Help on PA tint law
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This is a discussion on Help on PA tint law within the Tri-State forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; I own a new STi. I debated for a while but then got tired of the sun glaring in my ...

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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Help on PA tint law

    I own a new STi. I debated for a while but then got tired of the sun glaring in my side window so I just got them tinted last week...just the sides, and the lightest tint the shop provided. Today, some ahole of a twit with lights on top pulls me over Anway, he says that he pulled me over for my window tint, then suddenly remembers that you can't pull someone over in PA just for window tint, so then says I was driving "quickly around corners". I pointed to the pizza, salad, and 2 gallons of milk in my passenger seat and said that I didn't think I was, otherwise I would spill this stuff.
    Anyway, this crankmeister pulls out 2 little light meters, and proceeds to "verify my light transmittance" through my front drivers window. I was pretty confident as I had specifally told the shop the lightest tint possible, so it would be legal.
    Well, the meter comes up at 25% . He then said the legal limit was 70% and that he was going to issue me a citation. I had been yessirring and nossiring him the whole time, being as calm and polite as possible, but I kind of lost it at this point. I told him I'm 42 years old, a wife and 3 kids, and that he could obviously see into my car, and in fact all the way through both windows to the other side. He just shook his head and asked for my drivers liscense. I started grumbling and he says "Look buddy, I could also give you a ticket for that wing on the back, that thing on your hood, and your exhaust. I looked him in the eye and said "Maybe you want to issue it to Subaru or the DOT because everything on this car is stock and issued as is from the factory". He then tried to tell me my radar detector mounted on my dash (very securely) was illegal. At that point I just shut up because I was so mad I knew I would say something stupid. After he gave me the ticket, I again tried to reason with him about the tint, and the ability to easily see through it (really..it is barely there...can't even tell at night). He wasn't having it. I then asked him when was the last time his meters had been calibrated and the jackoff actually said "you saw me calibrate it right before I used it". In other words, he merely reset it for ambient conditions, and has no clue what calibration means.

    Soo...that was my rant. Here is my question. The PA tint law reads like this

    " 175.262. Applicability.
    This subchapter applies to vehicles which are subject to a periodic safety inspection, except those inspected in accordance with 175.130 (relating to inspection procedure).
    175.263. Sun screening location.
    (a) Windshields, side windows and side wings. A person may not operate, on a highway, a motor vehicle with a front windshield, side window or side wing that has been equipped with a sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle. This subchapter does not prohibit the use of products or materials along the top edge of the windshield if the products or materials are transparent and do not encroach upon the AS-1 portion of the windshield as provided by FMVSS No. 205 and if the devices or materials are not more than 3 inches from the top of the windshield. "

    Then for the rear window (for which I have no tint at all) it says:
    (b) Rear window. The rear window on a motor vehicle may be treated by the vehicle owner with a sun screening device or other material. If the rear window is treated with a sun screening device or other material, the vehicle shall comply with 175.264 (relating to mirrors). See Table X for specific requirements for vehicles subject to this subchapter.

    So there is this mysterious Table X. I found it, and that is where you find that you are allowed 70% sides and rear. What is really odd, is that 1) the way the law is written, Table X only applys if your rear window is tinted and 2) FMVSS No. 205 is essentially a safety standard for vehicle manufacturers, and nowhere does it state anything below 70% is illegal or hard to see through. So this is obviously an interpretation by our dear PA DOT.

    And what is really screwed up is I drove to our local cop shop to ask if I could get a copy of the law they reference on the ticket, and in the lot sits a honda civic with totally blacked out window...right next to 5 cop cars...grrrrrrrrrrr!!

    Now the real question. Has anyone in PA successfully fought this assinine law? If not, any suggestions would be welcome. I plan on fighting this, without a lawyer, just to see what happens.

    Thanks
    tEh PriUs=teH faSTah!@@!
    08 Audi S5 Black Diamond edition
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    (Scott) Moderator-STi, Drag Racing, Car Purchasing, and Tutorial Forums

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    Registered User 4cyturbowrx's Avatar
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    sorry

    Sorry to say but you drive a car that is going to get some attentions. Its not the fact that you got pulled over for the tint. Its that fact that you drive a car witha big win and hood scoop. I got pulled over about amonth ago. Cop was nice but still gave me a hard time. I know your almost 20 years older than me, its just a chance you take with have your car. I belive we have the same exact tint. The funny thing is the cop told me that sedans arnt allowed to have tint. FUNNY BUT NO WHERE NEAR THE TRUTH. Some times you just got to take it in the butt. I just paid the 105$. Sorry to hear your prob.

    thanks jeff

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    Registered User silversti's Avatar
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    Scott,

    My brother has been getting fines every couple of months for about 2 years. He just keeps paying them. The way he tries to avoid getting pulled over is by putting the windows down if he sees a cop.

    It is pretty sad that there is real crime going on somewhere and they are breaking your balls about window tint.

    Todd
    04 STI
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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Jeff and Todd,
    Thanks for the condolences. What really peeves me off is that I live in a very small burrough. Everyone knows your name kind of place. I make a point of waving to the cops, smiling, talking with them when I get a chance. Hell, two of them live right in my development, less than 100 yards from me.

    This guy way new, so I know he hadn't see me before, and yeah, I get it about the car being a cop magnet, which is why I've taken the extra precautions with the local enforcement.

    It was the comments about the him being able to ticket me for my wing, scoop, and exhaust that really got to me. I wanted to tell him to go ahead and do it, but my inner caution kept me in check. I still plan on showing up in court and seeing what happens. If anything, I'll send them a Bill of Particulars request and get the thing postponed ad nauseum until they comply with my "particulars" request. Essentially, I am going to make them earn that $105 bucks no matter what!!
    tEh PriUs=teH faSTah!@@!
    08 Audi S5 Black Diamond edition
    SOLD: 05 SWP Legacy GT Limited 5MT, 13.3ish@105 (stage 2) crappy stock clutch
    SOLD: 04 MPS/SW WRX Sti. 12.971 @ 103.97 (stock)
    278 AWHP/283 AWT, Catback exhaust
    306 AWHP/341 AWT, Stage 2
    (Scott) Moderator-STi, Drag Racing, Car Purchasing, and Tutorial Forums

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    hey yb, sorry to hear about your issues. i just ran into some myself 2 weeks ago. i have a black srt-4 with 5% black tint, or commonly called limo tint. i have this on the front 2, rear 2 and back window(s). i was pulled over for my exhaust being too loud. it's not stock and it had a racepipe in so it was loud. however, the **** head of a cop pulled me over and was stating about how he could give me up to 7 violations for my car. it seems funny to me that i now of only 2 violations. one is the tint and one is the exhaust. i also think its funny that my g/f's dad is a cop and he could care less about the legality of the car as long as i dont do stupid stuff with it. anyways, the law in pa is that if you have tint on your front two windows it MUST allow 30% of the light through, or block no more than 70% of the light from entering. as far as the back windows are concerned, they should conform to the laws regarding the front windows BUT they can be tinted 5%. you best bet is to try and fight this one. maybe you can one of your cop friends to vouch for you in court about how you are a good person and whatnot. i hope this helps you.

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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Kadishack,
    Thanks. I am fighting it. You have to see the car to understand why. When standing outside, looking in, you can clearly see the interior. In fact, you can see right through the other window to the outside. Like I said, I got the lightest tint the sold, and I'm pretty sure it's the metallic particles in the paint that screws up the cops light meter. Besides the fact that he is just plain a major ****, and needs to fill out some more paperwork. I've got a Bill of Request going in on Monday with about 30 questions he is going to have to answer. Like why did he pull me over in the first place, when was the last time the meter was calibrated, where is the training procedure for the use of the meter, etc. All BS stuff, but any one of which if answered wrong will get me off.

    My bet is I'm likely screwed anyway, but I'll pay another hundred bucks or so just to see him **** his pants when I walk into the courtroom in a two thousand dollar suit and the best lawyer in the county by my side. I really hate that prick...all by himself he totally ruined my weekend and made me start hating law enforcement in general. All it takes is one effing lowlife with a lust for power to make life sour for everyone.

    ok...done with my rant again...

    Thanks everyone. I'll let you know how it turns out.
    tEh PriUs=teH faSTah!@@!
    08 Audi S5 Black Diamond edition
    SOLD: 05 SWP Legacy GT Limited 5MT, 13.3ish@105 (stage 2) crappy stock clutch
    SOLD: 04 MPS/SW WRX Sti. 12.971 @ 103.97 (stock)
    278 AWHP/283 AWT, Catback exhaust
    306 AWHP/341 AWT, Stage 2
    (Scott) Moderator-STi, Drag Racing, Car Purchasing, and Tutorial Forums

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    Registered User jdillen's Avatar
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    Check this out

    YB,
    Check this out perhaps it can help you out. I searched for it a while back when I had my integra tinted, just in case I ever got pulled over. I had 20% tint and never got hassled with rims, loud exhaust, etc. But thats my area and not yours. Regardless check this out :
    http://www.berksweb.com/users/dmv/tint/

    Theres a lot of reading in there but Id like to hope something there could help your cause because you are definitely getting a raw deal...especially with him giving you shi* about the wing/exhaust
    Good luck!
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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Re: Check this out

    Originally posted by jdillen
    YB,
    Check this out perhaps it can help you out. I searched for it a while back when I had my integra tinted, just in case I ever got pulled over. I had 20% tint and never got hassled with rims, loud exhaust, etc. But thats my area and not yours. Regardless check this out :
    http://www.berksweb.com/users/dmv/tint/

    Theres a lot of reading in there but Id like to hope something there could help your cause because you are definitely getting a raw deal...especially with him giving you shi* about the wing/exhaust
    Good luck!
    Thanks jdillen...that is exactly where I already got most of my information about tint laws. After I got busted of course. If I had read that first, I probably would have consulted the local law folks first before tinting. I'm actually now considering just paying the ticket and keeping my tint, since the ticket does not say to remove it. Maybe play cat and mouse with that cop after that, but at least I'll be able to keep the tint, and not be out the cost of having it put on. Still considering options....
    tEh PriUs=teH faSTah!@@!
    08 Audi S5 Black Diamond edition
    SOLD: 05 SWP Legacy GT Limited 5MT, 13.3ish@105 (stage 2) crappy stock clutch
    SOLD: 04 MPS/SW WRX Sti. 12.971 @ 103.97 (stock)
    278 AWHP/283 AWT, Catback exhaust
    306 AWHP/341 AWT, Stage 2
    (Scott) Moderator-STi, Drag Racing, Car Purchasing, and Tutorial Forums

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    Registered User shortbus's Avatar
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    Not really to sure about the Window tinting. But you said he was giving you a hard time about radar your radar dector which I know in PA is a legal device to have. Cops just see them as an "unfair" advantage and another sign that your a street racer. I'm thinking on maybe getting my windows tinted so let me know what happens. And I'm probably going to be purchasing me a V1 very soon. But I know what your talking about with the cops here. The ones in my town pulled me over for running a red light when I was through it before it turned yellow and that was while I was still driving my '86 Toyota MR2. But I still haven't had a run in with the d!cks since I got my STi.

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    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Shortbus,
    Yeah, this guy was a real twang. He wasn't trying to tell me my detector (V1 btw) was illegal, but that having it mounted on the dash was. Also that anything hanging from my mirror also (even though there was nothing on my mirror). Basically, just shooting off from his puss mouth. Of course, he didn't write a ticket for that now did he?

    I'm sure many of us have dreamed of getting some of these aholes hitler little man big power syndrome flatheads alone for a few rounds, but that is just dreaming. I would pay for the opportunity though...believe me. Just for this one...the rest I've dealt with have been more than fair and courteous.

    I've been talking this over with a lot of folks and because I live in a small burg, my best bet is probably to pay the ticket and just move on. Odds are very good that I could beat this in court, but then the entire force in town would know me and my car, and probably be out to get me after that. I got that advice first hand from a trooper who lives across the street from me. I had a pretty cordial relationship with the cops in town up to this point, so it probably isn't worth it to be harassed continuously. Odd...never thought I'd cave in to a "police state".
    tEh PriUs=teH faSTah!@@!
    08 Audi S5 Black Diamond edition
    SOLD: 05 SWP Legacy GT Limited 5MT, 13.3ish@105 (stage 2) crappy stock clutch
    SOLD: 04 MPS/SW WRX Sti. 12.971 @ 103.97 (stock)
    278 AWHP/283 AWT, Catback exhaust
    306 AWHP/341 AWT, Stage 2
    (Scott) Moderator-STi, Drag Racing, Car Purchasing, and Tutorial Forums

  12. #11
    Registered User shortbus's Avatar
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    Yeah..I got pulled over not to long ago for doing 55 in a 55. All because I passed one of the power ridden @$$holes who was doing 45 in a 55. It just isn't really worth fighting if your not getting points. My fine wound up being $105 with no points. I just paid it and said the hell with it.

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    Thinking Man's Engine tan's Avatar
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    unfortunately it's 70% that's the legal limit.

    http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms...ets/fs-sun.pdf

    My roommate has 20% all around on his STI...no problems so far.

    On my last car...I had 35% all around...never been hassled.

  14. #13
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    I have 25 percent all the way around in new jersey but our law states "just dont tint your car" I got pulled over once for the tint specifically and just paid the ticket and I got pulled over for speeding once and got another one which I also paid. I'ts easier to just play the game. If I ever get a fmic I prolly won't run with my front tags either... another game to be played.

  15. #14
    Registered User Wrinkleboi's Avatar
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    if you can clearly see your interior, then you have lighter than 25% tint--i'd get that rechecked at maybe a tint shop, or somewhere else that might have the meter. i have 35% on my WRX with no problems so far, and its kinda half and half what you can and cant see inside the car during the day. at night, its obviously pretty dark. if i'm driving slowly by a cop i do roll down my front windows though, but that only happens once or twice a month.
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