Guide to car window tinting laws in British Columbia

Tinting the windows of your vehicle certainly has its advantages. For one thing, the application of tinting film can keep your car’s upholstery from fading. The effects of sunlight on leather are, after all, well-known. Window film can also protect you from harmful UV rays while you drive. 

They also reduce the build-up of solar heat within the car and provide you with more privacy and security while driving. That being said, before going ahead and getting your car windows tinted, you should be aware of the car tinting laws of your province. In this article, we explain the British Columbia tinted window laws. 

Why is window tint illegal in BC?

Window tint is not completely illegal in British Columbia but there are restrictions regarding which windows you are allowed to tint and to what degree. The regulations that have been put in place in regard to window tinting have been created in order to keep drivers safe. 

When the light transmission is limited so is your vision. This can lead to accidents as you are less likely to see hazards on the road. In order to mitigate the chances of such accidents occurring, window tinting laws are in place.  

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Is it legal to tint front windows in BC?

Window tint is illegal on your front windows. This means the driver’s seat window and the passenger side window are not allowed to have reflective tint. The main reason for this is to ensure that individuals such as police officers can look into the driving seat in order to assess the driver and the interior of the car during any kind of routine stop. It also ensures that the driver has a completely unobstructed view of their surroundings. 

Although in BC you are not allowed to have reflective tint applied to your front windows, you are allowed to install optically clear UV-blocking window film. The main reason this type of clear window film is allowed is to reduce the risk of skin cancer as the clear film prevents UV rays from entering your car without reducing your visibility. 

What is the darkest legal tint in BC?

The darkest legal tint you are allowed in British Columbia is 100%. However, not all your car’s windows are allowed to be tinted to 100%. Whilst you are free to tint your rear windows and your rear windshield up to 100%, you are not allowed to apply any degree of tint to your front windows. 

What are the benefits of window tint?

  • Provides privacy 
  • Improves aesthetics
  • Reduces UV rays inside the vehicle
  • Protects driver’s skin and vehicle interiors
  • Reduces heat inside the car
  • Increases security 
  • Provides shattered glass protection 
  • Etc,

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What are British Columbia’s car tint laws?

The laws in British Columbia state that you cannot apply any level of tint on your front windows. This means that your driver’s side window and front passenger window cannot have any window tint film unless it is a clear UV-blocking film. 

However, there are no limits to the allowable tint you can have on your rear windows. That means that the window glass tint on your back passenger windows can be tinted all the way up to 100%. This is also true for your rear windshield as rear windshield tint can be at 100%, but if this is the case, you also need to have rearview mirrors fitted externally. 

Finally, your front windshield can be tinted but only the top 3 inches are allowed to have tint applied. Any kind of tint that goes below the top 3 inches of the front windshield will not be classed as legal window tint. 

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Window tint penalties in British Columbia

It is essential that you abide by the laws regarding window tinting in your province. It is also important to recognize that not every province has the same window tinting laws. Therefore, just because your car is legal in British Columbia, it does not mean it is legal in Quebec or Ontario. In order to avoid penalties in other provinces, you should always check the window tint laws in the province you are planning on entering. 

H3: $109 fine 

Just like with most vehicle-related matters, if you are caught with illegal tint on your window, you will be issued a fine. The initial fine for illegal window tint is $109. If an individual police officer suspects that your front two windows or any part of your front windshield below 3 inches are tinted, they will pull you over and use a tint meter to measure the light transmission percentage coming through your window. If it is anything less than 100%, you will receive a fine. 

H3: Warning to remove the tint

When you are first pulled over and issued a $109 fine, you also receive a formal warning to remove the tint. Once you receive this warning, you only a few days to remove the tint.

H3: $595 fine

If you fail to remove the window tint during the allotted time, you will be issued a $595 fine. If you are caught driving your vehicle after fines and warnings have been issued, you run the risk of having your car impounded. 

Auto window tinting services

At Protex, we specialize in a range of different window tints designed for cars and buildings, depending on your needs. Our specially designed window tint for vehicles removes 98% of infrared heat as well as 99% of damaging UV rays. Our professional installers can perfectly apply the tint to your car thanks to our state-of-the-art digital cutting system that uses your car’s exact dimensions to create the perfect fit.

The different levels of window tint we have are:

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