My name is Ethan and I am a new resident of Illinois. Based on an event that occurred today, I have a window tint question for you.
We purchased a 2006 Toyota Camry when we lived in Missouri (interestingly enough, we purchased it from an Illinois dealer). We had the dealer use its after-market contacts to put leather and tint on this vehicle. We had tint applied to all windows of the vehicle and a small strip along the top of the windshield. This was in accordance with Missouri law.
We moved from Missouri to Illinois in October, 2006 because I got a job which required our relocation. We switched over the registrations of our vehicles from Missouri to Illinois and received new tags for those vehicles.
Earlier today, my wife got pulled over while driving the Camry and received a ticket for unlawful window tint. From what the officer cited in his ticket and what I was able to find on the Internet, I believe the following is an excerpt of the Illinois vehicle code that was violated:
"(625 ILCS 5/12‑503) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12‑503)
Sec. 12‑503. Windshields must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers.
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster, window application, reflective material, nonreflective material or tinted film upon the front windshield, sidewings or side windows immediately adjacent to each side of the driver. A nonreflective tinted film may be used along the uppermost portion of the windshield if such material does not extend more than 6 inches down from the top of the windshield. Nothing in this Section shall create a cause of action on behalf of a buyer against a dealer or manufacturer who sells a motor vehicle with a window which is in violation of this Section."
I have read and understand (to some degree) what this code says. I also understand based on what I have read that the only "exceptions" to this code include 1)motor vehicles manufactured prior to January 1, 1982, 2)to those motor vehicles property registered in another jurisdiction, and 3)medical conditions (most of which I can't pronounce or copy accurately to this e-mail).
Based on the above, it would seem that we have no choice but to remove the tint from the front windows (driver and passenger side) that are "immediately adjacent to each side of the driver". Is this your assessment as well? Before taking a razor blade and ruining in a few minutes what it took a few hours and hundreds of our dollars to create, I wanted to check with the authorities on this.
Hopefully you can understand my frustration with this situation. I didn't violate any laws when purchasing my vehicle, nor did I know at that time that we would be transferred to Illinois. I do understand the safety concerns associated with window tinting and know that each state takes different precautions to protect its citizens. I just hate to throw money down the drain.
Any assistance, clarification, or empathy you could provide would be appreciated.
Ethan, you are correct, Illinois law does not allow tinted windows adjacent to the driver and passenger side windows. The only tint allowed on a windshield is that at the very top (6 inches or less). This has been the law in Illinois for many years. A few states do allow tinting, but if that vehicle is consequently registered here, it must come into compliance. Tinting is allowed on the rear and rear passenger windows as long as the vehicle is equipped with side mirrors.
I can certainly see your frustration, however if you remove the tint and provide some proof and/or tell the judge, he may dismiss the fine on the ticket your wife received.