Window Tint

Shopping for Window Tint

The most important item to secure is a written Lifetime Warranty on not on the window tint film itself but on the LABOR as well. You will find inexpensive window companies that use a dye-based film that within a year or two will begin to turn purple then proceed to become cloudy, bubble, blister and peel off. You have probably seen these vehicles around town. It is not a bad tint job, it is just a product designed not to last.

Be careful! It is more expensive to UN-DO (strip off) this problem than it was to tint the vehicle the “right way” with Lifetime Warranty Film in the beginning.

Lifetime warranty films are Hybrid Metalized Films that are designed to last a lifetime. Remember, you WILL get what you pay for. Lifetime warranty is only good if the company you choose is around in the future. A good indication of a companies’ future is a solid past. Also, be sure that the company you are considering actually employs their window tinter as an employee, not a contractor, who comes to their shop when there is a job to be done.


Illinois Window Tint Law

If you go onto the internet, trying to figure out what the new Illinois Window Tint Law is, it becomes difficult because honestly much of the information out there is not correct or moreover is explained in a confusing or contradictory way. If you visit the International Window Film Association websiste it gives very good information, but there are still a few confusing / contradictory pieces. We at CarSmart-Mokena were given a handout by the Will County Sheriff’s Department that really simplifies the Illinois law on window tint. Here is our explanation from all of our credible resources.

Yes, as of 2010, it is now legal to tint ALL of the windows in your vehicle with these rules/exceptions:

  • Excluding your windshield, you can tint all of the windows in your vehicle to a “Net Metered Rate”* (VLT Visibal Light Transmitted)** of 35% with a 5% variance down to a net metered rate of 30% for all windows in the vehicle.
  • You can tint the rear doors back, on your vehicle (including rear door glass, quarter glass, cargo windows and back window of the vehicle), as dark as you want to non-transparent black / limousine grade black. IF YOU DO THIS, you can tint your front door windows (driver door and passenger front door) at a Net Metered Rate of 50% with a 5% variance down to 45%.
  • If you have an SUV/Vehicle with FACTORY TINTED PRIVACY GLASS in the rear, this factory glass usually meters right at about 20%. Being below 30% the bullet point above this one about this applies. Front windows can be 50%, net 45%. And yes, you can tint over this factory privacy glass as dark as you want and tint the front windows (2) and the 50% rule does apply.
  • Tinting the top 6″ of your windshield any level of darkness IS legal.
  • Tinting your entire windshield is very much NOT legal at ANY shade. ILLEGAL and dangerous, obstructing vision (difficult to see at night).
  • Putting a glare/heat reducing film on your windshield is not legal and does not have a ruling to the best of our knowledge at this time.
  • Colored window tint is not legal.
  • Mirrored or Fader Film, like Chrome to Smoke, is not legal on any windows

NOTE: Factory glass that is not tinted and appears “clear” is not actually 100% clear. Due to the nature of safety glass (as it has the bluish-greenish hue”) will meter at about 75-80% clear, not 100% clear. When you put a window tint film over this it lowers the VLT of the rating of the film. For example, if you put a window tint film on that has a VLT of 35%, once over the factory glass, the combination may meter at 30 or 32%. It will always be lower that what the film itself states.

* Net Metered Rate is what a digital window tint meter reads. Illinois allows a +/- 5% variance.
** VLT is the combination of how much light is passing through the combination of your factory glass window and the window tint film together.

In order to issue you a ticket for tinted windows that do not fall within the parameters of the Illinois Tint Law, a law enforcement officer must have a Digital Window Tint Meter to actually read the VLT** of your windows. If the officer does not have a meter, they cannot issue a ticket no matter how dark your tint is or may appear.

Note About Chicago!!

Somehow the City of Chicago (proper) still has an ordinance that somehow supersedes the Illinois state law that you still cannot have ANY tint on your front 2 windows. There is a lot of debate over this issue as it has been understood that this would apply to the owner of a vehicle who has the vehicle registered in Chicago Illinois, this makes some sense. We have had a few customers who live in the suburbs with their vehicles registered in the suburbs and their car is physically in the city of Chicago and have received tickets for having tint on the front windows. Most of them have gone to court and the ticket was dismissed a few not. None of it makes sense to us but that is just our opinion. Be careful. The window tint ticket fine in Chicago is $250.00.