New tint rules take effect on January 1

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Vehicle customiser Neil Boodoo demonstrates the use of a tint meter. – Angelo Marcelle

As the Ministry of Works and Transport begins to enforce its new tint regulations from January 1, vehicle customiser Neil Boodoo is advising people to ensure their car’s visible light transmittance is properly tested before leaving tint shops.

In a news release on Wednesday, the ministry said it will start a six-month transition period on Saturday for the public to familiarise themselves with the new regulations and ensure their vehicles are in compliance.

But it warned, “During this transition period, law enforcement officers, through the Fixed Penalty Traffic Ticketing System, will be able to record electronic warnings against the driving permits of drivers found in breach of the regulations.”

If people are found in violation of the regulations after the grace period, the ministry said they will be penalised under the Fixed Penalty System and Demerit Point System.

Boodoo, who is the owner of Neil’s Tinting and Alarm Services in San Fernando, told Newsday on Wednesday he recently started using more transparent tint on cars as the natural tint of windows, on some cars, are taking people below the newly-regulated 35 per cent transmittance limit.

He explained, “The tint that they recommend to put (must give a transmittance) of 35 per cent.

“But when you do put a tint to get to that level, there is a natural tint in the glass that comes with the car which causes the transmittance to get lower.

“With the front windscreen you can’t put a tint that gives 70 per cent, you have to put something like 80 per cent.”

“Our store’s suppliers had to identify that problem in the earlier days when the new regulations came out because we didn’t have tint meters at that time.”

Now Boodoo has a tint meter and uses lighter tint on the cars he works on. He ensures the tints he uses gives a transmittance starting from at least 45 per cent so people can keep within the regulations.

Since Monday, Boodoo told Newsday, people have been rushing to his shop to get their front windows tinted.

He is also calling on the ministry to increase the approved width of the anti-glare band for cars.

Currently, the approved width is six inches but Boodoo explained that the natural curve in windscreens makes the band thin towards the centre which causes some people to violate the regulations.

He thinks this problem can be solved if the approved width is increased to at least seven inches.

People who contravene the new regulations on visible light transmittances and the anti-glare band are liable to a fine of $5,000. People who contravene the new regulations on the restrictions on the use of curtains or screens are liable to a fine of $1,500.

People interested in registering for exemption certificates from the new regulations are asked to contact the Licensing Authority.

The new Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Windscreen and Window Tint) Regulations, 2020, can be found of the Ministry of Works and Transport’s website.

Summary of new tint rules

Visible light transmittance:

Font windscreen: 70 per centEach front window (including any side wing and side window): 35 per centEach rear window (including any side window behind the front window and the rear windscreen): 20 per cent

Front Windscreen anti-glare band overlay:

No more than fifteen centimetres or six inches in width from the top of the windscreenFor vehicles above Class 3, the anti-glare band must cover an area above the highest point of the windscreen that is swept by a windscreen wiper and has a visible light transmittance of at least 35 percent

Restriction on the use of curtains or screens:

Curtains, screens or other devices that obstruct the view of a person into the vehicle are prohibited unless it’s approved by the Licensing Authority.Curtain, screens or other devices that are being used on a rear window to shield a child five years of age or under from the direct rays of the sun are permitted