Hawaii Window Tinting Laws

Darkest legal tint for Sedans in Hawaii

 

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.

 

Darkest legal tint for SUV and Vans in Hawaii

 

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness window tint can be used
  • Rear window: Any darkness window tint can be used

 

Adding window tint film to the windshield and windows of a vehicle is a must have aftermarket upgrade. Window tinting for cars blocks damaging ultraviolet light rays and protects the inside of the car from fading and cracking and tint can reduce interior heat, making a car more comfortable and fuel efficient. And what with all the sunshine in Hawaii, car window tint is all the more important. Window tinting also adds privacy and style to a vehicle that’s a great addition no matter where you live.
 
Hawaii’s first window tint laws were implemented quite a while back in 1989, and they have been updated several times as tinting technology and applications have advanced. Hawaii tint law is overall clear cut and easier to understand than the rules governing window tint in many states, but there are different rules for different vehicle types, and different rules for different windows, so it’s a good idea to check periodically to make sure your tint is inside the law. To do that, you need to understand one concept fully: visible light transmission ratings, which are usually abbreviated to VLT.
 
The higher the VLT rating the clearer window, and the lower the rating means the darker tinting. A fully clear glass window would have a 100% VLT rating, while a fully opaque window a 0%. In between you have tints that offer varying levels of privacy. But you don’t need privacy tint to block hot and damaging sun rays. Even much almost clear window films can block 99% of the sun’s damaging UV light plenty of hot infrared light, so if you don’t want the dark look of window tint but you do want its sun blocking benefits, you’re in luck.

 
Please note: The accuracy, completeness, adequacy or currency of the content is not warranted or guaranteed. We are not lawyers or a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. We recommend you consult a lawyer or other appropriate professional if you want legal advice.

 

The following will go on a window-by-window basis through 2021 window tint law in Hawaii.

 

Windshield Window Tint Laws in Hawaii

 
All vehicles, meaning cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, can have front windshield tint that extends to a maximum of four inches below the top of the windshield where it meets the roof. As with almost all states, windshield window tint in Hawaii cannot be reflective, as reflective tint could easily cause blinding reflections for those in oncoming lanes.

Note that this four inch strip of windshield tint is an inch shorter than is permitted in many states and even two inches shorter than you will find in some, so be wary if you are importing a car to Hawaii that was registered before in another state, as it’s quite likely to not meet Hawaii tint regulations.
 

Front Side Window Tint Rules in Hawaii

 
In the state of Hawaii window film rules allow all types of private vehicles to have window tint as dark as 35% VLT on the front side windows, meaning the window to the left of the driver’s seat and right of the front passenger seat.
 
This rule applies equally to larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs and to smaller vehicles like sedans and coupes. Front side window tint in Hawaii cannot be metallic or reflective in appearance.
 

Rear Side Window Tint Rules in Hawaii

 
Rules for rear side window tinting vary by automobile type in Hawaii. Privately owned and operated cars are restricted to the same 35% VLT tint on rear side windows, with exceptions made for vehicles used in livery service and the like.
 
Vans, SUVs, an trucks may use any darkness of window tint on rear side windows, including tint that renders the glass so dark that it cannot be seen in through from the outside of the vehicle and will appear black, especially during daylight hours. No metallic or reflective tint is allowed regardless of vehicle type.
 

Rear Windshield Tint in Hawaii

 
The rear window tint laws in Hawaii follow exactly with rear side window tint rules. For cars, the back windshield can only be tinted down to 35% VLT at the darkest, while larger vehicles may have any darkness of tint applied to the back window. This film may not be reflective or metallic regardless of VLT, and if any window tint is applied to rear windows, then the vehicle must have dual side view mirrors in proper working condition.
 

Window Tint Restrictions and Exemptions in Hawaii

 
The most universal restriction on window tint in Hawaii is on reflective and metallic tints, none of which are ever allowed at any reflectivity rating. On the other hand, the state’s laws do not outlaw any color of window tint, which is rare – most states at least limit red or amber shades of auto window film.
 
There is also quite a bit of leeway when it comes to tint variance in Hawaii, which is to say how precisely the tint’s darkness must meet state law. The tint variance in Hawaii is 6%, which is double that of most states with a variance (many have none) and means that, if it can be shown it was applied in good faith and not in an attempt to skirt law, as with tint applied in another state, even a car with tint rated at 29% VLT may be able to escape ticketing, being within 6% a 35% VLT rating.
 
The state laws do not require window tint sold or installed in Hawaii to be certified as complying with the law, and no stickers are required to be applied to the windows that have window tinting. It is on you, the vehicle owner, to ensure the tint is legal and to know that police and inspectors can conduct real time field tests of tint VLT.
 
Also notable is the fact that Hawaii is among only a few states where no medical exemptions are allowed that permit darker window tint state law stipulates. You cannot use special tint even if you feel you have a medical condition that merits it, so instead be sure to get proper sunglasses to protect your eyes and wear covering clothing, or just be sure to get legal window tint with high UV blocking, which is a standard feature of most good tints anyway.
 

Window Tint Violation Penalties in Hawaii

 
Vehicle window tint penalties in Hawaii are significantly higher than they are in most other states, so it’s a good idea not to press your luck: one tint violation ticket could cost more than your window tint job itself.
 
Window tint tickets in Hawaii can cost between $250 and up to $500 for a private citizen’s car, and from $500 all the way up to $1,000 for a commercially owned vehicle with illegal tint. And if you don’t get the illegal tint removed, you can be fined again. The cost of a window tint ticket in Hawaii is just too high for it to be worth the risk, so make sure your vehicle’s tint stays well within the allotted tint variance.

 

Darkest legal tint for Sedans in Hawaii

 

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.

 

Darkest legal tint for SUV and Vans in Hawaii

 

  • Windshield: Non-reflective window tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness window tint can be used
  • Rear window: Any darkness window tint can be used