trek glass tinting law in PA, legal in PA 

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Why Window Tinting is Legal In Pennsylvania

Window Tinting is Legal in Pennsylvania because neither the Statute, which the legislature has enacted according to the will of the people, nor the Regulation, which the Administration has passed to clarify the law, prohibit it.

TITLE 75 Section 4524 (e)(1) of the Pennsylvania Common Statutes states that

(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.

Note that the law only prohibits tinting which prevents a person from seeing or viewing the inside of the vehicle. It does not prohibit all tinting or tinting below 70%.

The Law therefore implicitly permits any tinting which does not prevent a person from seeing or viewing the inside of the vehicle.

IS SAFETY WINDOW FILM WITH TRANSMITTANCE LESS THAN 70% LEGAL IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Here's a quick reference chart that shows the various arguments about whether tint below 70% is legal in Pennsylvania.

It's up to you to decide whether we are ruled by Statutes, Laws, Federal Safety Standards, and State Inspection Regulations, on the one hand, or by Safety Bulletins, Newspaper Articles, and New Table Xs on the other.

YES

These are the LAWs that say such tinting is legal.

 NO

These are the apparent 'authorities' cited by some PA Police that tint less than 70% is illegal.

TITLE 75 of PA STATUTES - 4524 (e)(1) - This is the LAW passed by our legislators and it does NOT prohibit tint unless it "does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle."

SAFETY BULLETIN - This was sent to Inspection Stations years ago. It has lots of capital letters and asterisks and makes safety recommendations.

PA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE TITLE 67 - CHAPTER 175.67 (d)(4) - These rules and regulations were written to clarify the laws. The PA Code only prohibits tint "unless otherwise permitted by FMVSS No. 205."

OCT 1996 - Another SAFETY BULLETIN for Inspections Stations to share with their customers. It includes a new TABLE X.

A Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 205 clearly permits tint below 70%. Read it! After all, most States require conformance with FMVSS205, but still permit tinting as low as 25%.

The neat New TABLE X included with the above Safety Bulletin. Don't get it confused with the original Table X that is part of the Inspection Requirements.
In either case The
PA CODE (see d 4) specifically excludes any tint "permitted by FMVSS No. 205" from the requirements of Table X.

PA INSPECTION REGULATIONS - PA Inspection Regulation do not prohibit tint below 70%. Inspection Station cannot reject a vehicle with legal tint.

The PA Bulletin is a legal newspaper. Here they discuss various recent changes to the PA CODE, none of which prohibit tint permitted by FMVSS205.

Most of the other States explicitly allow transmittances as low as 25%, yet still require conformance with FMVSS205. Certainly they aren't ALL wrong in their interpretation of FMVSS205.

Who needs all the laws and regulations on the left anyway? Some officers just "enforce Table X," although it's not clear which Table X they're refering to.

Since all the PA Statutes or Regulations permit tinting below 70%, then it IS NOT ILLEGAL.

Even the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, speaking on behalf of the Secretary of Transportation, agrees that nothing in the PA STATUTE, the PA CODE, or the INSPECTION REGULATIONS prohibits tint, but that it is only . . .

"... the Department's interpretation that FMVSS 205...only allows window tinting that permits 70% or more light to transmit through the window."

Summary of Legislation relating to window tinting in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania STATUTE

This is the actual LAW passed by the PA Legislators in response to the will of the people. If an officer cites you, this is the law that he will probably accuse you of violating!

TITLE 75 Section 4524 (e)(1) of the Pennsylvania Common Statutes states that

(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.

Note that the law only prohibits tinting which prevents a person from seeing or viewing the inside of the vehicle. It does not prohibit all tinting or tinting below 70%. The Law therefore implicitly permits any tinting which does not prevent a person from seeing or viewing the inside of the vehicle.

Note also that it does NOT say that a person must be able to view the inside of the vehicle, only that the tint cannot prevent a person from seeing in. (no one can see into a vehicle at night, even with clear windows) Also the way the law is stated it is only requiring that a person be able to see the inside either through the windshield, side wing OR side window. If the word 'and' was used instead of 'or' it would require viewing through all of the mentioned windows.

A PennDOT Administrative Rule - TITLE 67 CHAPTER 175-67 (d)(4)
VEHICLE EQUIPMENT AND INSPECTION

PennDOT is only permitted to make rules 'consistent with and in furtherance' of the actual PA Laws." To prohibit something permitted by the Law would NOT be consistent with the law. In accordance with that maxim the PA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE TITLE 67 - CHAPTER 175.67 (d)(4) states that

A sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle is prohibited, unless otherwise permitted by FMVSS No. 205...

In other words, as long as tinting is 'permitted by FMVSS No. 205', then it is NOT PROHIBITED by either the PA STATUTE or the PA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE written to clarify the Statute.

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD

FMVSS205 - Such Standards are incorporated by reference into State Law - However, FMVSS205 does not prohibit window tinting or specify percentages of transmittance. It does mention (Section 5.1.1) that windows must conform to American National Standard ANS Z-26.

Conformance with FMVSS205 is also required by the other States, even though many also explicitly allow tint as low as 30%. So obviously, neither the FMVSS205 nor the PA Code Administrative Code actually prohibits tinting below 70%.


American National Standard Z-26 does not prohibit window tinting below a certain percentage. It does define a test (section 5.2.3) in which certain glazing materials shall show... transmittance of not less than 70%.., but a footnote says 'See Section 4 and Table 1 for locations in vehicles where glazing material complying with this test is required'.

The referenced sections and tables DO NOT say that such glass is required for driver and passenger windows. It only says that 'material complying with the following [tests] 'may be used anywhere in a motor vehicle.' It DOES NOT say 'must be used', or even 'shall be used.' And the context makes it clear that glass for these locations NEED NOT pass all of the tests mentioned!

Prohibitive language is used elsewhere in the Standard where the intention is to prohibit use of specific materials, but not in reference to light transmittances of windows!

Any restrictions made by this Standard apply to ALL WINDOWS, not just after-market safety window film! Neither Police nor PennDOT can recommend only enforcing a law against a select group of people!


Pennsylvania Bulletin Vol 26. No. 39 (Sept. 96)

This is a 'legal newspaper' where new rules and regulations are printed and distributed. This issue promulgates various new rules and amendments for 67 PA Code 175 (the PennDOT rules) and Inspection Regulations.

Although it mentions a desire to clarify the rules based on inquiries from District Justices and Police, there is nowhere in the new rules and amendments where it specifically prohibits window tinting that does not violate the actual PA Statute 4524 (e)(1).


Department of Transportation Safety Bulletin BI96-7 (Oct. '96)

This was specifically addressed only to "Official Inspection Stations" and "Pennsylvania State Police Inspection Station Supervisors"

It clearly states that it is only a **SAFETY BULLETIN** but it has been distributed to police stations throughout the state in an effort to misinform the police about the law. It includes a 'New Table X' designed for inspection station owners to share with their customers, which some police think is actually a new Law that THEY can enforce because the Garagemen just didn't want to be bothered with it!

NOTE: Don't get the 'new Table X' mixed up with the original Table X, which is part of the Inspection Regulations to be followed by Inspection Stations. When the State places a valid Inspection Sticker on your vehicle, they certify that your vehicle Complies with All Regulations and applicable Tables!

CONCLUSION Despite the confusing rules, regulations, and standards presented by the Police and PennDOT in an attempt to supersede the Laws of Pennsylvania, the following remains true.

The PA STATUTE (the actual law) only prohibits tinting which
"does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle."

 

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Ph-610.543.4343  
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