Twin Falls Area Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Illegal Window Tinting

The Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies across Idaho, are intensifying efforts to enforce legal window tinting regulations on the state's roadways. This initiative aims to enhance safety for both officers and drivers.

Understanding Idaho's Window Tinting Laws

In Idaho, the law sets specific limits on how much tint can be applied to vehicle windows. According to Idaho Statute 49-994 the following regulations apply:

  • Front Side Windows: Must allow more than 35% of light to pass through (35% VLT).
  • Back Side Windows: Must allow more than 20% of light to pass through (20% VLT).
  • Rear Window: Must allow more than 20% of light to pass through (20% VLT), but dual side mirrors are required if the rear window is tinted.
  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 6 inches.

Why Legal Tinting Limits Matter in Idaho


Officer Safety

Maintaining tint within legal limits is crucial for the safety of law enforcement officers. Tint that is too dark can prevent an officer from clearly seeing inside your vehicle, posing a potential risk during traffic stops. Ensuring visibility helps officers quickly assess whether they are approaching a safe situation.

Pro Tip: If you're ever pulled over for any reason, roll down all of your windows as the officer or deputy approaches. This sends the message that you care about their safety and in some cases, could mean the difference between a warning and a ticket.

Safe Driving

Excessively dark tint can also compromise safe driving conditions, particularly at night. It can reduce your ability to see oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and obstacles, increasing the risk of accidents. Legal tinting limits are designed to strike a balance between privacy, comfort, and visibility.

Penalties for Illegal Tinting in Idaho

Driving with illegal window tint in Idaho can result in a $67 fine. Importantly, this fine can be issued multiple times if the tint remains out of compliance. Even if you are cited once, you can receive additional citations if the issue is not corrected.

Common Misconceptions and Excuses

Twin Falls area law enforcement says that they are seeing an increase in illegal tint coming from transplants from other areas. You might be under the impression that if you buy a car with illegal tint, it's not your fault.  Purchasing a vehicle with existing illegal tint does not exempt you from complying with Idaho's tint laws. Moving to Idaho with a vehicle that is tint compliant with another state's laws still requires you to adjust the tint to meet Idaho's regulations.

Responsibilities of Vehicle Owners and Tinting Services

While it is not illegal for a tinting service to apply a darker tint than the law permits, it remains illegal for you to drive with such tint. You are responsible for ensuring your windows meet legal standards to avoid fines and enhance overall safety on the road.
For more information on window tinting regulations, refer to the Idaho Transportation Department's official website or consult with local law enforcement agencies.

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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