Legal Window Tint Regulations in Hawaii

The Darkest Tint Allowed for Cars in Hawaii

In Hawaii, there are specific restrictions on window tints for different types of vehicles. Let’s start with cars:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is permitted on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side Windows: These windows must allow more than 35% of light to pass through.
  • Back Side Windows: Similar to the front side windows, the back side windows must also allow more than 35% of light.
  • Rear Window: For the rear window as well, the tint must allow more than 35% of light transmission.

The Darkest Tint Allowed for SUVs and Vans in Hawaii

For SUVs and vans, the regulations for window tints differ slightly:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is permitted on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side Windows: The tint on the front side windows must allow more than 35% of light to pass through.
  • Back Side Windows: SUVs and vans have more flexibility when it comes to the darkness of the window tint on the back side windows. Any level of darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Similar to the back side windows, any darkness of window tint is allowed for the rear window as well.
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Please note that the accuracy and currency of this information is not guaranteed. We suggest consulting a lawyer or appropriate professional for legal advice. Additionally, window tinting provides numerous benefits such as blocking harmful UV rays, reducing interior heat, and adding privacy and style to your vehicle. It’s a popular aftermarket upgrade that can enhance your driving experience.

Understanding Visible Light Transmission Ratings

To ensure your window tint complies with Hawaii’s regulations, it’s important to understand visible light transmission (VLT) ratings. VLT refers to the percentage of light allowed through the tinted window. A higher VLT rating means a clearer window, while a lower rating indicates a darker tint. For example, a fully clear glass window has a 100% VLT, while an opaque window has a 0% VLT. Tints with varying levels of privacy are available between these extremes.

It’s worth noting that even nearly clear window films can block 99% of the sun’s damaging UV rays and a significant amount of infrared light. So, if you prefer a lighter tint that still provides sun protection, you have options.

Breakdown of Hawaii’s Window Tint Laws

Let’s dive into the specific regulations for each window:

Windshield Window Tint Laws in Hawaii

For all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, the front windshield can have tint extending up to a maximum of four inches below the top where it meets the roof. Reflective window tint is not allowed on the windshield to avoid blinding reflections for oncoming drivers. It’s worth noting that Hawaii’s regulations are slightly more restrictive compared to other states, so if you’re bringing a vehicle registered elsewhere into Hawaii, make sure it complies.

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Front Side Window Tint Rules in Hawaii

The state allows all types of private vehicles, including trucks and SUVs, to have front side window tint as dark as 35% VLT. This rule applies to sedans and coupes as well. However, metallic or reflective tints are not permitted.

Rear Side Window Tint Rules in Hawaii

The rules for rear side window tinting differ depending on the type of vehicle:

  • Privately owned cars must adhere to the same 35% VLT requirement for rear side windows, with exceptions for certain vehicles used in livery service.
  • Vans, SUVs, and trucks have more freedom and can use any level of darkness for their rear side windows, even allowing for windows that appear black during daylight hours. Reflective or metallic tints are prohibited for all vehicle types.

Rear Windshield Tint in Hawaii

The regulations for the rear windshield mirror those of the rear side windows. Cars can only have a tint down to 35% VLT at the darkest, while larger vehicles can have any darkness of tint on the back windshield. Regardless of VLT, metallic or reflective tinting is not allowed. If any window tint is applied to the rear windows, the vehicle must have dual side view mirrors in proper working condition.

Window Tint Restrictions and Exemptions in Hawaii

Unlike many other states, Hawaii does not outlaw specific colors of window tint. However, reflective and metallic tints are strictly prohibited. Furthermore, Hawaii has a relatively lenient tint variance of 6%, allowing some flexibility in compliance. If you can demonstrate that your tint was applied in good faith and falls within the 6% variance of the 35% VLT requirement, you may avoid ticketing.

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It’s important to note that window tint sold or installed in Hawaii does not require certification for compliance with the law, nor are stickers mandatory on tinted windows. It’s the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure the tint adheres to legal requirements. Authorities can conduct real-time field tests to check VLT levels.

Additionally, Hawaii does not grant medical exemptions for darker window tints. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your eyes and skin by wearing suitable sunglasses and clothing while driving. Opting for legal window tints with high UV blocking capabilities can also provide the sun protection you need.

Window Tint Violation Penalties in Hawaii

Window tint violations in Hawaii come with hefty penalties. It’s advisable not to risk a costly ticket or fine that could exceed the cost of your tint installation. The fines for illegal window tint can range from $250 to $500 for private vehicles and from $500 to as high as $1,000 for commercially owned vehicles. If the illegal tint is not removed promptly, additional fines may apply. Given the high cost of violating the window tint laws in Hawaii, it’s crucial to ensure your tint falls well within the allowable tint variance.


Garrity Traina recommends following Hawaii’s window tint regulations to ensure compliance with the law. Legal window tint not only adds privacy and style to your vehicle but also protects you from harmful UV rays and reduces interior heat. If you’re considering window tinting, be sure to choose a reputable installer who understands and complies with the specific requirements for each window in your vehicle.

For more information on Garrity Traina and their services, visit Garrity Traina.