Maryland Automobile Window Tinting Laws

Light Sensitivity or Photophobia

People who are light sensitive, or photophobic, may find it difficult to tolerate environments where they cannot control (or at least influence) lighting conditions. For example, photophobic individuals may avoid driving during daylight hours because glare from sunlight makes their eyes feel painful, dry and uncomfortable.  These individuals often look for ways to obtain a Maryland tint waiver so they can make their car windows darker.

People who suffer from photophobia also often find it difficult to function at work or school because many workplaces and educational institutions now use the new energy saving LED lights that are much brighter than incandescent and fluorescent lights. Oftentimes, photophobic individuals don’t know that they’re photophobic until they visit the eye doctor complaining of dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, dizziness, or nausea after spending time in a brightly lit area such as an office or classroom setting.

Individuals who have light sensitivity usually prefer dark sunglasses because they reduce glare from lights and prevent discomfort from light exposure. Because photophobia, people will tend to wear sunglasses more often than would be expected due to the amount of light in their environment.

Sensitivity to bright lights are often caused by the following eye conditions: Contact lenses that fit poorly or are being worn longer than the recommended duration, medical eye conditions such as uveitis or iritis that result from internal inflammation, eye infections, eye injuries, migraine headaches and taking certain medications that may cause the pupils to dilate and allow more light to enter the eye. If you are suffering from excessive light sensitivity, you need to see an eye doctor to determine what the reason is.  

Sensitivity to bright lights that can be prevented by protective sun wear is not eligible for a medical tint waiver in Maryland.

Window Tinting Regulations for vehicles registered in the State of Maryland (Legal Tint in MD) 

The State of Maryland regulates post manufacture window tint film on all motor vehicles registered in the State.  This regulation is set forth in both the Maryland Transportation Article (Title 22 section 406), and the Inspection process for vehicles being registered in Maryland (COMAR Title 11 subtitle 14).  These regulations state that windows can have post manufacture window tint film added to allow 35% light transmittance (amount of light going through glass),and indicates the types of vehicles and the locations that tint is permitted.  All vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States come from the factory with some window tinting already in the regulated windows.  Most of the regulated glass on vehicles allow between 70-75% light transmittance.  Therefore, to meet the State requirement of 35% light transmittance you would need to apply 50% post manufacture window tint film.

Passenger cars: (2dr, 4dr, station wagons) All windows on these vehicles are regulated and have to meet the 35% light transmittance requirement.  The brake light in the back window cannot be covered by tint.

Trucks, Vans, SUVs:  The only windows regulated on these type of vehicles are the windows immediately left and right of driver.  These two windows are the only ones that have to meet the 35% light transmittance requirement.

Windshields:  Post manufacture window film can not be placed on the front windshield below the AS1 mark or 5 inches down horizontally from the top of the windshield whichever is less.

Colors of Tint:  COMAR ( Prohibits red, yellow, amber and reflective(mirrored) post manufacture window tint film.

Medical Waiver:  Maryland Transportation Article, Title 22 Section 406 allows for an exemption to the 35% light transmittance requirement.   This exemption applies to the regulated windows of all vehicles, you still cannot tint the windshield below AS1 mark or 5 inches from top.  The requirements to meet the medical waiver are:  (22-406-i-4-i) A person who must be protected from the sun for medical reasons is exempt from the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection if the owner has, in the vehicle at the time the vehicle is stopped by a police officer, a written certification that details the owner’s medical need for tinted windows, from a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of Maryland.

Medical Conditions that may allow for a waiver are: Systemic lupus erythematosus, Cockayne syndrome, Bloom syndrome, Solar urticaria, Erythropoietic protoporphyria, Xeroderma pigmentosum and Albinism. 

Speak to your primary care physician or dermatologist to determine if you have any of these medical conditions and how you can obtain a waiver. 

Sensitivity to bright lights that can be mitigated by protective sun wear is not eligible for a medical waiver.

Limousines: No post manufacture window tint film is allowed on windshield and immediate left and right of driver.

Commercial Vehicles: (dump trucks, over road tractors, tow trucks, CMV over 10,001lbs) Per CFR 393.60 C 1, indicates that no commercial vehicle can have post manufacture window tint film on the windshield and immediate left and right of driver that reduces the light transmittance below 70%.

Certifying a Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) for window tint.

If you receive a SERO for window tint you will need to go to an authorized Maryland inspection station to have it certified.  Police officers are not allowed to certify any SERO for window tint.  Even if you remove the tint it will have to be certified/signed by a Maryland inspection station.

If you receive a SERO for window tint and you have the medical documentation for the waiver you will need to respond to the Maryland State Police – Automotive Safety Enforcement Division (ASED) to have the SERO certified.