BERWYN HEIGHTS POLICE DEPARTMENT
Tinted Windows & Other Vehicle Equipment Violations
police department has noticed a excessive number of vehicles on the
road with illegally tinted
windows, and with illegally colored lights mounted on the front and sides. Both of these violations subject
the vehicle operator to a moving vehicle traffic citation, with a $40-50 fine asessed. In order to prevent yourself from getting a ticket for either of these violations, you should be aware of
the Maryland Laws pertaining to them. The laws are listed below, however in addition to reading them,
here are a few pointers that you should know!
TINTED WINDOWS -The 35% Window Tint Law in Maryland means
that the TOTAL amount of light being transmitted
through the glass of a motor vehicle cannot be less than 35%. In other words, it doesn't make any difference what percentage
the actual window tinting film is rated at, you still cannot exceed 35% total Light Transmittance Value, or LTV for short.
problem here is that many people purchase a window tint film that is
rated at 35% and think it's automatically okay to put it
on their car windows. A 35% window film will guarantee you that your vehicle will be illegal, and here's why:
come from the factory with a certain percentage of tinting
incorporated into the glass. In most cases it blocks out
approximately 20% of the available light, which means that 80% is still passing through.
That is an LTV of 80%, and there's no problem there.
An after market
window tint film rated at 35% means that the film allows 35% of the
available light to
pass through, and blocks out 65%. (This is known as 35% LTV Film) And again, there's no problem with that.
the trouble begins.
When you place a 35% window tint film over a vehicle window that is
already blocking out
20% of the available light, you have now reduced the LTV to 28%, which is ILLEGAL! Why is it now 28%? Because you
started with a piece of glass that was already blocking out 20% of the available light, and you are now placing a
35% tinting material on a piece of glass that only had 80% availabe light to start with. (.35 x 80 = 28%)
That means you are now blocking out 72% of the available light, leaving only 28% to pass through.
You now have
tinted windows with a 28% Light Transmittance Value,
and remember that the State of Maryland requires an LTV of at least 35%.
(Windows that are tinted darker than 35% are very obvious to police officers.)
We want you
understand the law completely because there are many Window Tint
Shops out there who are telling their
customers that a 35% window tint film placed on their vehicle glass is legal, which it isn't . (And you just saw why.)
Additionally, many shops will just tint your windows without even telling you what is, and what is not legal in Maryland.
that if you get stopped with illegally tinted windows, it's YOU that
gets the $50.00 ticket, not the shop that installed it.
Plus you'll have the added cost of having it removed from your vehicle, which is probably as much as it was to have it put it on!
Why take the
chance? Read the actual law below regarding tinted windows in Maryland,
before you have it done to your vehicle!
page was recently corrected. Many thanks to
Eric of the Pikesville Fire Department,
Baltimore County, MD. for his contribution.)
- ILLEGALLY COLORED LIGHTS - Another violation which seems to
be in abundance lately is vehicles with lights or lenses
which are in violation of the Maryland Vehicle Law. Officers are routinely stopping vehicles with Blue, Green and Purple
lights added to/or mounted in lieu of, the vehicle's original lights. (The small "laser" lights mounted to the hood are the most
common violation.) We're also finding many people who have removed the Red Lenses and Reflectors from the tail lights
of their cars, and installed CLEAR lenses instead. (Clear lenses are legal only if the bulbs themselves are still located
behind RED plastic, and the required minimum amount of RED Reflecting Material is installed in the clear lenses.)
Vehicle Law clearly states the colors which are required on the
front, back and sides of vehicles used on
public highways, and these laws are in conformance with the Federal Safety Standards for Motor Vehicles
manufactured in the United States. Changing or altering these required items subjects the vehicle operator to a
Moving Vehicle Traffic Citation, (usually $40-50) and/or a Safety Equipment Repair Order.
forwarned that just because a product is sold in a retail store like
Trak Auto, Pep Boys, etc., that does not mean
that it is legal to use it. Most "after-market" vehicle products have a small disclaimer listed somewhere on the box or
package, which reads: "NOT FOR HIGHWAY USE," or "CHECK LOCAL LAWS BEFORE USING THIS PRODUCT."
The manufacturers of these products do this to place the responsibility for using their merchandise on YOU.
Even if a disclaimer is not listed on a particular item, the responsibility is still on the owner or operator of the vehicle
to make sure that it complies with the law when used on the public highways of the state.
WHEN IN DOUBT
ABOUT A PARTICULAR AFTER-MARKET ITEM, CONTACT THE MARYLAND STATE
AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT DIVISION AT (410) 424-3787 FOR AN OFFICIAL RULING.
SAVE YOURSELF UNECESSARY FINES, POINTS OR IMPOUNDMENT OF YOUR VEHICLE!
Section 22-406 of the Maryland Transportation Article
A Registered Vehicles #13-912 (Passenger Vehicles &
Station Wagons) - May have add-on
(aftermarket) window tint on any window except the windshield, provided that the tinting material
allows a minimum of 35% light transmittance through the glass.
E, & M Registered Vehicles #13-913, 13-917 & 13-937
(For Hire Vehicles, Trucks & Multi-
Purpose Vehicles) - May have add-on (aftermarket) window tint on any window except the windshield,
provided that the tinting material on the windows to the immediate right and left of the driver allows a
minimum of 35% light transmittance through the glass.
The remaining windows have no percentage requirement.
* In addition,
No tinted windows (no matter what the degree of light transmittance is)
may have a mirrored, reflective, or one-way effect.
of the above laws subject the vehicle operator to a $50.00 Traffic
Citation under Section 22-406 i1
of the Maryland Vehicle Law and/or a Safety Equipment Repair Order.
If a Safety
Equipment Repair Order has been issued for a window tint violation,
the problem must be corr-
ected and the vehicle re-inspected within 10 Days, by a member of the Maryland State Police Automotive
Equipment Safety Division. (A.S.E.D.) (Garages cannot certify vehicles for window tint violations.)
Members of the
A.S.E.D. are available for vehicle inspections at the Largo MVA
(Route 202 near Rt. 214)
on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, and the Beltsville MVA (Route 1 & Ammen-
dale Drive) on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.
VERSION OF THE MARYLAND VEHICLE LIGHT LAWS
Title 22 of the Maryland Transportation Article
LAMPS - Front Clearance Lamps, Identification Lamps, and those Marker
Reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an AMBER color.
OR BLUE LIGHT VISIBLE FROM THE FRONT - Except as required or
permitted in 22-218
of this subtitle, (regarding the operation of Emergency or School Vehicles) a person may not drive or move any
vehicle or equipment on any highway with any lamp or device on it that displays a Red or Blue Light
visible directly from the front of its center.
LIGHT VISIBLE FROM THE REAR - Except as authorized elsewhere in this
subtitle, a person
may not drive or move any vehicle or equipment on any highway with any lamp or device that displays a
WHITE light visible directly from its rear.
DRIVING OR MOVING VEHICLE DISPLAYING FLASHING LIGHT - Except as authorized
elsewhere in this subtitle, a person may not drive or move any vehicle or equipment on any
highway while the vehicle or equipment displays any Flashing Light.
OF LIGHTS ON REAR OF VEHICLE - All lighting devices and
reflectors mounted on the rear
of any vehicle shall display or reflect a RED Color, except the Stoplight or Other Signal Device, which may be Red,
Amber or Yellow, except that the light illuminating the Registration Plate shall be
White and the light emitted by a Backup Lamp shall be White or Amber.
COWL OR FENDER LAMPS - Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not
more than two side
cowl or fender lamps that: (1) Emit an Amber or White Light without glare, and (2) Are located at
or near the front of the vehicle.
RUNNING BOARD COURTESY LAMPS - Any motor vehicle may be equipped on
each side of the
vehicle with not more than one running board courtesy lamp that emits a White or Amber light without glare.
NOTE: Green Lights are only permitted on Taxicabs as Flashing Holdup Lights. See 22-218(g).
REFLECTORS - In General, After July 1, 1971, every motor vehicle,
trailer, etc., shall carry on the rear,
either as part of the tail lamps or separately, two or more RED Reflectors meeting the requirements of this section.
PLACEMENT; VISIBILITY - Every reflector shall be mounted on the
vehicle at a height of not more than 60
inches nor less than 15 inches and shall be of such size and characteristics and so mounted as to be visible at
night from all distances within 600 feet to 100 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps, except that visibility at a greater distance is hereinafter required of reflectors on certain types of vehicles. When two reflectors are required, they shall be as widely spaced laterally as practicable.
LAMPS OR EQUIPMENT - A person may not use on a motor vehicle,
trailer, etc., a Headlamp, Auxiliary
or Fog Lamp, Rear Lamp, Signal Lamp, or Reflector which reflector or lamp is required under this title,
or parts of any of the foregoing, which tend to Change the Original Design or Performance.
DRIVING WITH IMPROPER EQUIPMENT - In General. - A person may not
drive and the owner may not cause
or knowingly permit to be driven on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles that:
(i) Is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person; (ii) Does not contain those parts or is not
at all times equipped with lamps and other equipment in proper condition and adjustment
as required in this title; or (iii) Is equipped in any manner in violation of this title.
OF ANY OF THESE VIOLATIONS ARE PUNISHABLE BY A TRAFFIC CITATION
WITH A FINE OF $40.00 or $50.00 DEPENDING ON THE SECTION.