The Prairie Provinces of Canada that stretch across the vast middle to west stretch of the nation have some of the longest stretches of highway in all of North America and drivers who spend much time navigating these many miles of roadway owe it to themselves and their vehicles to get proper auto window tint applied. In the Prairie Provinces car window tint can mean the difference between a drive where the glare of the sun causes eye strain, fatigue, and increased danger in the short term and, in the long term, leads to interior fading and discoloring to your vehicle’s upholstery, dashboard, and other surfaces, reducing the appeal of the vehicle for you, its current owner, and diminishing potential resale value later.
Despite their being geographically close to one another and relatively similar in topography, the vehicle window tint laws in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are all slightly different, so let’s look at each of the tint laws for the provinces of the Prairie Provinces on a case-by-case basis.
Legal Auto Window Film in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
Vehicle Window Tint Laws in Alberta
In Alberta, no windshield tint is allowed whether it is factory installed or aftermarket window tint. While glazing applied by the original manufacturer is permitted on the windshield and can block some UV light, no tint that darkens the front windshield is permitted at all.
Side front windows are also prohibited from having window tint in Alberta. That is to say the windows beside the driver and front seat passenger must be completely tint-free.
Rear side windows, meaning any row behind the driver’s seat row, be it a single additional row in a car or truck cab or many rows in a van or large SUV, may have any darkness of window tint applied.
The rear window, AKA the rear windshield, of vehicles in Alberta may likewise be tinted down to any darkness, including full privacy tint that blocks all view in from outside. Dual side view mirrors are required if tint is present, though no official tint certifications or identifying stickers need to be in place.
Vehicle Window Tint Laws in Manitoba
In the province of Manitoba you are allowed to have some window tint on the windshield. The tint must extend no more than 12.7 centimeters (or five inches) down the glass from the top of the windshield and must be no less than 25% visible light transmission, meaning it lets in at least 25% of the sun’s visible light. (That is a relatively dark tint, for the record.)
Front side windows in Manitoba may have window tint rated at 50% VLT or lighter, while the rear side windows may be tinted darker, with a maximum low VLT of 35%, which provides ample privacy along with excellent UV and heat rejection. (Though note that even much lighter tint can block up to 99% of UV light anyway.)
The rear window of vehicles in Manitoba may be tinted to any darkness provided exterior side view mirrors are both in place.
Manitoba tint law permits up to 5% variance in window tint darkness and no certificates or stickers are required.
Vehicle Window Tint Laws in Saskatchewan
In Saskatchewan, no windshield tinting is allowed even if it is factory installed, and certainly no aftermarket window tint can be applied to the windshield.
Side front windows of vehicles are not allowed to have window tint in Saskatchewan, with this referring to the windows beside the driver and front seat passenger.
On the other hand, in Saskatchewan vehicle rear side windows, which means any windows behind the driver’s seat row, be it a one additional row in a sedan or truck crew cabin, or be it many rows in a bus, van, or larger SUV, can have any darkness of window tinting applied.
The rear window, also called the rear windshield, of vehicles in Saskatchewan may also be tinted down to any darkness, including full blackout privacy tint that blocks all view into the cabin from the outside. Dual side view mirrors are always required on all modern vehicles in Saskatchewan regardless of whether tint is present. No manufacturer tint certification or driver-applied stickers identifying tint compliance need to be in place on vehicles in Saskatchewan.
Fines for breaking Saskatchewan auto tint laws start at $115 and range up to $150 and multiple fines can be assessed to the same vehicle if the illegal tint is not quickly replaced.