I know how much everyone here loves window tint. The Fishbowl society should be proof for that. But for those of you who actually have tinted windows and by chance in Illinois. It would be much appreciated what tint % you have and if you've been pulled over for it. I ask this because I am set to get mine tinted next Monday and I am still unsure of what I am getting.
when i lived in prospect heights, il i had my e36 bmw with 20% all around and 5% in rear and had no probs. just go dark in the rear and 35% in the fronts should be enough. if not throw 20% up front, its your call
Last edited by vdub5818; 05-03-2012 at 12:02 AM.
03 silverstone GTI 24v
EVOMS CAI, AWE exhaust, C2 race tune, Ultimos, BBS CH 18", h&r spacers, joey mod, black emblems, blacked tails, reiger illuminated shift knob/boot, 2 eclipse 12's
Being from IL, but not currently living there, I followed the tint community's "Great Matter" to legalize tint in IL and the year-long mess it turned out to be (so I know in case I find myself living in IL which is possible) I can offer some advice from my own situation that may help.
I live in a state that is 50% VLT all around. My last Jetta (MKIII) came with 35% from the PO (from a state that allows 30%). My parents live in this 30% state, so for almost all of the 3+ years I owned that Jetta I kept it licensed in that state to avoid the hassle all together. 30% is VERY noticeably different from 50%, so I always thought sooner or later some officer would want to get out the meter and have to let me go when he looks up that I was legal in my licensed state. I get pulled over A LOT. Maybe 10 times a year (and no tickets ha) and only once did an officer give my tint a passing thought (coincidentally it was just after I started licensing my car in my own state). He pulled me over for a burnt out license plate light and said "your windows seem a little dark do you know what the light transmittance is?" I replied honestly with "I think maybe 35%". His reply was: "Are you aware this state has a 50% limit? Well here's what honesty is going to get you today. I'm going to let you go, and I'm going to assume that I don't need to write you a fix-it-ticket because you are going buy a new license plate light right away, right?" I said yes sir and he sent me on my way. I bought two new lic plt lights later that day and installed them.
Shortly after this I bought a MKIV Jetta and registered it in my 50% state. The day after driving my MKIV home I tinted my windows. I tried really hard to be legal and put on 50%. Well, OP, as you agree 50% is barely enough to do a double take and see there actually is tint on the windows. I planned ahead and had 3 varieties of 3M FX HP available: 50, 35 and 20. After holding up 50% to my windows I immediately changed my mind about going legal. I planned on going with 35% since I did it for 3 years and could live with it, but before applying anything I tested a piece of 20% and really liked it. Initially, my logic was that 35% would decrease my ticket liability compared to 20% (chance of failing to get out of a potential ticket because 35 is closer to 50 than 20) but then I realized that anything less than 50 is so obviously not 50 that it really doesn't matter until you go less than 20. So that being said I went with 20% and couldn't be happier. I like how cool my vehicle is after sitting in a parking lot on a hot day, and I really hate the fish bowl effect (not in general--just my personal feeling toward my personal car).
I guess the point to this much longer than necessary story is go with what satisfies you; as long as you are polite and courteous to the officers that pull you over, outside of Chicago I think its highly unlikely you'll get an un-provoked tint ticket if you make sure you can lower your driver side window without making the officer feel threatened by your actions (but my experience with IL cops is limited). Always keep in mind this could mean accepting the tinting cost as a loss and starting over if you keep getting nailed. This isn't my job, so taking time away to remove it and replace it with legal tint would be a pain. For me it probably took almost as long to decide for sure on my tint level than it did to apply it, but I'm glad I chose as I did and I'm glad I was patient to put enough thought into so it wasn't a whim.
Whatever you do; consider sticking with 35%--it isn't that bad. But don't go less than 20%--anything less crosses into being unsafe and is not accepted in most states. Limo is stupid; don't even consider it--tint that dark is why the industry has such a hard time being accepted.
One question though--you say that you can't have anything on front windows in IL. What happened to the 2009 law making 35% legal on all windows? Did it get repealed?
was prob. already stated but 35% is legal up front. Everyone I ever do usually goes 20%, with no problems at all with authorities.
I personally went 2.5% out back and 20% up front of the stabbin wagon.
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