Iowa Window Tint Laws with Exceptions & Penalties [2021]

Quick Answer: Iowa Window Tint Laws

In Iowa, for sedans, SUVs and vans, non-reflective tint which allows minimum 70% light transmission is allowed. The front windows are allowed minimum 70% tint darkness and the other windows can have any tint darkness. Tint reflection should not be excessively reflective. No restrictions exist on the color of the window tints. Medical exemptions for special tints are not granted since 2012. For more details, check out the article below.

Window tinting is helpful in reducing the amount of sunlight and other visible lights that enter the vehicle, reducing glare and heat generated.

The car window tinting laws were enacted in Iowa in 1983. It is the first state in the USA to enact these laws. They are dealt by the Iowa State Police.

In this article, we provide and explain the window tint laws for cars in the state of Iowa (IA), USA.

The information on this article is based on the latest information and in accordance with the regulations provided by the authorities at the Iowa Department of Transportation and the International Window Film Association in March 2020.

Iowa Window Tinting Laws

Window tint films are provided to cars like sedans, SUVs, vans, and other multipurpose vehicles (MPVs) for various purposes, including privacy of the driver and the passengers, medical, and legal purposes.

The tint of a car window can be understood by its VLT, or Visible Light Transmission. The term is the percentage of light that a window tint film allows to pass through your car windows.

A higher VLT permits more light to pass through the window, while a lower VLT permits a lower amount of light.

The percentage of light allowed through your film and glass in Iowa is specific and different for different kinds of cars, be it a passenger vehicle or a multipurpose vehicle.

Tint Darkness for Sedans

The following are the tint darkness laws for sedans in Iowa.

Windshield: Non-reflective tint which allows minimum 70% of light is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line. The AS-1 line extends from the letters AS-1, found on most vehicle windshields, running parallel to the top of the windshield.

Front Side Windows: Minimum 70% of the outside light must be allowed inside. In other words, the windows are allowed up to 70% tint darkness.

Rear Windows: Any amount of outside light may be allowed inside. Any tint darkness is allowed.
Back Side Windows: Any amount of outside light may be allowed inside. Any tint darkness is allowed.

Tint Darkness for SUVs and vans

The following are the tint darkness laws for SUVs and vans in Iowa.

Windshield: Non-reflective tint which allows minimum 70% of light is allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.

Front Side Windows: Minimum 70% of the outside light must be allowed inside. In other words, the windows are allowed up to 70% tint darkness.

Rear Windows: Any amount of light may be allowed inside. Any tint darkness is allowed.

Back Side Windows: Any amount of light may be allowed inside. Any tint darkness is allowed.

Windows Tint Reflection Laws in Iowa

A window tint with a reflective finish is the solution for reflecting external sunlight, thus reducing the glare and heat generated by it. These tinted films contain metallic elements that create a reflective effect.

Tint Reflections for Sedans

The following are the tint reflection laws for sedans in Iowa.

  • Front Side Windows: There is no specified restriction on reflectiveness, but it should not be excessive.
  • Back Side Windows: There is no specified restriction on reflectiveness, but it should not be excessive.

Tint Reflections for SUVs and vans

The following are the tint reflection laws for SUVs and vans in Iowa.

  • Front Side Windows: There is no specified restriction on reflectiveness, but it should not be excessive.
  • Back Side Windows: There is no legal specified on reflectiveness, but it should not be excessive.

Other Window Tint Rules in Iowa

There are some other rules for cars regarding the manufacturer certificate, sticker to identify legal exceptions, medical exemptions, and so on.

Side mirrors: Dual side mirrors are not required except in cases where the view from the driver’s position is obstructed.

Certificates: Certification of tinted film by manufacturers is not required in Iowa.
Stickers: No sticker to identify legal tinting is required.

Medical Exceptions: Iowa used to allow medical exemptions for special tint but since 2012, darker window tinting for medical reasons is not allowed. Please see Exceptions to Window Tinting Laws.

Color Rules Related to Window Tints in Iowa

For some purposes, the car’s windows may have a colored tint. States in US may have restrictions on the colors that can be used.

The state of Iowa does not have any restrictions on colors; all color tints are allowed.

Exceptions to Window Tinting Laws in Iowa

Exemptions for special window tints are allowed for medical reasons.

They are provided to citizens with medical conditions which require to be shielded from the direct rays of the sun.

Medical exemptions are not granted after July 4, 2012 in the state.

However, medical exemptions signed by a physician, chiropractor, or optometrist prior to July 4, 2012, are valid subject to the following conditions:

a motor vehicle fitted with a front windshield or a front side window with less than 70 % but only up to 35 % light transmittance before July 4, 2012, may continue to be operated with the same tint (but has to be more than 35 % light transmittance) on or after July 4, 2012, as long as the vehicle continues to be used for the transport of a passenger or operator who acquired the Department of Transport (DOT) Form 432020, which documented a medical need for this reduced transparency, and was signed by the person’s physician before July 4, 2012.

This form needs to present in the vehicle at all times.

If the form is lost by the holder, the Office of Vehicle and Motor Carrier Services will provide replacement forms to your physician, chiropractor, or optometrist (licensed to practice in the state) upon request.

Penalty for Breaking Iowa Window Tinting Laws

Failure to comply with the above laws will result in penalties. The fine for a window tint violation in Iowa is $127.50.

Summary

These are the laws for window tint films for vehicles to be followed in the state of Iowa.

If you have any questions or comments, please comment down below or email us.

Motor vehicle laws change often, and while we constantly update our articles, we encourage you to contact your state police or department of transportation for further inquiries.

Visit here for window tint laws in other US states.

A father of two, Hayden loves to work on DIY projects (some are successful, some are not). His favorite place to be in is his garage.

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