COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–“Why are there so many cars on the road with dark tinted windows?”

That’s what Martha asked in a recent message to Better Call 4. She thought darkened windows on vehicles were “outlawed quite a few years ago,” citing concerns about safety, and how tinted windows could inhibit law enforcement investigations.

If you’ve wondered the same thing, or maybe you’re planning to add tint to the windows on your vehicle sometime soon, I asked the Ohio State Highway Patrol what’s allowed, and Lieutenant Nathan Dennis directed me to the current regulations in the Ohio Administrative Code.

  • For the front windshield: “Any sun screening material or other product or material applied to the windshield has a light transmittance of not less than seventy percent plus or minus three percent.” And “that does not extend downward beyond five inches from the top of the windshield.”
  • For side windows “to the immediate right or left of the driver, not less than fifty percent, plus or minus three percent.”
  • For any other window, including the back windshield, “…a light transmittance of less than fifty percent (plus or minus three percent).”

Lieutenant Dennis said failing to comply with these regulations is a primary violation, which can be enforced by all branches of law enforcement. It’s classified as a traffic citation. As far as the fine amount, he said it varies from county to county.