Iowa Window Tint Laws & Regulations

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Tinting laws exist to allow safer driving and make law enforcement jobs easier.

These rules and regulations also play an important part in ensuring other drivers do not have any difficulties.

Iowa window tint laws are somewhat crude, but they are simple to understand for the most part.

Some windows can have as much darkness as the owner demand, while others cannot. Most vehicle window tints should allow 70% of outside light to pass through them.

Some windows even have special rules regarding the reflectiveness of the tints.

Read the entire article if you want to know everything related to these laws. I will be listing all the rules and answering any questions you may have.

How Much Tint Darkness Is Legal In Iowa?

Learn how to get around window tint laws in Iowa through my guide

While some windows can have any amount of tint darkness available, you must have at least 70% VLT in your windows, which is not a lot when tinting your car windows.

Tint Darkness Limit For SUVs And Vans

Most people need to follow the same rules for vans and sports utility vehicles for simple cars.

The rules begin with the windshield of the SUV/vans, where the people are required to maintain at least 70% VLT at all costs.

This is important as the entire windshield can be tinted, and there are no restrictions on how much of the screen itself you should tint.

This can be dangerous if the tints are too dark, which is probably why the required VLT amount is so high.

Next are the front seat side windows, which are also required to have 70% of the outside light pass through. This is the same for the rear window, which can be as dark as possible.

These rules quickly fall apart once you get to the back seat side windows, which are not under any restrictions, meaning you can tint them as dark as you want.

Tint Darkness Limit For Sedans

When it comes to sedans, the rules are the same as for sports utility vehicles and vans, but for convenience, I will be talking about them according to their windows.

1. Front Windshield

The same requirement as above is placed in the car’s front windshield; however, where there is usually some rule about the windshield tint being limited to the first 5 or 6 inches is not present here.

2. Front Seat Side Windows

Iowa has set a rule that all front-seat side windows of any Sedans must have a window tint of 50% VLT.

3. Rear Window

Getting into the rear windows, the people can have any tint darkness they want and are not required to follow any restrictions.

4. Back Seat Side Windows

This is the same case for the back seat side windows, which can be as dark as the user wants them to be.

Window Tint Reflection And Tint Colors

  • The state of Iowa has not banned the use of any tinted colors.
  • People are allowed to use any tint color they want on their windows. The only main concerns are the window’s reflectiveness and their VLT amount.
  • On reflectiveness, all vehicles, regardless of whether they are an SUV or a sedan, must not have an excess reflection.
  • The rules are vague, and no exact value is provided, but they still stand and should be followed. A good amount to be safe would be 30%.

Medical Exemption Of Window Tint Laws In Iowa

The state of Iowa, during its long history of window tinting laws, tried its best to accommodate its citizens with as much convenience and freedom as possible, but unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Before July of 2012, the people of Iowa could opt for medical exemptions, which allowed them to use much darker tints than the state allowed.

Unfortunately for these people, Iowa has revised its rules since 2012 and now does not allow people to seek medical exemptions.

If you suffer from a skin condition or any other illness affected by the sun’s UV lights, you cannot use darker tints than the ones determined by the state.

Medical exemptions approved before July 2012 can still be used to this day but can only count if the form is carried in the vehicle and the vehicle being driven is the same as the one it was registered to.

Get A Certified Sticker From The Company

The people who manufacture the window tints are not required to certify that the tints being sold are under the standards set by the state of Iowa.

The people who apply and own the tints are not required to apply any form of certified stickers or have any certification to identify legal tints.

This means that you do not have to get any stickers or have any documents to prove that your tint is legal in Iowa.

Other Window Tint Law Rules And Regulations In Iowa

Various other laws affect how people have to act with tinted windows; let’s look at these laws.

  • People can no longer apply for medical exemptions, and any old medical exemptions can be entertained by bypassing various checks stated above.
  • Manufacturers do not need to certify their tints.
  • People are not required to apply certification stickers on their windows.
  • There are no restrictions on the side mirrors of tinted windows.
  • There are no such tint colors restricted in the state of Iowa.

Cost Of Car Window Tint In Iowa

Assuming that you are in the market for a basic tint for your sedan, you can be looking at around $150 for the entire vehicle.

If you switch to an SUV or a vehicle with even more windows, this number will only increase.

If you are looking for more premium tints, this can rise well over $400 per vehicle and extend $600.

Your choice of colors for the tint will also play a role in its cost, so make sure that you also account for that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is 15% Tint Legal In Iowa?

Iowa has made it clear that most vehicles must have their tinted windows above 70% VLT.

You cannot use 15% tints in all circumstances; however, you can use them on the back and rear side of your car’s windows.

Q2. Are 5% Tints Legal In Iowa?

5% tints follow the same rule set as the 15% ones.

You can apply them on the back seat side and the rear windows, but applying them on any other windows is illegal and will get you in trouble.

Q3. Is Limo Tint Legal In Iowa?

Limo tints are quite dark and operate as the same tints above.

You should be able to apply them on the back seat side windows and the rear windows, but under no circumstances are you legally allowed to use them on the other windows.

Q4. Can I Get Pulled Over For Tint In Iowa?

If the acting officer believes that you have applied tints in your windows that are darker than the threshold established by the state, they reserve the right to pull you over and check your tints.

If they are darker than they should be, you will get a fine.

Q5. How Much Is A Tint Ticket In Iowa?

If you are caught while using tints that are much darker than what they should be, you will be forced to pay a ticket of $127.50.

This is a misdemeanor and is enforceable on drivers from other states.


Iowa window tint laws are pretty restrictive with their requirement of 70% VLT on most windows while also being fairly considerate of the people by allowing them not to have mandatory stickers and certificates to show the legality of their window tints.

The rules themselves are quite simple to follow and should be quite simple to understand now that you have read this article.

The one thing that many upset people is the removal of medical exemptions, which many genuinely needy people could have benefited from, but since its removal in 2012, not much can be done other than to obey the laws set by the state.