Vehicles can fail state inspections for dark tinted windows under new law


Sponsors say new law will improve safety for police during traffic stops

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that will require the examination of tinted or shaded windows during an automobile’s yearly state inspection.

According to the bill sponsors, many vehicle owners do not realize the windows on their vehicles are tinted darker than New York state law currently permits.

Glass that is too dark inhibits other drivers from making necessary eye contact with a driver to understand their intent. It also hampers law enforcement’s ability to observe if illegal activity is occurring within the vehicle.

Sponsors John DeFrancisco in the Senate and Michael DenDekker in the Assembly say the new law will also curb unnecessary vehicle stops by police.

“Many New Yorkers are violating the law by driving vehicles with tinted windows that exceed current regulations,” said DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse. “We need to start taking a proactive approach to resolving this problem.”

The new state law will require that tinted glass be one of the items assessed during annual motor vehicle inspections to ensure that current laws are being followed. If the glass of any vehicle window is composed of, covered by, or treated with material that has a light transmittance of less than 70 percent, then that vehicle would fail the New York state safety inspection, and the window tint would have to be removed or fixed.


The bill (S.6034-a/A.4106) was first introduced in 2003.

“Improving public safety is the driving factor behind this bill. Dark tinted car windows can inhibit drivers from making necessary eye contact with pedestrians and other drivers. They also can place law enforcement officers in jeopardy when making traffic stops because they cannot see what activity is occurring inside the vehicle,” DeFrancisco said.

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2017.