Window Tint Law Canada | Are Tinted Windows Legal?

ing is not just a style statement for your car. It’s a smart choice that enhances aesthetics, provides privacy, and protects you from harmful ultraviolet rays. Understanding tinting laws is crucial to avoid fines and penalties so you can tint your car windows without any legal issues. 

Window tint laws in Canada are not a one-size-fits-all. They are in place to regulate the darkness of tinting on vehicle windows, ensuring safety, visibility, and legal compliance on the roads. However, these laws vary significantly by province and territory, with specific requirements for different windows of the vehicle. Here’s a detailed overview of these laws and how much window tint is allowed in each region:

Window Tint Law Legal Requirements

Window tint laws in Canada are not just rules; they are there to maintain safety and visibility on the road. They specify the maximum allowable darkness – measured as Visible Light Transmission or VLT for different vehicle windows. It’s crucial to be aware of these laws to avoid fines and penalties. Understanding these laws is a responsibility that every car owner should take seriously.

Front-Windshield: Windshield tinting is usually restricted. However, it is allowed in minimal ways, such as only the top strip (eyebrow) with specific requirements of a few inches.

Front-Side Windows: Front-side windows are mostly untinted or must allow a certain percentage of light to pass through. For example, in Ontario, front-side windows should have at least 70% VLT.

Rear Side and Rear Windows: The rear side and rear windows offer more flexibility, allowing darker tints. However, safety and compliance are still important considerations. Knowing this, you can make an informed decision about your window tinting and feel confident that you are within the legal limits.

Let’s have a look at window tint allowances in different provinces and territories:

Window Tint Law per Province & Territory

Below is a quick reference chart of the allowable tints

Province/TerritoryFront WindshieldFront Side WindowsRear Side and Rear Window
AlbertaNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
British ColumbiaTop 3 Inches OnlyNot AllowedAny Darkness
ManitobaTop 5 Inches Only50% VLTAny Darkness
New Brunswick70% VLT70% VLTAny Darkness
Newfoundland and LabradorNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
Northwest TerritoriesNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
Nova ScotiaNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
NunavutNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
OntarioNo Tint Allowed70% VLT**Any Darkness
Prince Edward IslandNo Tint AllowedNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
SaskatchewanTop 3 Inches OnlyNo Tint AllowedAny Darkness
Yukon70% VLT70% VLTAny Darkness
QuebecTop 6 Inches Only70% VLTAny Darkness

*information can be subject to change, its always best to check directly with the local authority for the most updated information

**Ontario tint law is vague and does not specific a percentange and states: No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle on which the surface of the windshield or of any window to the direct left or right of the driver’s seat has been coated with any coloured spray or other coloured or reflective material that substantially obscures the interior of the motor vehicle when viewed from outside the motor vehicle.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (3). Therefore, its usually the police who will determine whether your windows are too dark.

Benefits of Tinting Windows

Tinting for UV Protection

Window tinting protects against harmful UV sun rays. This is important for both the vehicle’s passengers and the interior. Long-term exposure to UV rays causes skin lesions and increases the liability of skin cancer. 

Tinting helps to block out a significant portion of these rays, lessening the risk of sunburn and skin tanning. It also helps to protect the vehicle’s interior from fading and deterioration of upholstery and dashboard components.

Tinting for Privacy

Tinted windows offer privacy for passengers and their belongings. They prevent prying eyes from seeing into the vehicle and reduce the risk of theft and vandalism. This is particularly important when parked in public areas or when traveling with valuables.

Tinting for Comfort

Tinted windows decrease sunlight glare, making driving more comfortable during sunrise and sunset. They also help maintain internal temperature coolers and decrease temperature rise from sunlight. This is especially effective during hot summer days, as it improves overall Comfort for occupants.

Tinting for Safety

Tint reduces glare and excessive brightness to improve visibility, especially in bright sunlight or snowy conditions. This helps drivers to see more clearly and drive more effectively to potential risks.

Tinting for Style

Window tinting gives the car a more sleek and stylish look. You can also customize and personalize window tint.

Does a Window Tint Ticket Affect my Car Insurance in Ontario?

The short answer is …. YES. This is because most tickets issued under the Highway Traffic Act are moving violations. Tickets which usually do not affect car insurance rates in Ontario are parking tickets as well as tickets from red light cameras, as no driver is identified.

Ontario Window Tint Ticket

Below is the list of tickets that you can get in Ontario for driving with window tints or obstructions and their cost. That being said, other tickets can follow if a Police officer deems such as careless driving tickets, especially if they result in accidents.

OffenceSectionSet Fine
Window Obstructed73(l)(a)  $85
Windshield obstructed73(1)(a)$85
Have object obstruction view73(l)(b)  $85
Drive with Coated – view obstructed73(2)  $85
Drive with windshield coated – view obstructed73(2)  $85

Window Tint FAQ

  • What is the darkest lawful tint in Ontario?

70% VLT but only for front side,  rear side and rear windows can be any darkness.

  • Can you do 20% tint in Ontario?

Only for rear side or rear windows.

  • Is 30% tint legal in Canada?

Yes, 30% tint is legal in Canada, but its legality depends on the specific regulations of each province or territory. In Ontario, for example, 30% tint is legal for front-side and rear windows only.

  • Which is darker, 30 or 35 tint?

A 30% tint is darker than a 35% tint. Tint percentage is the amount of light transmitted through the window tint film. So, a 30% tint allows less light to pass through compared to a 35% tint.

  • Is 15% tint legal in Canada?

Depending on the Province or Territory and depending on the location of the tint.

  • Can you see with 20% tint?

Yes, you can still see through a 20% tint, but it significantly reduces the amount of light entering the vehicle. This darkness of tint is usually chosen for the rear side and rear windows to provide Privacy and UV protection while still maintaining some visibility.

  • Can You Tint Your Front Windshield in Canada?

The only Provinces to allow tinting of the whole front windshield is Yukon & New Brunswick with both 70% VLT allowable. Whereas, British Columbia and Saskatchewan allow the top 3 inches to be tinted. Quebec allows the top 6 inches and Manitoba the top 5 inches of the windshield to be tinted.