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Texas Tinting Exemption for Rideshare Drivers

A little known tinting exemption applies to all Rideshare drivers in Texas.

Image result for driver skin cancer

I have always been a big fan of tinted windows. Not only does it provide privacy, keeps you cabin a whole lot cooler, and block out those annoying high beams, but it can also prevent cancer. For the majority of daily drivers, the cancer is probably a long shot, but if you are driving during the day time, for hours on end, the photo above shows what can happen.

Okay, so you saw the photo and you do not want cancer. Fair enough.

How dark can you go?

“Windows immediately to the right and left of the driver that have less than 25% light transmission will fail inspection, regardless of the year model of the vehicle. ”   

This means, 15%, 5% and 1% tint is out right? Negative, below is a list of exemptions. If you are a rideshare driver that is consistently driving rideshare, you can take advantage of exemption #3.

Exemptions to Window Tint requirements.

  1. Law Enforcement – Vehicles that are maintained by a law enforcement agency and used for law enforcement purposes.
  2. Medical Exception – used by persons for medical reasons.
  3. Passenger Transport – vehicles used to transport passengers on a regular basis for a fee, (i.e., taxi, limousine, and buses).

source: https://www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/VI/ConsumerInfo/windowTint.htm

Sure it doesn’t explicitly say (our legal definition) “TNC”, but a rideshare vehicle fits the definition. We transport passengers on a regular basis for a fee. I was actually pulled over by a Houston Police department officer because my tint was “too dark” and explained (nicely) that I am exempt, because I drive for Uber and Lyft and transport passengers in exchange for money. The officer checked my license for any warrants and ended up letting me go. If you end up having a cop that just really wants to give a ticket, this should be fairly easy to fight in court either pro se (really not recommended, but the law is the law) , or with a cheap traffic ticket attorney.

It should be noted though, that not all window tint is made the same. Find one that offers UV protection. This is the most important part. It does not matter how dark tint you go. If it says UV protection, it will protect you. Furthermore, most modern cars even offer UV protection directly off the lot (check your window, it should state on there that it is UV protected). If you want to tint, big brands like 3M will provide this. It may cost a little more, but tint is a one time thing if done correctly. Going with a big name brand will ensure that the UV protection it claims to have is actually there. You can expect to pay between $100-$200 per vehicle, depending on the size of the vehicle the and type of tint you get. $200 vs. cancer does not even compare. Some places will charge a bit more for labor but this is something you can shop around for. Avoid branded places, stick to the mom and pop shops. Applying tint is not rocket science, and majority of the shops will do a good job. A good shop, even mom and pop shops, will provide some type of warranty should it bubble, or change colors.

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