GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

S                                                                                                                                                     1

SENATE BILL 1217*

 

 

 

 

Short Title:     Window Tinting Certification.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Senators Goodall;  Clodfelter, Graham, and Pittenger.

Referred to:

Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

March 26, 2007

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to Create a window tint CERTIFICATION process and require any motor vehicle that has after-factory window tinting to have a certificate of compliance that is ATTACHED to the motor vehicle.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 20-127 reads as rewritten:

" 20-127.  Windows and windshield wipers.

(a)       Windshield Wipers. - A vehicle that is operated on a highway and has a windshield shall have a windshield wiper to clear rain or other substances from the windshield in front of the driver of the vehicle and the windshield wiper shall be in good working order. If a vehicle has more than one windshield wiper to clear substances from the windshield, all the windshield wipers shall be in good working order.

(b)       Window Tinting Restrictions. - A window of a vehicle that is operated on a highway or a public vehicular area shall comply with this subsection. The windshield of the vehicle may be tinted only along the top of the windshield and the tinting may not extend more than five inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever measurement is longer. Provided, however, an untinted clear film which does not obstruct vision but which reduces or eliminates ultraviolet radiation from entering a vehicle may be applied to the windshield. Any other window of the vehicle may be tinted in accordance with the following restrictions:

(1)       The total light transmission of the tinted window shall be at least thirty-five percent (35%). A vehicle window that, by use of a light meter approved by the Commissioner, measures a total light transmission of more than thirty-two percent (32%) is conclusively presumed to meet this restriction.

(2)       The light reflectance of the tinted window shall be twenty percent (20%) or less.

(3)       Tinted film or another material used to tint the window shall be nonreflective and shall not be red, yellow, or amber.

(c)       Tinting Exceptions. - The window tinting restrictions in subsection (b) of this section apply without exception to the windshield of a vehicle. The window tinting restrictions in subdivisions (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section do not apply to any of the following vehicle windows:

(1)       A window of an excursion passenger vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)a.

(2)       A window of a for-hire passenger vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)b.

(3)       A window of a common carrier of passengers, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)c.

(4)       A window of a motor home, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)d2.

(5)       A window of an ambulance, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)f.

(6)       The rear window of a property-hauling vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(31). For the purposes of this section, a property hauling vehicle does not include a pickup truck, minivan, sports utility vehicle, or any other multipurpose vehicle that is designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers constructed on a truck chassis or has special features  designed for occasional off-road operation.

(7)       A window of a limousine.

(8)       A window of a law enforcement vehicle.

(9)       A window of a multipurpose vehicle that is behind the driver of the vehicle. A multipurpose vehicle is a passenger vehicle that is designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers and either is constructed on a truck chassis or has special features designed for occasional off-road operation. A minivan and a pickup truck are multipurpose vehicles.

(10)     A window of a vehicle that is registered in another state and meets the requirements of the state in which it is registered.

(11)     A window of a vehicle for which the Division has issued a medical exception permit under subsection (f) of this section.

(c1)     Window Tint Certificate of Compliance. - Any vehicle that has after-factory window tinting applied to any window that is required to comply with subsection (b) of this section shall have affixed to the windshield a certification sticker on the windshield of the vehicle at the place designated by the Division. The sticker shall contain the following information:

(1)       The name, address, and telephone number of the installer.

(2)       The date of the installation of the after-factory window tinting.

(3)       The percentage of light transmission of the tinted window, as tested by a light meter approved by the Commissioner.

(d)       Violations. - A person who does any of the following commits a Class 2 misdemeanor:misdemeanor of the class set in G.S. 20-176:

(1)       Applies tinting to the window of a vehicle that is subject to a safety inspection in this State and the resulting tinted window does not meet the window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(2)       Drives on a highway or a public vehicular area a vehicle that has a window that does not meet the window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(3)       Offers for sale or use in this State any tinting product or material, for use on the window of a vehicle, that would not be in compliance with this section if placed on the vehicle.

(4)       Installs any tinting product, for remuneration, on the window of a vehicle that is subject to a safety inspection in this State and the resulting tinted window does not meet the window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(5)       Installs any tinting product, for remuneration, on the window of a vehicle that is subject to a safety inspection in this State and the resulting tinted window does not meet the window tinting restrictions set in this section and fails to affix a certification sticker required by subsection (c1) of this section.

(e)       Defense. - It is a defense to a charge of driving a vehicle with an unlawfully tinted window that the tinting was removed within 15 days after the charge and the window now meets the window tinting restrictions. To assert this defense, the person charged shall produce in court, or submit to the prosecuting attorney before trial, a certificate from the Division of Motor Vehicles or the Highway Patrol showing that the window complies with the restrictions.

(f)        Medical Exception. - A person who suffers from a medical condition that causes the person to be photosensitive to visible light may obtain a medical exception permit. To obtain a permit, an applicant shall apply in writing to the Drivers Medical Evaluation Program and have his or her doctor complete the required medical evaluation form provided by the Division. The permit shall be valid for five years from the date of issue, unless a shorter time is directed by the Drivers Medical Evaluation Program. The renewal shall require a medical recertification that the person continues to suffer from a medical condition requiring tinting.

A person may receive no more than two medical exception permits that are valid at any one time. A permit issued under this subsection shall specify the vehicle to which it applies, the windows that may be tinted, and the permitted levels of tinting. The permit shall be carried in the vehicle to which it applies when the vehicle is driven on a highway.

The Division shall give a person who receives a medical exception permit a sticker to place on the lower left-hand corner of the rear window of the vehicle to which it applies. The sticker shall be designed to give prospective purchasers of the vehicle notice that the windows of the vehicle do not meet the requirements of G.S. 20-127(b), and shall be placed between the window and the tinting when the tinting is installed. The Division shall adopt rules regarding the specifications of the medical exception sticker. Failure to display the sticker is an infraction punishable by a two hundred dollar ($200.00) fine."

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2007, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.