Are Tinted Windows Legal in Canada in 2024?

Are Tinted Windows Legal in Canada in 2024?

Concerns about the legal status of window tinting among Canadians often beg the question, “Are tinted windows legal in Canada?” Knowing such details could save you from getting a ticket and other penalties.

Window tinting laws in Canada differ from province to province. It is legal in some regions, but under strict conditions.

However, you must comply with the laws of any territory you visit because violations of tinting laws have legal consequences. Thus, ensure to familiarize yourself with the tinting laws of any province before taking the road trip to avoid penalties.

This article explores its importance and benefits and provides information on the legality of tinted windows in Canada. Details about the laws, legal limits, enforcement, and violation penalties aren’t left out.

Are tinted windows legal in Canada?

The legal status of tinted windows differs from one province to another. The legality of window tinting is a precaution against vision obstruction and enables law enforcement agents to see through cars.

However, the limitations vary in degree. For instance, only the top part of a car window can be tinted, while British Columbia allows strip tinting along the top edges of the windshield. Also, the permissible level of visible light transmission (VLT) varies.

Canada window tint laws

The legal limits for window tinting in Canada vary and are typically expressed as a VLT percentage. Here are the legal limits for window tinting in different Canadian provinces:

Ontario

It is not allowed to have any tint on the windshield. However, a tint with a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 70% or higher is permitted for the front side windows. As for the back side windows, any tint is allowed. If a vehicle has rear-view mirrors on the left and right sides, tinting is allowed for the rear window.

British Columbia

In British Columbia, you can tint the upper part of the windshield up to a maximum of 7.5 cm. However, front-side tinting is disallowed, while back-side tinting is allowed. Similarly, left and right-side rear-view mirrors allow any tint to be applied to the rear window.

Manitoba

The upper section of the windshield can be tinted up to 12.7 cm, ensuring a minimum coverage of 25%. As for the front side windows, tint is allowed if it has over 50% VLT. Tint with a VLT of 35% or more on the back windows is permitted. In the case of the rear window, any level of tint is allowed if the vehicle has both rear-view mirrors.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Tinting is prohibited on both the windshield and the front side windows. Nevertheless, there are no regulations on back-side tinting. Additionally, any level of tint is permitted on the rear window.

Nova Scotia

No windshield tinting is allowed, particularly on the front windows. However, you can tint the back windows to any level you desire. Similarly, the rear window in Nova Scotia can be tinted.

Prince Edward Island

The windshield should not have any tint applied to the front side windows in Prince Edward Island. There are no limitations regarding the degree of tint allowed on the rear side windows.

The rear window of cars in Prince Edward Island can have any level of tint applied. But ensure your vehicle has two-side mirrors.

Saskatchewan

Tinting is not allowed on the windshield or the front side of the windows. However, there are no restrictions on the level of tint on the back side windows. Also, the rear window can apply any level of tint without specific requirements.

New Brunswick

Allows a 70% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) tint on windshields and front side windows. Nonetheless, you can tint the back and rear windows as you deem fit.

Northwest Territories

No tint is allowed on windshields and front side windows. However, any tint is permitted on the back and rear sides of the window.

Nunavut

There are restrictions on tinting, but void tinting the front side of the window and windshields. However, you can tint the rear and back side windows to the level you desire.

Quebec

Window tinting laws allow tinting of the windshield’s top 15 cm (6 inches). Tinting over 70% Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is allowed for the front side windows. In Quebec, there are no restrictions on tinting the back side windows. Additionally, vehicles with left- and right-side rear-view mirrors in Quebec can have any tint on the rear window.

Yukon

In Yukon, there are no spelled-out window tinting laws. However, they have regulations that prevent windshield interference that could endanger driving. The implementation of these regulations varies depending on the views and judgment of the enforcement agents. However, we recommend you consult with appropriate authorities on window tinting to avoid violations.

Alberta

It is not allowed to have any tint on the windshield or front side windows. However, you can tint the back side windows if the vehicle has rear-view mirrors on both sides.

Are Tinted Windows Legal in Canada - Comparewise

Enforcement and penalties for violations of window tint laws

Enforcement agents, during regular inspections or traffic stops, carry out the enforcement of window tint laws in Canada. Any illegally tinted window is a violation that attracts fines or other penalties. To confirm compliance, officers use a tint meter to measure the VLT.

There is no fixed penalty or fine, as it varies by province. Vehicle owners are sometimes charged with removing the tint to avoid further incidents of violation. Even if the tinting doesn’t violate the law, officers can still demand an adjustment if the tinting poses a safety risk to the driver’s visibility.

Importance and benefits of window tinting

Many vehicle owners choose to tint their windows due to the advantages of window tinting. These benefits are:

  • Privacy and security: tinted windows ensure a certain level of privacy and security by minimizing the visibility of the vehicle interior. Passengers in cars carrying valuable items find this beneficial. Some individuals just enjoy the private driving experience.
  • Protection against UV rays: Tinted windows protect car passengers from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This significant sunblocking prevents skin damage, sunburn, and other detrimental effects of UV ray exposure.
  • Tinting films prevent vehicle interiors from fading and deteriorating. Some parts of the interior that it protects are the dashboard, upholstery, and others that sunlight can affect. 
  • Reduction of glare: window tinting diminishes the chances of sun interference with the driver’s sight. Thus, the driver suffers reduced eye strain under sunny or bright conditions and can see the road.
  • Classy appearance: Tinting films give an overall unique look to a vehicle. The tinted looks provide a sleek and stylish look, adding to the aesthetics of any car. Some even attribute vehicles with tinted windows to sophistication and elegance.

The pros and cons of car window tinting

Car window tinting has the following pros and cons:

Pros of tinted windows

  • Heat reduction: window tinting minimizes heat effects, thus improving the driving experience, especially in hot weather.
  • UV ray protection: A turned window protects car occupants against the harmful effects of UV rays. It does this by blocking a significant portion of the sun.
  • Interior longevity: Window tinting helps prevent the cracking and quick fading of the internal properties of the car.
  • Privacy: It offers privacy by making it difficult for passersby to see the inside and occupants of a car.
  • Glare reduction: it helps to minimize sun glare, and headlights effect, especially at night, and other light sources that could cause eye strain.
  • Enhanced security: window tints help to prevent the flying of shattered glass in the case of accidents.

Cons of tinted windows

  • Legal restrictions: Most territories have legal limits to window tinting. Thus, violations could result in fines or other penalties.
  • Reduced visibility: Certain levels of tinting can cause visibility obstruction, which may compromise safety.
  • Interference: Some low-quality tinting films could interfere with electronic devices. For instance, films containing metallic particles can impair GPS, cell phone, and radio functions.
  • Cost: Buying high-quality films and payment for professional tinting can be relatively expensive.

How to tint windows: a basic guide

It’s best to employ professional tinting services for the best output. However, you can attempt to do it yourself with this guide:

  1. Collect the required tools and materials, such as a tinting film spray bottle filled with soapy water. You’d also need a squeegee, sharp cutter, heat gun, lint-free clothes, and a heat source.
  2. Prepare your windows by thoroughly cleaning them to get rid of any form of impurities, such as dust.
  3. Measure your window dimension and cut the film accordingly. However, let there be a slight remnant on each edge.
  4. Wet the window surface by spraying it with a soapy water solution.
  5. Gently remove the protective liner of the tint film and place the glue on the wet window surface.
  6. Adjust the film for alignment by smoothing it with a squeegee or your fingers to remove roughness or air bubbles.
  7. Carefully remove the excess edges with your sharp cutter.
  8. Optionally, you can heat the film to conform to the window shape.
  9. Clean and dry the window with a lint-free material to remove remnant moisture.

Safety measure when applying window tint

When tinting windows, it is essential to prioritize safety. Here are some precautions to consider:

  • Use protective gear like gloves to protect your hands from cuts and safety glasses to shield your eyes.
  • Ensure that you perform your tasks in an area with adequate ventilation to prevent the accumulation of fumes.
  • Be cautious when handling sharp tools to avoid accidents.
  • Read and follow manufacturer instructions, as the installation requirements for different films vary.
  • Know the window tinting laws in your territory and comply to avoid potential fines or penalties.

How much to tint car windows in Canada

There is no fixed answer to how much does window tinting costs. However, the average cost of window tinting in Canada is $100 to $600 or more, or $25 to $150 per window. Prices vary because of the influence of the following factors:

  • The size of your vehicle as larger vehicles require more tint films.
  • The quantity of windshields or windows you wish to tint.
  • The quality of the tint film.
  • Your desired method of tinting — professional or DIY.
  • The location is because major cities may be costlier.

How to find window tinting near me

Window tinting services are pretty popular. However, finding a reputable window tinting service near you is essential. Thus, these tips and resources will help you locate one.

  • Online Search: Conduct an online search using well-known search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Google. Type relevant keywords like “window tinting near me” or “car window tinting services” along with your location.
  • Business Directories: Utilize business directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, or Angie’s List. Directories contain contact details, reviews, and ratings too. 
  • Social Media: you can search for local window tinting services on any popular social media platform. This is because many service providers have an account to market their services.
  • Recommendation: You can also seek recommendations for window tinting services from friends or family members.
  • Automotive Forums and Communities: join relevant automotive groups to seek information or recommendation from tinting professionals.

Tip: Consider factors like reputation, legal compliance, film quality, and customer service when choosing a tinting service provider. Additionally, endeavor to conduct thorough research and compare various service providers before making a final decision.

How to remove window tint: an easy guide

Would you like to remove your window tint due to damage or fading, or just to change your vehicle’s look? Whatever your reason, here is an easy guide on how to remove window tint:

  • Gather the required tools for removal, such as a heat gun, Sharp cutter, glass cleaner, wiping cloth, and waste bag.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-ventilated, lighted area to warm the tint and ease the removal.
  • Test the tint by applying heat to a small tinted part to see if it will remove from the glass after a few minutes.
  • Proceed to peel off the tint if it removes; add more heat until enough to peel off the tint.
  • Start peeling the tint from an edge while gently assisting with your fingers or sharp cutter. Be careful not to damage the tint or scratch the window.
  • After removing the tint, carefully scrape off the residual adhesive with an adhesive remover or sharp cutter.
  • Clean the windows with glass cleaner and wipe them off with Clean towels to remove any residual dirt or debris.
  • Replicate the procedure for the remaining tinted windows of your vehicle.
  • Give all the windows a final and thorough cleaning, and discard the tint in a waste bag.

Note that the window tinting process is quite delicate and may require a significant amount of time to reach completion. Thus, if you do not trust your abilities, we recommend you seek professional help to avoid accidental damages.

Are tinted windows legal in Canada conclusion

If you’re a Canadian resident, seeking answers to “Are tinted windows legal in Canada?” is crucial. Understanding and adhering to Canada window tint laws helps you draw the line between enjoying the benefits and incurring penalties.

However, it’s essential to consider the cost and tinting requirements before opting for a DIY or professional tinting.

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FAQs about are tinted windows legal in Canada

What is window tinting?

Tinting car windows is not a new wave in the automotive industry. It entails the process of applying a thin film onto the windows of a car. The thin, transparent film changes the appearance and properties of the glass. Tinting film could be a polyester material or a combination of others, and it essentially minimizes UV rays and heat effects. It offers several benefits to the occupants of the vehicle.

How much does it cost to tint car windows?

Several factors affect the cost of window tinting, such as film quality, car size, window numbers, and tinting method. For a professional tinting service recommended for the best result, expect to pay an average of $200–$600. However, DIY tint kits online and at automotive stores cost less than $100 but require patience and some level of expertise.

Are tinted windows legal in Canada?

The regulations for window tinting in Canada vary by province. However, most provinces allow tinted windows under strict laws defining the limits. For instance, tinting the driver's and passenger's sides in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta is illegal.

Does car window tinting affect insurance?

Making changes to your car can affect your insurance coverage or even render it void in some cases. Therefore, confirm with your insurance provider to know the implications of modifying your vehicle before doing so. Be specific in asking if window tinting affects your insurance policy.

What's the difference between film tinting and spray tinting?

Film tinting involves applying clear polyester film with tinting agents, such as metals and dyes, onto the car windows. The film reflects sunlight, reduces glare, and absorbs light, providing various benefits like heat reduction and UV protection. However, spray tinting involves spraying tint directly on the vehicle's windows. Also, spray tinting may be illegal in some Canadian provinces and is less durable or protective than film tinting.

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June 27, 2023
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