The Bulletin Board

State tightens regulations for tinted windshields

By: - May 9, 2022 12:39 pm
A police car viewed through a windshield at night

House Bill 1110 raises the required transparency levels for after-market windshield tinting. (Getty Images)

New Hampshire will soon have tighter regulations for vehicle windshield tinting after the enactment of a law signed by Gov. Chris Sununu last week.

House Bill 1110 raises the required transparency levels for after-market windshield tinting from 35 percent minimum light transmittance to 70 percent, meaning that the windshields must allow twice as much light through as presently. Tinted windshields are allowed only for those with medical conditions.

The law, which was signed May 3, will take effect July 2.

Currently, state law prohibits anyone in the state from selling or driving vehicles with after-market tinting, and bars car owners from installing it, but the law includes medical exceptions. The statute allows the commissioner of the Department of Safety to issue special permits for people with “bona fide medical reasons” who require tinting on either the windshield or front two side windows. Specific medical reasons are not listed.

New Hampshire State Police had been advocating for the law, arguing that the previously allowed tint levels made it difficult to identify people who are sitting in vehicles. 

“The police as a whole would be opposed to keeping the tint at 35 percent,” testified Scott Afton, a sergeant in the state police, at a Senate hearing

Afton added that vehicles with a darker tint can be more dangerous at night for the people driving them. 

Lawmakers had already passed a law last year raising the translucency requirement to 70 percent for the front side windows in 2020; the new law extends that standard to the windshield. 

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Ethan DeWitt
Ethan DeWitt

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel.