All About Window Tinting

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How to ensure your car tint is legal

One of the most popular after-sales auto upgrades are window tints, because they reduce the effects of UV light on a vehicle’s interior furnishings, keep the interior cool and provide privacy.

The problem is that there are legal limits to the VLT of an auto tint (the amount of visible light that is transmitted through a vehicle’s window tint). Too dark a tint or too low a VLT reduces the driver’s vision, which is why there are legal minimums for these tints.

Whilst fairly similar across Australia, there are some VLT differences between the states. These differences can pose a problem if you are moving inter-state and your car’s windows were previously tinted in a state that has higher minimum standards than your destination. If you are travelling around Australia however, as long as your tints are legal in your home state, there shouldn’t be a problem.

The best way to ensure that your vehicle’s window tints are legal is to go to a professional installer who specialises in installing window tints. They will definitely know all the legal requirements, because if they didn’t, their reputation and their livelihood would be in serious jeopardy.

Is your car window tinting legal?

If you want to confirm that your auto tints are legal in Victoria, here are a few of the facts you need to know.

  • Dark tints: There are a range of different tint brands on the market and a range of different VLTs, but whatever brand you select, there is a VLT minimum that applies. So if you want to install the darkest window tints in your car, you can only select the darkest legal tint or else the police can deem your vehicle unroadworthy. Police do perform random stops, checking the VLT of auto tints, so it pays to keep your tints legal!
  • Windscreen tints: The location of these tints is just as important as the VLT of the tints, because nothing can be allowed to reduce the driver’s visibility, particularly through the front windscreen. This means that these tints must be placed in the top 10% of the windscreen, not be more than 65mm in width and must be above the windscreen wipers. The minimum VLT for windscreen tints for cars manufactured after July 1971 is 35%.
  • Rear window tints: The minimum VLT for the rear window in Victoria is 20% (the same as in NSW and WA), however in the remaining states it’s 35%, except for the NT where it is 15%.
  • Front side window tints: The minimum VLT for the front side windows is 35% in Victoria and across Australia.
  • Rear side window tints: The minimum VLT for the rear side window tints has recently been amended to 20% in Victoria, in line with Queensland and New South Wales. As with the rear window tints, this is different in some states. For example, in the NT it’s 15% so always be sure to check the local laws.

These VLT differences may be subtle in appearance, but if you live in the NT and move to Victoria you will have to address the issue of your window tints or else suffer the legal consequences. Most people aren’t aware of these differences, when they want to move interstate, but now that you do, your best strategy may be to sell your vehicle in your home state and buy a car with legal tints in the state where you are relocating.