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Why Can't I Tint My Front Windows In Alberta?

Calgary Windshield Tinting

Tinted windows can be a perfect solution to driving in sunny weather. However, in Alberta, they're not permitted. We explain why in this blog post. 

Why Is Window Tinting Regulated?

There are regulations about windshield tinting because it can have an impact on drivers’ safety, pedestrian safety, as well as consequences for law enforcement.

For example:

  • If the windows are too dark, drivers may miss important details in their surroundings.
  • Similarly, a pedestrian crossing a busy road would have much more difficulty assessing a driver’s intentions or knowing if the driver can see them if they can’t properly see the driver’s face.
  • Finally, law enforcement officials need to be able to check drivers for things like driving while on a cell, not wearing a seatbelt, or engaging in other hazardous behaviours.


How Is Window Tinting Regulated?

In Canada and the USA, window tinting is regulated by province or by state. Some jurisdictions allow a certain degree on the window, while others offer specifications on where the tinting can be placed.

Tinting is not permitted on the front windshields in other provinces and territories: 

  • Alberta
  • North West Territories    
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • PEI
  • Saskatchewan

In some provinces, there are rules concerning how dark of a tint a windshield may have, how much of the windshield or windows can be covered by the tint, or both. In other areas, such as the Yukon, there are no relevant regulations specifically outlining window tint rules; instead, officers can interpret it on a case-by-case basis based on rules about obscured windshields. In most provinces-- Alberta included--any type of tint is permitted on the back windows and rear windshield, with slight differences in what type of tint is permitted and whether the car is mandated to have rearview mirrors.


I Moved To Alberta And My Car Has A Tinted Windshield. What Should I Do?

Even if your car has plates from another province, drivers must still adhere to all of the rules of the road in the province where they are driving. If you don’t, you could be liable for a fine, even if you were not aware of the regulation. For example, in 2014, the Globe and Mail covered the story of an Ontarian driver who was heavily fined for driving in Quebec with windows that were too dark.

This is why if you will be driving in another province, it can be worthwhile to check into any differences in regulations. If you have a tinted windshield and will be in Alberta long-term, there is a quick way to remedy the situation! Take your windshield to a windshield specialist and get a quote for removing your automotive window tint. This is much safer than trying many of the DIY fixes that can be found online, as professionals can remove tint without scratching the glass.


I Am Moving/Travelling Out Of Alberta, Is My Windshield Acceptable In Other Jurisdictions?

Fortunately, Albertans with untinted front windshields and passenger can visit any province without concern, although if you are travelling to Manitoba, to be on the safe side you could confirm that your rear window is more than 35% VLT.


Tinted Windshields Aren’t Allowed In My Province, But I Can’t Stand The Glare! Help!

Our Calgary auto glass specialists understand that windows don’t just provide cosmetic appeal: they play a key role in blocking out the sun’s rays and eliminating glare. If you find that your clear windshield causes eye strain or glare, try using polarized or amber-tinted glasses to cut down on glare.


Get In Touch With A Windshield Expert

For any questions about windshields or windshield tinting, don't hesitate to get in touch with our experienced Calgary auto glass specialists. You can reach us at 403‐568‐7086 or through our online contact form.

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