2010 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 9 - EquipmentLighting Regulations
Part 1 - General Provisions
55-9-107 - Motor vehicle windows with tinting, reflecting or sun screen material.

55-9-107. Motor vehicle windows with tinting, reflecting or sun screen material.

(a)  (1)  It is unlawful for any person to operate, upon a public highway, street or road, any motor vehicle in which any window that has a visible light transmittance equal to, but not less than, that specified in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205, codified in 49 CFR 571.205, has been altered, treated or replaced by the affixing, application or installation of any material that:

          (A)  Has a visible light transmittance of less than thirty-five percent (35%); or

          (B)  With the exception of the manufacturer's standard installed shade band, reduces the visible light transmittance in the windshield below seventy percent (70%).

     (2)  Any person who installs window tinting materials in this state for profit, barter, or wages or commissions is defined as a “professional installer” for the purposes of this section; and it is unlawful for a professional installer to apply tinting materials to any motor vehicle so as to cause that motor vehicle to be in violation of this section.

     (3)  All professional installers of window tinting materials shall supply and shall affix to the lower right corner of the driver's window an adhesive label, the size and style of which shall be determined by the commissioner of safety, that includes:

          (A)  The installer's business name; and

          (B)  The legend “Complies with Tennessee Code Annotated, § 55-9-107.”

     (4)  All professional installers of window tinting materials shall supply each customer with a signed receipt for each motor vehicle to which tinting materials have been applied that includes:

          (A)  Date of installation;

          (B)  Make, model, paint color and license plate number and state;

          (C)  The legend “Complies with Tennessee Code Annotated, § 55-9-107, at date of installation”; and

          (D)  The legend “This receipt shall be kept with motor vehicle registration documents.”

     (5)  The owner of any vehicle in question has the burden of proof that the motor vehicle is in compliance with this section.

     (6)  (A)  The restrictions of this subsection (a) do not apply to any of the following motor vehicles:

                (i)  Any motor vehicle model permitted by federal regulations to be equipped with certain windows tinted so as not to conform to the specifications of subdivision (a)(1)(A) with respect to those certain windows;

                (ii)  Any motor vehicle bearing commercial license plates or government service license plates that are used for law enforcement purposes, for those windows rearward of the front doors; and

                (iii)  Any motor vehicle that is registered in another state and meets the requirements of the state of registration.

          (B)  This subdivision (a)(6) shall not be construed in any way to exempt the front door windows of any motor vehicle of any kind from the specifications of subdivision (a)(1)(A).

(b)  (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a)(1) to the contrary, any person with a medical condition that is adversely affected by ultraviolet light may submit a statement to the commissioner from that person's physician certifying that the person has a medical condition that requires reduction of light transmission in the windows of the person's vehicle in excess of the standards established in subsection (a). The commissioner shall submit the certified statement to the department's medical review board for evaluation. If the review board finds the exemption warranted, it shall recommend that the commissioner authorize the exemption, and the degree of tinting exemption that is appropriate. The commissioner shall then supply a certificate or decal, indicating the degree of exemption, to the applicant who shall display it in the motor vehicle.

     (2)  Any applicant aggrieved by a decision of the medical review board or the commissioner may appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5. The appeal may be made to the chancery court of the county where the aggrieved applicant resides at the option of the applicant.

(c)  It is probable cause for a full-time, salaried police officer of this state to detain a motor vehicle being operated on the public roads, streets or highways of this state when the officer has a reasonable belief that the motor vehicle is in violation of subdivision (a)(1), for the purpose of conducting a field comparison test.

(d)  It is a Class C misdemeanor for the operator of a motor vehicle to refuse to submit to the field comparison test when directed to do so by a full-time, salaried police officer, or for any person to otherwise violate any provisions of this section.

(e)  The commissioner of safety shall establish a standardized method and procedure by which law enforcement officers can readily, and with reasonable accuracy, conduct a field comparison test to determine if a motor vehicle's windows are in compliance with this section.

[Acts 1982, ch. 938, § 1; 1985, ch. 207, § 1; 1989, ch. 528, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1990, ch. 1033, § 1; 2006, ch. 523, § 1; 2009, ch. 286, § 1.]  

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