NY Window Tint Frequently Asked Questions

1) Which windows are required to be inspected for 1992 and newer model year vehicles?
The federal motor vehicle safety certification label usually found on the driver’s door jamb needs to be checked to determine the vehicle type (classification).
If the vehicle is classified as “Passenger Car,” check all windows for a minimum Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) of 70%.

The rear window (sometimes referred to as a backlite or rear windshield) is exempt from inspection if the vehicle is equipped with dual outside rear view mirrors.

For all other vehicle types, (i.e., MPV, Truck, Bus, etc.) only the windshield, rear, and all side windows adjacent to or forward of the driver and front seat passenger must be inspected for a minimum VLT of 70%. Side windows to the rear of the driver’s seating position are exempt from inspection.

The rear window (sometimes referred to as a backlite or rear windshield) is exempt from inspection if the vehicle is equipped with dual outside rear view mirrors.

2) What is a FMVSS Classification
A classification sticker is normally found on the drivers side door jamb. The classification is listed as "Type:" to indicate the type of vehicle. Typical classifications are: Passenger Car, MPV, Truck, Bus. Most SUVs are classified as MPV and do NOT require that side rear windows be tested.

3) Which windows are required to be inspected for 1991 and older model year vehicles?
The windshield and side windows adjacent to or forward of the driver and front seat passenger always require inspection and must allow for a minimum VLT of 35%.

The rear window (sometimes referred to as a backlite or rear windshield) is only inspected if the vehicle is not equipped with dual outside rearview mirrors. If the window is inspected it must allow for a minimum VLT of 35%.

Note: Side windows to the rear of the driver’s seating position are not inspected on these vehicles.

4) What does VLT stand for?
VLT stands for Visible Light Transmittance. This is presented as the percentage (%) of light passing through a particular window.

5) If a vehicle has a valid medical exemption where do I find the MV-80W.2 and what does it look like?
The exemption certificate is normally found on the inside center top of any window, except the windshield. The certificate is a white 2.5 inch paper square. Valid means the vehicle information printed on the exemption certificate (plate, make, year and color) must match the vehicle.

6) What if a motorist presents a letter that appears to come from DMV or a doctor’s note stating that the vehicle is exempt from window tint inspection?
The vehicle can only be exempted from the window tint inspection if a valid MV-80W.2 exemption certificate is displayed on the vehicle. A doctor’s note does not excuse a vehicle from window tint inspection. A motorist interested in an exemption should be directed to DMV’s website at https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv80w.pdf to obtain further information.

7) What if a vehicle is presented for inspection with a window(s) that cannot be rolled up to inspect glass for applied window tint?
If a side window is rolled all the way down and cannot be rolled back up for some reason the vehicle must be rejected for “Windshield and other Glass,” since the window cannot be properly inspected for condition and window tint.

8) Can a station record the readings obtained from window tint meter in the NYVIP CVIS?
No, this is not required. Optionally, a station / certified inspector wanting to document their findings may choose to hand write the meter readings obtained onto the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) printed by the CVIS or the station generated inspection receipt for those stations not required to maintain a CVIS. Some may also document failure readings on their Repair Orders.

9) Is the tinted shade band on a windshield subject to inspection?
Any tinting covering the uppermost six inches or AS-1 line (whichever is lower on the windshield) of the windshield is not subject to inspection, per VTL section 375 12-a(b)(1). The AS-1 indicator is typically found on the passenger side of the windshield. The term “AS-1 line” shall mean a line extending from the letters AS-1 running parallel to the top of the windshield.

10) Are government or private fleet vehicles exempt from the window tint inspection requirements?
A government or fleet owned vehicle is not exempt from window tint inspection regulations and is subject to the same inspection criteria. Marked or Unmarked Police or Fire Vehicles (owned or operated by a police agency or fire department) are exempt.

11) Can inspectors advise a motorist that a vehicle fails for tint before beginning the inspection?
No. A station must always perform a complete inspection of any vehicle presented for inspection, checking all required items as required by section 79.8(b)(1) and 79.20(c)(6).

12) Do I have to use the window tint meter on every vehicle I inspect?
In accordance with regulations, if a window clearly meets (passes) the required light transmittance standard, and there is no aftermarket window tint film applied, it is not necessary to use a meter to measure the amount of visible light transmittance (VLT) However it is the stations obligation to ensure the vehicle meets the required standard, so if you have any doubt, you must use the meter.

13) Can stations use a one-piece window tint meter?
A station has the option of using a one-piece tint meter to make it easier to check roll up side windows. This is completely optional and not a requirement. A station is required to purchase and maintain a two-piece window tint meter capable of measuring VLT through all immovable glass. However, if the station chooses to utilize an optional one-piece meter on side windows it is the stations responsibility to ensure the entire window meets the VLT requirement in regulation, not just the edge where the meter is testing.

14) Do I have to clean the window(s) before testing with the window tint meter?
It is not required, however dirt and grime may interfere with testing results. Because of this, if the reading is very close to the pas/fail percentage, you should clean the area you are testing to ensure an accurate test.

15). What if the rear window is heated?
When using the two-piece meter to check a rear window (sometimes referred to as a backlite or rear windshield) that is heated, testing should not be performed over a heated window grid line because this could affect the proper measurement of VLT.

16) What should I do if a motorist presents a “stretch” limousine for inspection?
Review regulation sections 79.20(f)(1), (2), and (3) regarding the inspection of stretch limousines. If, in accordance with regulation, the vehicle is eligible for inspection at a DMV-licensed inspection station, then inspect the window tinting in accordance with regulations. If the vehicle type on the FMVSS is "Passenger Car" and it is 1992 or newer, then you must test rear side windows.

17) Can I use my smartphone “app” as a substitute window tint meter?
No, a smart phone app does not comply with DMV regulation 79.9(d)(1).

18) What meters are approved for use by DMV?
DMV does not approve specific meters for use. A station may choose any window tint meter as long as it complies with section 79.9(a)(9) of the inspection regulation. This means the meter must be capable of measuring VLT through immovable glass (i.e. windshields, etc.). Additionally, the station must calibrate and maintain the meter per manufacturers’ specifications.

19) How do I read the window tint meter?
Most window tint meters read the amount of VLT as a percentage from 0% meaning that no light passes through the window to 100% meaning that 100% of light passes through the glass. Therefore, on 1992 and newer vehicles, the vehicle passes inspection if the reading is 70% or higher. On vehicles older than 1992, the vehicle passes if the reading is 35% or more.


At nytintmeter.com, we want to ensure that all inspection facilities have the information they need to properly meet the new window tint regulations. If you have a question that is not answered on our site, please contact us at info@nytintmeter.com and we will find the answer for you.