We often get this question regarding out of state window tint violations. As we have covered before in previous window tint blog posts, local state police do have the right to hand out tint violations even to out of state vehicles. Although most police generally are aware that this action often incurs a substantial hit on goodwill to tourists from out of state, they may be under pressure or just in the mood to write you up.
Here is an interesting twist on situations like this. In this case, a Virginia cop claims to have the authority to write up a tint violation ticket based on the out of state vehicle’s state tint laws rather than the Virginia tint law. An ex-cop clarifies that the Virginia State Trooper has the authority to write the ticket based on VA tint laws, but not on the out of state laws, even if the vehicle itself is in violation of state laws where the vehicle it is registered.
Question: My brother was recently pulled over in the state of Virginia for his window tint being too dark. However his car is registered in North Carolina. The cop checked the tint and said that the tint was illegal in NC so he gave him a ticket based on a NC law enforcing a VA state fine. Can they do this?
Answer: Officers in Virginia can enforce illegal window tinting regardless of where the vehicle is registered, per § 46.2-1052. Officers in Virginia can not write a ticket citing a North Carolina code section. The Virginia code section states, in part,
1. No sun-shading or tinting films may be applied or affixed to the rear side windows or rear window or windows of any motor vehicle operated on the highways of this Commonwealth that reduce the total light transmittance of such window to less than 35 percent;
2. No sun-shading or tinting films may be applied or affixed to the front side windows of any motor vehicle operated on the highways of this Commonwealth that reduce total light transmittance of such window to less than 50 percent;
3. No sun-shading or tinting films shall be applied or affixed to any window of a motor vehicle that (i) have a reflectance of light exceeding 20 percent or (ii) produce a holographic or prism effect.
From Fredericksburg Patch.