat is that you must show you have a clinical necessity for it. That means you must have daylight sensitivity, photosensitivity, or another medical issue that necessitates darker window tint. If you can prove that, you’re clear to get a darker window tint installed.

What Type of Punishment Am I Facing If I Violate the Window Tint Law?

Punishment is going to be different from person-to-person. If your record is clean and it’s your first time being notified you’re in violation, you’ll likely drive away with a small fine and a request to get the tint adjusted. However, if you get charged with an infraction, that will likely cost far more than a fine.

How Do I Know the Tint I’m Going to Get is Legal?

Here at Stereo Depot, we’re well aware of the 70% rule along with all the other statutes as they pertain to California state law. We would never knowingly put anyone out on the road with a customization or upgrade that is illegal. That includes window tint, lighting, and other accessories.

Upgrade Your Vehicle Today at Stereo Depot

If you’re looking for custom car audio (in-dash car radios and stereos, speakers, subs, woofers) or accessories and upgrades such as lighting and window tint, let the team at Stereo Depot help you find what you’re looking for. We’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the top suppliers of aftermarket stereo equipment in San Diego with some of the quickest turnaround times. We can also help you find the perfect darkness level and style of tint to help elevate your vehicle’s aesthetic – and it’ll be street legal.

The best way to get started is by visiting our shop in person. Our locations are conveniently located in San Diego and El Cajon. Feel free to contact us via our website with any questions you may have.

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