It’s a rough road out there, new, stricter driving laws are resulting in higher fines for motorists. Whether it’s to make the roads safer or to pay down provincial debt is a debate we won’t have here. But, something that is often unclear are the laws on window tinting in Ontario, ONtheGO took a dive into figuring it out.
Be forewarned: This is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.
The Wording of the Law:
“(3) No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle on which the surface of the windshield or of any window to the direct left or right of the driver’s seat has been coated with any coloured spray or other coloured or reflective material that substantially obscures the interior of the motor vehicle when viewed from outside the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 73 (3).”
In layman’s terms, your windshield and front driver/passenger-side windows can NOT be tinted in any substantial way.
You can take a risk, but it is up to the discretion of the Officer to determine whether or not the interior is too obscured. Since the law leaves this in their hands, it is not wise to place any substantial tint up front unless you want to spend time arguing the transparency of your windows in court.
Most sources suggest less than 30 percent could be acceptable. For rear-passenger windows and rear-window, since the law does not mention these, it is assumed (again, not for certain) by most that these windows are fair game for tints.
Comparatively to Quebec’s laws, according to their official government site:
“The front side windows of the vehicle must let in at least 70% of light … A strip no more than 15 cm wide may be applied to the top part of the windshield. No material or substance may be applied or sprayed on the windshield.”
“The rear side windows and rear window are not subject to these rules.”
When trying to decide how best to tint the windows on your vehicle, take into consideration where you might be travelling with your vehicle as well because the laws vary from province-to-province, and the laws are different for different states in the U.S. as well.
Also take into consideration that the darker the tint is, the more obstructed your view becomes and that could pose an issue, especially when dark outside or if it is dark/ dimly lit anywhere you might be parking.
Maybe in the future we can get some advice from our French brothers and sisters but until then there are other, less permanent alternatives to keeping the heat and UV rays out of your vehicle that could save you from getting pulled over and/or a fine.