Since the beginning of 2017 New York State has made being window tint compliant a requirement to pass the required annual safety and emissions inspection. New York’s Window Tint Law is contained in NY VTL Sec. 375 12-a.
The particular degree of window tinting in terms of which windows must be tinted is dependent upon whether the vehicle is a passenger vehicle or a truck. Passenger vehicles are defined at station wagons, sedans, hardtops, coupes, hatchbacks and convertibles. Pick up trucks and SUV’s, even when not commercial vehicles, are considered trucks.
As part of the annual inspection the inspection station will have to inspect your windows with a light transmittance meter for the amount of light that transmits, or passes, through the window. The window tint cannot block more than 30% of light. In other words, the tint has to be light enough to allow 70% light transmittance. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.
The first exception is that for all vehicles, the top 6 inches of the front windshield is permitted to be as dark as you want. The second exception is that so long as a vehicle had duel side view mirrors the rear windshield can be as dark as you want; i.e., can block 100% light transmittance.
The next difference is for rear windows. For a passenger vehicle the rear windows must allow 70% light transmittance. However for trucks they are permitted to have as much light blockage as they want. In other words, rear window tint can block up to 100% light transmittance.
To summarize, a passenger vehicle can have all of it’s windows tinted so long as it allows 70% light transmittance. Nonetheless, so long as a passenger vehicle has duel side view mirrors the rear windshield can block up to 100% light transmittance.
For trucks the front windshield as well as the front driver window and front passenger windows can be tinted so long as it allows 70% light transmittance. However the rear windows on trucks can block up to 100% light transmittance. Moreover, so long as a truck has duel side view mirrors the rear windshield can block up to 100% light transmittance. If a truck has less then both side view mirrors then the rear windshield tint must allow 70% light transmittance.
If your windows are not tint compliant your vehicle will not pass inspection.