At their monthly meeting on Thursday, the New Jersey Law Revision Commission has agreed to review the state’s statutes regarding window tinting, a law that has long been the subject of much controversy due to its ambiguity.
The current New Jersey window tint law was first put into place in 2003 but has never specifically defined what level of tint is permissible, leading to approximately 50,000 citations statewide every year.
N.J.S.A. 39:3-74 prohibits operation of a vehicle with any “nontransparent material” on the front windshield or front side windows. Although the statute, first enacted in 1921 to prevent windshield obstructions, predates automotive window tinting, it commonly serves as the statutory basis for tinted window citations.
In 2022, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a man who was arrested and charged by Trenton police in 2018 on a gun charge after he was pulled over for having a darkened rear window, ruling that police had no justification for pulling him over.
Current law in New Jersey prohibits add-on tinting on windshields and front side windows of motor vehicles, except for individuals who have a medical condition involving ophthalmic or dermatological photosensitivity.
Earlier this year, a bill was proposed which, if passed, would add migraines to the list of medical conditions that would permit a person to install tint on their motor vehicle window.
The Commission, which regularly reviews laws to determine whether they need any tweaking, does not have the power to actually make any changes, rather they make recommendations for the state Legislature.