Experts estimate that at least one in five people in the US will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. That makes it the most common type of cancer in the country.

If that’s not scary enough, know that there’s a link between driving and skin cancer. In particular, experts associate more time driving with skin cancer on the left side of the body.

Fortunately, auto window tinting can help by blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

However, before shelling out money on window films, you need to select a tint percentage first. Choose wisely; otherwise, you could violate your state’s tinting laws.

Don’t worry, though, as we’re here to help you make an educated decision. So, keep reading to discover what you need to know about tinting your ride’s windows.

Check Your State’s Tint Percentage Laws

Check your state’s legal tint percentage before deciding how dark you want your car tint to be. All states except for Michigan have laws restricting tint percentages.

State laws refer to such limitations as the minimum visible light transmittance (VLT). VLT is a measurement of the amount of visible light transmitted by an object, in this case, a window film. VLTs are always in percentage form.

The lower the VLT, the less light the film allows to pass through or transmit. So, the higher the VLT, the more light permeates the material.

For example, an auto tint film with a VLT of 20% allows only 20% of the light to pass through it. It then blocks the remaining 80%. Therefore, the lower the percentage, the darker the tint.

New Mexico is one state that allows auto window tints with VLTs as low as 20%. So, if you live in NM and want to get your car windows tinted, you can get them as dark as that except for the windshield.

By contrast, a VLT of 88% enables 88% of the light to penetrate. As you can imagine, such tints are light, as they only restrict or block the remaining 12%.

In California, the minimum VLT allowed is 88%. In addition, it prohibits the application of amber or red-colored tints.

Know Your State’s Exceptions

Perhaps the chief reason you want to tint your car windows is that you have a skin condition like albinism. Or maybe you have photophobia, dermatomyositis, lupus erythematosus, or xeroderma. Such diseases can get worse due to light exposure.

If that’s the case, you might be eligible for an exemption to your state’s tint percentage laws. However, you need to secure a written document from your doctor first. You then have to send that to your state’s department of motor vehicles.

After the DMV approves your request, you can tint your windows to a darker percentage. Ensure you have their approval document and your doctor’s letter in your vehicle at all times. You can then show these documents to law enforcers if they stop you and ask about your tinted windows.

Consider Your Reasons for Tinting

Suppose you don’t have a medical exemption but still want to tint your car windows for UV safety. In that case, feel free to choose a percentage that’s as dark as your state laws allow.

Make sure your vision is up for it, too, as you don’t want it to be so dark your eyes have trouble seeing through it. An example is if you have a refractive eye error, such as myopia, which can cause night blindness. Also called nearsightedness, myopia affects almost one in four people worldwide.

Avoid heavy car window tints if you have myopia and it gives you trouble seeing in the dark. Instead, you might want to stick to films with a VLT of 50% but offers UV protection.

If your goal is to boost privacy and you don’t have vision woes, you can go as dark as your state allows.

On the other hand, if you only want to protect your ride’s interiors from UV and solar heat, you can go for solar films. They’re available in translucent versions, which gives them a nearly invisible appearance. However, they can still protect you and your car’s interiors from 99% of UV rays while also rejecting heat.

Factor in Your Car’s Exterior

How dark or light window tints are can impact the overall appearance of your ride. For example, you might find that very dark films look majestic on white, black, or gray vehicles. However, it might not give a neon-colored vehicle the same incredible look.

If you can’t imagine how tinted windows would look on your car, you can use an online film viewer. Once you’re on a site offering such a tool, you can select the type of vehicle you own, such as a sedan, truck, or SUV.

For example, you can go to this site and use its simulator before you decide to get tinted windows here. It allows you to pick the type of car you own and then match it with different tint percentages.

By knowing how each shade looks on your ride, you can choose the one that best suits its exterior.

Mind Your Ride’s Interiors

Don’t forget that your chosen tint percentage can affect your vehicle’s interior ambiance. For example, a dark tint makes the inside of your car dim, so you’d need more light, but not cold white, as it can hurt your eyes.

So if you want to darken your windows, you need to upgrade or add more interior lights.

Get Your Car Windows Tinted Today

And there you have it, your ultimate guide on choosing the correct tint percentage. Now you know states have varying restrictions, except for Michigan, where you can get as dark a tint as you want. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should, as it can impact your ride and driving ability.

If you’re still having difficulty choosing the best percentage, consider seeking professional help. Tinting experts can give you tips and even educate you on various film types.

Are you ready for more guides like this? Check out more of our blog then!