CBS47 On Your Side: How dark is too dark for window tint?

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Take a drive around the valley and you will see dark tint on car windows. It’s not against the law to put tint on the back windows of your vehicle, but the windshield and front windows that’s another story.

According to the California Highway Patrol, drivers are not allowed to have any tint at all on the windshield and both front windows.

But what if you got it from the dealership? Officers still say no deal!

The issue of dark windows is becoming so bad that members of the Merced Police Department posted a tutorial on its Facebook page.

In the post, Officer Craig McKeeman says, “The back windows are tinted at 24 percent. What I’m finding is people are tinting the front windows as dark as the rear windows.”

But what if you have a medical excuse? Officers say in certain cases yes. But even then the tint can not be darker than 35 percent light transparency. The level of transparency can be measured with a device used by law enforcement.

Officer McKeeman says it must be able to be taken down quickly. He says, “It’s got to be readily removable like with a suction cup or a roller shade and you have to carry a doctors note with you.”

Mike Funk is the owner of U.S. Tint and has been in business 35 years.

Funk showed CBS47 a clear tint that people can install on their front windows and still get 95 percent protection from the sun.

“This is the legal film in California, which is clear. You can see the meter is going to show at 100 percent UVA. But I put the tint over it and you see it’s going to drop all the way down to .07 percent,” says Funk.

Funk says daily he turns customers away that want their front windows tinted dark. He say he just won’t do it. “Bottom line, we have to sleep at night. It’s unsafe when you drive around the neighborhood. It’s unsafe for you and the officer when they are approaching you car if you do get pulled over,” says Funk.

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