Window tint - yes or no

Turners Tips thanks AMVIC for this recently released story reprinted from their newsletter for May:

A recent new car buyer had a big surprise when he drove his shiny new car home from the dealership. He was stopped by a law enforcement officer and received a ticket for failing to comply with the Vehicle Equipment Regulation.

The police officer informed the driver that the tint on the front driver and passenger side windows violated Alberta’s Vehicle Equipment Regulation. The surprised new car buyer told the officer that it was his first time driving the car. The buyer had not requested special window tinting; the vehicle was exactly the way he bought it off the showroom floor. The salesperson had not informed him that the tinting was an added extra and did not comply with the Vehicle Equipment Regulation.

This turned out to be a dark day for both the consumer and the dealer. It was unlawful for the dealer to cover the front driver and passenger side windows with glazing/tint material and it was unlawful for the vehicle operator to drive with the tinted film on the windows.

Section 70(1) of the Vehicle Equipment Regulation states:
“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.”

A person is defined as “a single person, a dealership or a company or person within a dealership or a company.”

Section 72(3) of the Vehicle Equipment Regulation states:
A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway unless the glazing complies with sections 70 and 71.

How could this incident have been avoided?

  • The dealer should not have applied a tinted material over the window glass.
  • The dealer should not have offered a new vehicle for sale that did not meet Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act or Vehicle Equipment Regulation.


  • A dealership that sells a vehicle with an added “feature” like this would be expected to correct the problem. It would be a breach of the Fair Trading Act Section 6(4)(c) and (e) for a dealership to sell a vehicle with the implicit representation that the consumer can legally drive the vehicle on Alberta highways, when they cannot.
  • Drivers should be aware that after they take possession of a vehicle and drive it off the lot, they are responsible to ensure that their vehicle continues to meet the requirements of the Vehicle Equipment Regulation.

Why is tint illegal in Alberta?

1. Drivers must be able to make eye contact with all other drivers and pedestrians day and night.
2. The safety glass installed in vehicles is designed to break into small cubes in the event of a collision, an occupant’s head hitting the glass; or emergency personnel needing to rescue an occupant. Once the tint/glazing material is applied to the glass, it prevents the glass from breaking in the way it was designed. The added material holds the glass together. This increases the risk of serious injury or death to the occupants of the vehicle.

Major misconception

There is not an allowable level of tinting. No tint is allowed, not even clear or opaque material.

Special thanks for this article to Constable Doug Winkleman of the Sherwood Park RCMP