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Old 07-19-2012, 10:08 PM
70 posts, read 82,083 times
Reputation: 54


This is a question for transplants, I guess.

I'm moving to Brattleboro for grad school in the fall, and being from Texas, have a fairly dark (but not limo dark) 30% Visible Light Transmission tint on my 4 door hatchback because it's so darn hot down here 8 months out of the year, you'd fry without a tint. I looked up the tinting laws and it seems that in VT you are not allowed to have any tint at all on the front side windows.

Does anyone know how strictly the local cops enforce this law?

Especially if I leave the TX plates on my car, would they be likely to assume that I'm just a tourist passing through? (Not sure what the laws are regarding those with student status and car license/title documents.)

It wouldn't be a huge problem for me to remove only the front 2 windows' tint, but I'd rather not if I can get away with it.

In TX the cops are fairly laid back about all but the most blatant traffic law violations since they are more focused on actual street crime, but I know that it varies from state to state.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:27 AM
3,463 posts, read 4,519,783 times
Reputation: 7121
There are a few threads relating to law enforcement in VT that Ive seen in the very short time Ive been on City Data.
I would research them and make your decision. After a few years in Vermont myself, I personally would not risk it, especially with the Texas tag. And of course, other peoples opinions will differ.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:26 AM
Location: Vermont
1,006 posts, read 1,410,610 times
Reputation: 1949
Depends.....They go through streaks where they target different things or one cop has a thing about tint. I tinted a back window of a pickup truck I had a few years ago and got stopped to check if the side windows were tinted. (They weren't). I know people who have had to take the tint off of side windows after being stopped by police. Luck of the draw really as I also know people who've had tinted side windows for quite awhile without issue. I'd leave it and plead ignorance. Of course, driving in a manner not to attract attention to yourself helps too!
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:15 PM
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,742,061 times
Reputation: 2628
If you leave your Texas plates, I am not sure you will have any issues.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:36 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,739 posts, read 53,869,694 times
Reputation: 30005
Trust me, in Vermont you won't want that tinting on side windows once you have experienced the winter. If there is sleet or a storm midwinter at night, it can be almost impossible to see properly, even without tint. I agree with you that in the southern tier of states it is useful and even necessary.

Here is a kicker - if you get into an accident, and you have the illegal tint on your windows, and that can in any way figure in as a factor, you'll be out big bucks. For less than $100 it just isn't worth the chance.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Location: Brandon VT
190 posts, read 547,914 times
Reputation: 281
My car was originally from Mass. It has one-way glass on the rearview, and had tinting on all four side windows. I drove for a couple years without issue. But then one day as I was driving down route 7 behind a slow-moving truck the flatlander behind me tried to pull a dangerous pass. I must have had fabulous luck because the police officer nearby thought that I had pulled the stupid move!

I was pulled over, and fortunately he believed me that I wasn't the one trying to pass. But he did point out my front window tinting and told me to get it removed. I think it cost me about $80 then.

So would I have ever gotten pulled over specifically for my window tinting? Really hard to say. But with Texas plates I personally would get it removed rather than risk it.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:42 PM
Location: The Woods
16,935 posts, read 22,198,202 times
Reputation: 9019
I'd practice a little civil disobedience. It's a stupid law that shouldn't exist. Snow blindness might make you glad you have a little tinting.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:51 PM
Location: Vermont
10,276 posts, read 11,166,011 times
Reputation: 14086
I took a quick look at our statutes and this is all I found:

1125. Obstructing windshields

(a) No person shall paste, stick, or paint advertising matter or other things on or over any transparent part of a motor vehicle windshield, vent windows, or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator, nor hang any object, other than a rear view mirror, in back of the windshield except as follows:

(1) in a space not over four inches high and 12 inches long in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield;

(2) in such space as the commissioner of motor vehicles may specify for location of any sticker required by governmental regulation;

(3) in a space not over two inches high and two and one-half inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield;

(4) by persons employed by the federal, state, or local government and volunteer emergency responders operating authorized emergency vehicles who may place any necessary equipment in back of the windshield of the vehicle, provided the equipment does not interfere with the operator's control of the driving mechanism of the vehicle;

(5) on a motor vehicle that is for sale by a licensed automobile dealer prior to the sale of the vehicle, in a space not over three inches high and six inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield, and in a space not over four inches high and 18 inches long in the upper right-hand corner of the windshield;

(6) the commissioner may grant an exemption upon application from a person required for medical reasons to be shielded from the rays of the sun and who attaches to the application a document signed by a licensed physician or optometrist certifying that shielding from the rays of the sun is a medical necessity. The physician or optometrist certification shall be renewed every four years. However, when a licensed physician or optometrist has previously certified to the commissioner that an applicant's condition is both permanent and stable, the exemption may be renewed by the applicant without submission of a form signed by a licensed physician or optometrist. Additionally, the window shading or tinting permitted under this subdivision shall be limited to the vent windows or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator. The exemption provided in this subdivision shall terminate upon the sale of the approved vehicle and at that time the applicable window

tinting shall be removed by the seller. Furthermore, if the material described in this subdivision tears or bubbles or is otherwise worn to prohibit clear vision, it shall be removed or replaced.

(b) The rear side windows and the back window may be obstructed only if the motor vehicle is equipped on each side with a securely attached mirror, which provides the operator with a clear view of the roadway in the rear and on both sides of the motor vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.); No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), 7; No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), 1; 2005, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), 1.)

It's hard to say for sure what they would consider "obstructed", so a cop who wanted to be a jerk could make something of it. On the other hand, there is the last subsection that ties obstructing the back side and back windows to having external rear view mirrors, and almost all cars have them now.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:48 PM
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,772 posts, read 12,295,466 times
Reputation: 7193
I have a Ford Ranger cab and a half with dark tinted glass on the 3 rear windows. I'm guessing it was factory installed and I'm not a fan of it. The problem I find is that I don't feel very sure of myself when backing up in the dark or merging with traffic any time that requires seeing out of one of those windows. For me the best aspect is when someone is behind me at night with bright headlights.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:09 PM
70 posts, read 82,083 times
Reputation: 54
Thanks for all the feedback...I hadn't considered the possibility of getting blamed for an accident simply because of the tint, yikes. That IS a big deterrent! Well, when I helped my parents moved from their old house ten years ago, I found a very cheap easy and painless way to remove window tint: WD-40! Hopefully it will work on my professionally installed car tint as well as it did on my parents' Home Depot DIY tint, lol.

I guess I can live with the tint being only on the rear side windows and rear window. And having just recently had Lasik and discovering that my night vision has taken a big hit already, I guess it might just be a good idea anyhow.
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