New York State Window Tint Regulation 2017

On Nov. 28, 2016 legislation was passed into law requiring testing of window tint as part of NY States annual vehicle safety inspection. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 2017 and the DMV prepared emergency regulations to be in compliance with the new law.

Overview of the testing requirements:
Inspectors are required to test the level of Visual Light Transmittance (VLT) for specific windows and specific vehicles. There are two categories for testing based on the age of the vehicle, 1991 and older and 1992 and newer.

The inspector is not required to test for tint if it is obvious that there is no window tint. However, he is responsible for ensuring the standards spelled out below.

1992 and Newer
Front window
Top 6", any tint OK. Below 6", must be 70% or more VLT
Side front windows
Any side window next to or in front of drivers seat must be 70% or more VLT
Side rear windows
Any side window to rear of drivers seat with a door jamb sticker (FMVSS Certification) saying "Passenger Car" must be 70% or more VLT. All others any tint OK
Rear windows
Any vehicle without dual rear view mirrors must be 70% or more VLT. Vehicles with dual rear mirrors any tint OK.

Police vehicles
Vehicles displaying a valid MV-80W.2 “Exempt Tinted Windows”. See FAQ for details on this.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here for a Quick Reference Guide from
This Quick Reference Guide makes it easier for technicians to understand the new law. It provides a simple and clear explanation of what they should check.

1991 and Older
Front window
Top 6", any tint OK Below 6", must be 35% or more VLT
All front side windows
Must be 35% or more VLT
Side rear windows
Do not require testing
Rear windows
Any vehicle without dual rear view mirrors must be 35% or more VLT

Overview of the tint meter requirements:
The regulation requires any inspection station licensed as a group 1A or 2A (i.e. light and heavy duty cars and trucks) to acquire a window tint meter. The meter must be capable of testing light transmittance of all vehicle windows, not just those that roll down. This type of meter is commonly known as a "two piece" meter. DMV requires that the meter be capable of testing all required windows, measuring light transmittance percentage in accordance with the law, and be calibrated and maintained as per the manufacturers' specifications.

Stations solely licensed as group 1B, 2B, or 3 (i.e.. trailer and/or motorcycle) are not required to perform window tint testing or to acquire a meter.


We recommend the VLT 171 from Lujan USA
We have found it to be the best meter for NYS vehicle inspection facilities because it offers several key benefits

  1. Very fast and easy to use
  2. Automatic shut-off to save the batteries
  3. Sensors are attached to the meter so they can not be lost
  4. Durable plastic storage case included
  5. It has only one set of batteries
  6. Size is big enough that it will not be easily lost or misplaced but small enough for one hand operation
  7. One button self calibration to ensure accuracy
  8. Very durable and well constructed for tough shop environments
  9. Low cost
  10. Manufacturer is a NYS company

The VLT 171 window tint meter can be purchased through local parts suppliers and tool distributers. Ask your tool dealer or contact us for a local seller.

It can also be purchased online at

Best tint meter for NYS inspections
VLT171 Tint Meter will continue to provide more information on the new regulations as it becomes available from the NYS DMV.

The NYS DMV window tint notifications to inspection facilities

The DMV has provided inspection facilities with several notifications about the window tint regulations. PDF versions of these notifications are below, please click on the links to view them

NYSVIP notification 223, 12/19/2016 NYSVIP notification 226, 12/27/2016
NYSVIP notification 224, 12/19/2016 NYSVIP notification 227, 12/27/2016
NYSVIP notification 225, 12/27/2016 NYSVIP notification 228, 12/27/2016
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