Vehicle Tint Laws
Window film enhances the appeal of a vehicle while making it cooler, safer and more comfortable. Yet there are some rules New Zealanders need to be aware of, as outlined here. For clarification, simply visit our store, or call our competent sales staff. We are a member of WFAANZ window film installers and we can advise you on the most suitable and legal film for your needs.
What is VLT?
VLT stands for visual light transmittance. The amount of visible light that passes through a vehicle's window is measured in a VLT percentage. The lower the VLT percentage, the darker the film. Clear glass has a VLT of approximately 85%.
Which windows in my vehicle can I have film applied to?
The only films allowed on windscreens are anti-glare bands that extend no lower than the bottom of the sun visor, and stone guards on trucks and buses. On any car (Class MA vehicle), the darkest legal tint is 35% VLT on all windows, including the front side windows (on either side of the driver), rear windows, side rear windows and back windows. Please note that a station wagon has the same classification as a car.
Class MA is a passenger car.
Vans, 4WDs and SUVs can have any degree of dark tint behind the driver's door.
Class MB is a forward control passenger vehicle; Class MD1 and MD2 is an omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes and not more than 12 seats; Class NA is a light goods vehicle; Class MC is an off-road passenger vehicle.
Vehicles like stretch limousines or hearses have the same restrictions on the windscreen and front side windows, but can have any VLT level of film applied to the rear, side rear and back windows.
Any vehicle with a film applied to a window that is further back than the driver's seat must have external rear view mirrors on each side.
Vehicles with factory tinted glass may have lower than 35% VLT. In these instances, each window is marked as AS3 glass.
Mirror film or partial mirror film is not allowed in any vehicle.
For more information please visit the Land Transport website, http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/certifiers/virm-in-service-wof-only/general-05-v3.pdf.
How are window films checked?
Windows can be checked by using a calibrated VLT meter. Our staff are trained in the use of these meters.
WFAANZ installers use a label such as the one shown here…
You are not required by law to have an official WFAANZ label, but doing so can make the WoF or CoF inspection easier.
Members of the New Zealand branch of WFAANZ can check VLT levels and attach a label if the film complies with the law (they may charge for this service).
Automotive Window Film has an adhesive system designed to hold to curved automobile glass. It allows our installers to smooth it to the glass avoiding wrinkles, bubbles or other problems, so providing you with a high quality application. Most of these products have a micro thin metal layer to reduce incoming solar heat. All products feature a distinctive colour that compliments the automobile colour and provides a sleek appearance.
In glass car radio aerials
Some cars have standard telescopic rod aerials, with the aerial built into the glass. If regular metallised automotive window films are applied, the AM radio band reception strength will be greatly reduced, and FM to a lesser extent. This may affect the number and stations that can be received. For cars with in glass aerials we recommend non–metallised films, to ensure good radio reception.
Window tinting can affect the operation of some vehicles containing electronic reception and transmission technologies such as GPS systems, telephones and in-glass antennas. This effect is called EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) and is typically seen with metallised films.