We have received several questions about and I recently stopped a vehicle for window tint. Let me share a story with you.
I was on patrol when I observed a vehicle with window tint and I stopped the vehicle. I spoke with the driver and advised him the reason I stopped his vehicle.
The passenger of the vehicle quickly became agitated and said, “See, I told you, cops just don’t like window tint. They got something against it. They can’t see in the cars and that bugs them.”
I smiled and in my most professional voice said “Yes, you are correct. I Sgt. Sura of the Michigan State Police personally lobbied the State of Michigan to pass MCL 257.709, which in part states:
“A person shall not operate a motor vehicle with any of the following: a sign, poster, nontransparent material, window application, reflective film, or non-reflective film upon or in the front windshield, the side windows immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger…, except that a tinted film may be used along the top edge of the windshield and the side windows or side-wings immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger if the material does not extend more than 4 inches from the top of the windshield, or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield. A rear window or side window to the rear of the driver composed of, covered by, or treated with a material that creates a total solar reflectance of 35% or more in the visible light range, including a silver or gold reflective film. An object that obstructs the vision of the driver of the vehicle, except as authorized by law. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if driver visibility through the rear window is obstructed, unless the vehicle is equipped with 2 rearview mirrors, 1 on each side, adjusted so that the operator has a clear view of the highway behind the vehicle.”
I then said, “I lobbied for this law because I do not like window tint and neither do police everywhere.” The man with a stunned look said “See, I told you so.”
Yes, I can repeat that verbatim. Window tint in the front of the vehicle, on the driver side and passenger side windows can greatly diminish visibility. At night and in poor weather, window tint can cause further visibility problems and can prevent people from seeing other vehicles and pedestrians.
The law does allow for window tinting with a medical letter signed by a physician or optometrist indicating the window treatment is a medical necessity. The special window treatment must not interfere with or obstruct the driver’s clear vision of the highway or intersecting highway. The vehicle can then only be driven by the person with the medical condition. Other people would not be able to drive that vehicle.
If you have a questions or comments please email them to email@example.com, or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police – Brighton Post, 4337 Buno Road, Brighton, MI 48116.