Alberta Window Tinting Regulations

We are often asked “can I tint my front windshield” or “what percent of tint can my front doors be?” So we wanted to write up an answer even though we do not directly offer tinting services.

You cannot drive with film of any kind applied to the windshield or doors directly beside a driver according to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.

Quotation from the Traffic Safety Act:

“70(1) A person shall not install, replace or cover the window
glazing in a windshield or in a left or right side window of a motor vehicle
that is beside or forward of the driver with a transparent, translucent or
opaque material.”

Alberta traffic safety act tinting regulation

Source: https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/laws/regu/alta-reg-122-2009/latest/alta-reg-122-2009.html#history

Why is this Alberta’s Tinting Law?

While several regions in North America allow for tint on the windshield or driver’s door glass, that is not the case in Alberta.

There are abundant speculations for why this regulation is in effect. Some common beliefs are:

  • Tint makes it harder to see out your windows at night.
  • It is more difficult for other drivers or pedestrians to determine your intentions.
  • Tint makes breaking a window in a sinking/submerged vehicle more difficult.
  • It is safer for police to be able to see into vehicles they approach.
  • It is more difficult to escape or assist others in escaping from a vehicle involved in an accident

The fact is, the Alberta government has provided no direct explanation. The code simply references no film, clear or otherwise.

It is likely that the benefits of tint were weighed against the negatives and lost. This also likely explains why concessions to this rule are made elsewhere in North America in hotter climates where tinting is an important part of regulating the temperature of a vehicle.

Why do companies tint these windows if it is illegal?

Many tinting establishments will ignore these regulations and tint any window requested. In fact, tint shops can do so without risk or liability. This is because while it is illegal for you to drive with the front windows tinted (filmed), it is not illegal to put it on. Ultimately, the risk of ticketing falls to the driver and the discretion of the enforcement officers you pass.

 

The contents of this article are the best effort of the author to represent this subject. You should not use this article solely to make decisions. Windshield Surgeons Auto Glass is not liable for any tickets or loss because of your tinting decisions.

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