If you own a car and are looking to modify it, you must understand the rules and regulations surrounding motor vehicle modification. Although it might be tempting to install monster wheels and tint your windows, there are rules that determine what vehicle owners can do. These exist to ensure your safety. In this guide, we go through everything you need to know about window tinting in Ontario.
Are tinted windows legal in Ontario?
Yes, tinted windows are legal in Ontario. However, conditions apply. For example, you are allowed to tint your rear windows to an extent of your choosing, but front windows can only be tinted up to 30%, and your windshield shouldn’t be tinted at all.
All cars that are sold new adhere to the legally permissible window tint. However, if you are buying a used car, the previous owner might have modified it to include aftermarket window tinting, which isn’t legal. You should always get a car assessed before you buy it in order to make sure it doesn’t have illegally tinted windows.
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Why do window tinting laws exist?
Window tinting laws exist primarily to ensure your safety. The darker the window, the more difficult it is for you to see what you are doing, and the less aware you are of your surroundings. As a result, you may be more prone to accidents.
The laws are also in place to allow police officers to do their jobs properly. If a police officer can’t look into your car, they can’t see if you are safe inside. For example, tinting on vehicles prevents officers from confirming whether passengers are wearing seatbelts, or whether the driver is on the phone, which they need to be able to do in order to ensure road safety. Furthermore, cars with tinted windows have often provided cover for criminals trying to evade the law or conduct nefarious activity.
Ontario window tint laws overview
The law for windshields is more clear-cut than the laws for front windows, as it specifically states that no aftermarket tinting is allowed on your windshield. You should therefore avoid adding window film to your windshield. Otherwise, you will be fined.
Front side windows
Ontario law is not straightforward when it comes to the regulations surrounding front window tinting. The Ontario Highway Safety Act says: “Any window to the direct left or right of the driver’s seat […] substantially obscures the interior of the motor vehicle, when viewed from outside the motor vehicle” (source). This suggests that you should not tint your front windows, as that would be considered an obstruction of the view. In order to remain within the framework of the law, we recommend that you avoid tinting your front windows.
Rear side windows
There are no laws regarding what you are allowed to do with your rear windows. You can tint them in whatever way you like. However, if they are tinted, you are required to have left and right external rear-view mirrors to improve your visibility.
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What are the benefits of car tinting?
Most people choose to get their windows tinted for aesthetic reasons. While some people want their back windows completely blacked out in order to provide a more exclusive look to their vehicle, others prefer a subtle tint to elevate the overall aesthetics. If you are dissatisfied with the factory finish of your car, window tinting is one of the easiest ways to upgrade its appearance.
Many people tint their back windows in order to limit light penetration. For example, parents who have their children in the back of the car like window tint film because it blocks out a large amount of damaging sunlight. In other words, they don’t have to worry about installing baby blinds in the back. It is also beneficial to anyone who spends an extended amount of time in the car, as being exposed to harmful UV rays all the time can be dangerous.
Keeps the skin safe
Blocking out UV sun rays also keeps your skin safe from skin cancer. By getting window tint film applied to your side windows, you limit the amount of rays that will hit your body, hence the chance of getting sunburns and other skin damages.
Also keeps the car cool
With our performant ceramic tints, we can also block the majority of infrared rays that penetrate your windows. The IR radiations cause the majority of the heat transmitted in the visible light. By cutting these rays, you no longer need to use your AC for an extended period of time because the film act as a heat barrier. With all the electric vehicles on the road, this can help you boost your range a bit AND make your ride more comfortable.
Tinting your windows improves the security of your car. When the windows are darker, it makes it more difficult for people to see into your car. If you accidentally leave something valuable in your car, no one will know, and you are less likely to have your vehicle broken into. Tinting can save you money in the long run.
Does tinting affect insurance?
In Ontario, window tinting doesn’t affect your insurance policy, as long as your car meets all vehicle inspection regulations and the front windows and windshield are not tinted beyond 30%. However, you also need to be aware that if you get into a crash in another province, you will be subject to their tinting laws. This might affect your insurance.
Window tinting services
If you want to get your vehicle’s windows tinted, Protex is here to help. We specialize in all types of window films to meet your specific needs. Our top-of-the-range window tint removes up to 98% of infrared heat as well as 99% of damaging UV rays. We offer 4 different levels of window tint, so you will be sure to find the right solution. Thanks to our state-of-the-art digital cutting system, we guarantee that the film will be molded perfectly to your car’s dimensions.
The different levels of window tint we have are:
- The PRIMETM window tint
- PRIME TM CS Dyed Window Tint Film
- PRIMETM XR Window Tint Ceramic Film
- PRIMETM XR PLUS High Performance Ceramic Window Tint Film