Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2001

Question: I got stopped by a trooper today and was told that my windows were tinted too dark. How can that be, since I paid over $100 to have them done?

Answer: Alaska statute 13AAC 04.223 states you can have your windows tinted as long as they meet the following requirements:

n The windshield tint cannot extend down more than 5 inches from the top edge, and the front passenger and driver's side windows must allow at least 70 percent of the light through.

n Any glass behind the front doors must let at least 40 percent of the light through, and no tint may have a mirrored finish.

To give you an idea how much 70 percent is, every vehicle I have ever measured has been factory tinted to allow almost exactly 70 percent of the light through the front door windows. (If you roll your driver's side window down part way, you'll see that it is darker than plain glass.) That means that almost any tint placed on the front windows is illegal.

However, the statute doesn't prohibit anyone from putting the tint there, it only prohibits driving with it there. So while it may be unethical for a business to put dark tint on your front windows, it is not illegal. It only becomes illegal when you drive with it there. If you are cited, it is a correctable ticket, meaning you simply have to show that you have removed the tint, and you do not have to pay a mandatory fine.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath Street, Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps. Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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