Can car side mirrors be tinted?

Car windows can be tinted, according to your country’s or state’s traffic regulations. But what about side mirrors? Can side mirrors be tinted as well? The answer is yes or no, depending on your jurisdiction.

Is It Legal To Tint Car Side Mirrors?

Well, that depends on your jurisdiction. In some countries, it’s totally or partly legal. In other countries, it’s completely illegal. The same can be said for the USA where some states have no laws regarding this matter.

Other states allow you to add up to a certain tint percentage to your side mirrors, whereas some states completely prohibit it.

Is There a Legal Tint for Car Mirrors?

Again, that depends on your country or state. In America, for example, most state’s car mirror tint laws require motorists to use only the reflective tint which I will list below.

This tint is light-reflective, which means it does not interfere with your visibility at night.

States Where There’s No Law Regarding The Tinting Of Side Mirrors

  • Wisconsin
  • Washington D.C
  • Rhode Island
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Maryland

States Where You Can Add Up To A Certain Percentage of Tint To Your Side Mirrors

  • Alabama—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Arizona—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Connecticut—-Max 21% reflective tint.
  • Florida—Max 25% reflective tint.
  • Georgia—-Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Idaho—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Indiana—Max 25% reflective tint.
  • Kentucky—-Max 25% reflective tint.
  • Louisiana—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Massachusetts—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Michigan—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Minnesota—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Mississippi—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Missouri—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Montana—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • Nebraska—Max 35% reflective.
  • North Carolina—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Oklahoma—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Oregon—Max 13% reflective tint.
  • Texas—Max 25% reflective tint.
  • Virginia—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Washington—Max 35% reflective tint.
  • West Virginia—Max 20% reflective tint.
  • Wyoming—Max 20% reflective tint.

States Where It’s Completely Illegal To Tint Your Side Mirrors

  • Alaska, Arkansas
  • California, Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont

N/B: Two types of side mirror tints exist; regular tints and reflective tints. The difference between the two is that the latter has heat reflective characteristics. Therefore, reflective tints reflect heat.

Does Tint On Car Side Mirrors Reduce Visibility?

Again, that depends on the type of tint you have. A regular tint cannot reflect light. It only absorbs the light, and that can mean a slight decrease in visibility at night.

A reflective tint, on the other hand, has light-reflecting properties. It absorbs and reflects some of the glare that shines into it. In that case, there’ll be no interference with the visibility.

Are There Any Fines for Tinting Side Mirrors?

Of course, there’s always a fine for every traffic law broken. Countries or states that prohibit tinting of side mirrors will penalize you financially if you go against the law.

And if they have regulations that stipulate how tints should be added to side mirrors e.g maximum tint percentages, similarly, you’ll be fined if you go against any of those regulations.

In California, for example, you may be fined between $25 and $197 for tinting your side mirrors.

Why Do Side Mirrors Have a Blue Tint?

To reduce glare from bright sunlight or the headlights of vehicles behind you at night. The tint will absorb some of the glare, reducing the amount of light your mirrors reflect.

Is There Another Way to Solve the Glare Problems on Car Side Mirrors?

If your jurisdiction prohibits tinting your side mirrors, there’s another way to solve glare problems on your side mirrors—special night driving sunglasses.

These sunglasses are designed to prevent glare from all reflective surfaces of your car, including your wing mirrors. They go for as little as under $20, and you can easily order some online.


Lots of motorists will think of tinting their side mirrors as a way to solve the glare problem that usually occurs due to sunlight or headlights from cars driving behind your car.

Unfortunately, side mirror tinting can be legal, partially legal, or illegal, depending on your jurisdiction. Meaning before you decide to tint your mirror, you should make sure that you know what the law says regarding that.

If you live in North America, check out what the law says above. If your state prohibits it, you can alternatively invest in a nice pair of night driving glasses.

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