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Tinted car windows now must pass NY state inspection

brandon rivera

A new state law has now gone into effect that will require annual vehicle inspections to test car windows and how much they are tinted. Critics say the law will be burdensome to drivers and auto shops.

Tinted windows on a vehicle, even that tinted bar across the top of the windshield, are going to have to meet a certain threshold to now pass inspection. It does not change the current laws on tinted vehicle windows in New York State, it just shifts the burden onto auto repair shops rather than police to enforce it.
Executive director of Service Station Repair Shop Operators of Upstate New York Douglas Daniel, said he has concerns.

Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News
Executive director of Service Station Repair Shop Operators of Upstate New York Douglas Daniel.

“We’re dealing with these regulations in such short terms with little to no guidance on equipment, on what we have to do," Daniel said. "The consumer is also going to come into a surprise. It puts us in a difficult situation with people. It really is coming together fast, the problem is there is going to be bumps in the road along the way. It puts us in a situation where we don't belong with customers trying to present this tint law and explain it to customers when we really haven't had the opportunity to digest it or really to have a fair rollout of what we're supposed to do or how we're supposed to administer it.”

Daniel said auto shops have questions on what kind of meter to buy to test tinted windows. And he said it is going to take more time to do the tests, and to explain to customers why they may now fail an inspection.

"Because of the way this thing has come down, there is going to be honest mistakes made," Daniel said. "Their best intent is to comply with it but because how fast this thing came down and rolling out, I think there are going to be some mistakes made and our guys are going to be subject to some liabilities."

The law’s sponsor, Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), said it is a safety issue for pedestrians and police to be able to see who is behind the wheel. He said if it requires raising the fee drivers pay for inspections than he said that is something that should be addressed.