Applying window tint to the windshield and windows of a car is one of the best enhancements you can make to a vehicle. Window film for cars can block damaging UV light and protect the interior and can reduce heat inside the cabin, making it more comfortable and energy efficient. Unlike with a new paint job for a car, however, in Delaware there are laws governing what type of window tint can be used and on what windows of a vehicle it can be applied.

Delaware window tint laws were first implemented in the early 1990s and are updated from time to time. The state’s tint laws are more clear cut than those in many states and are relatively permissive, but as you can receive multiple tickets for breaching Delaware tint rules, it’s a good idea to have a thorough understanding of them before you have aftermarket window tint applied, and it’s a good idea to know one term quite well: VLT.

The technical term for window tint darkness is Visible Light Transmission, which is abbreviated as VLT. A higher VLT rating means a clearer window, while a lower rating means a dark tinting – for example, limousines usually have a 5% VLT, also known as limo tint, while a 90% VLT would add just the lightest shading to a window without blocking the view into the car. Note that even much lighter and almost clear tints can still block 99% of the sun’s harmful UV light and much of the hot IR (infrared) light, so don’t think that you need dark window tint to get the benefits of window film; dark tint adds more privacy, but not necessarily more cooling or sun protection.

Please note: The accuracy, completeness, adequacy or currency of the content is not warranted or guaranteed. We are not lawyers or a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. We recommend you consult a lawyer or other appropriate professional if you want legal advice.


Now let’s look at Delaware vehicle window tint law in 2021 on a window-by-window basis.

Windshield Window Tint Laws in Delaware

The AS-1 line is a line across the top of your vehicle’s windshield that is likely marked by tiny letters on the side of that front windshield, and it’s an important line to note, as below the AS-1, window tint is illegal.

To find the AS-1 line on your windshield, look near the top at the very edges of the glass. If it is not clearly marked, know that the AS-1 line is about five inches below the top of the windshield on most vehicles, and is also approximately where the sun shades in the cabin touch the glass when folded down.

Delaware window tint laws only allow the use of nonreflective window tint on windshields, and this is in keeping with the laws of most states, as reflective window tint could glint and flash and impair the view of drivers in oncoming traffic. Windshield tint is critical for keeping yourself safer on the road, as it can block blinding sunshine that might otherwise impair your own view.

Front Side Window Tint Rules in Delaware

Vehicles registered in the state of Delaware may not have window tint added to the front side windows, meaning the windows beside the driver seat and the so-called shotgun passenger seat. The rules are the same for cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans: aftermarket tint is illegal on front side windows.

There is one workaround, however: while you cannot legally add front side window tint to a vehicle, Delaware window tinting regulations do permit factory installed window tint on front side windows provided the tinting is rated at 70% visible light transmission or lighter. And recall that even light tint can block 99% of the sun’s harmful UV light and can reduce infrared heat and sun glare, so when shopping for a new vehicle, consider making factory installed window tint a parameter in your buying that new automobile.

Rear Side Window Tint Rules in Delaware

As restrictive as Delaware window tint laws are when it comes to front side windows, the rules are permissive when it comes to window tint for the rear side windows of vehicles. Vans, cars, trucks, and SUVs alike may use window tinting of any darkness for their rear side windows, including tint that completely blocks the view into the vehicle. These rules are ideal for parents who want to keep children blocked from view, for livery companies who wish to ensure client privacy, and so forth.

Note that rear side window film still cannot be reflective or metallic under Delaware state law.

Rear Windshield Tint in Delaware

As with the rear side windows, the rear windshield of vehicles registered in Delaware may be tinted down to any VLT darkness. The rear window can even be opaque, but if there is any window tinting on the rear windshield, even a lighter tint, Delaware window film regulations stipulate that the vehicle must have dual side mirrors that are unobstructed.

Rear window film may not be reflective or metallic in the state of Delaware.

Window Tint Restrictions and Requirements in Delaware

Unlike in most states where amber and red shades of window tint are banned, in the state of Delaware all colors of window tint are allowed. While metallic and mirrored tints are not allowed, no color or shade of window film is restricted, thus allowing for easy customization of a vehicle at much lower cost than a new paint job (and more easily changed or removed than auto paint as well).

Window film manufacturers, installers, and vendors in Delaware do not have to certify that the window tint they sell meets with state requirements; that onus is on the customer to select window tint legal under state law. However, vehicles with aftermarket window tint applied are required to have stickers applied between the glass and the window film on the driver’s side window and this sticker must be plainly visible and legible.

Window Tint Medical Exemptions in Delaware

People with a medical condition that necessitates extra protection against the sun can get an exemption allowing for darker window tint than Delaware law permits, and this is especially important for adding tint to front side windows.

Window tint can protect both the skin and the eyes against sun damage, so don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor about getting a document certifying your need for a medical window tint exemption should you feel you need it. Make sure to keep this paperwork in the vehicle if you do get window tint only permitted because of a medical exemption so you avoid getting cited for tint you are actually allowed to have, for as the Delaware law reads:

“No person shall be convicted under this section if that person possesses a statement signed by a licensed practitioner of medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine or optometry verifying that tinted windows are medically necessary for the owner or usual operator of said vehicle.” 21 Del. C. 4313(d)

Window Tint Violation Penalties in Delaware

Window tint violation penalties in Delaware are civil matters, not criminal, and the penalties not all that harsh, with citations of just $28.75 at the lower end and $100 at the most expensive. But you can be ticketed repeatedly if you don’t get your tint fixed, so make sure to get legal window tint installed the first time, and if you are cited for tint not allowed under Delaware law, remove it promptly.


Darkest legal tint for Sedans in Delaware

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturers AS-1 line.
  • Front Side windows: No aftermarket window tint allowed
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness window tint can be used
  • Rear window: Any darkness window tint can be used


Darkest legal tint for SUV and Vans in Delaware

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed above the manufacturers AS-1 line.
  • Front Side windows: No aftermarket window tint allowed
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness window tint can be used
  • Rear window: Any darkness window tint can be used