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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 1TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
CHAPTER 21EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS
RULE §21.3Standards for Sunscreening and Privacy Window Devices

(a) The words and terms detailed in this section, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  (1) Sunscreening device--A glazing, film material, or device for reducing the effects of visible sunlight and/or preventing observation. This does not include glazing or film material without visible tinting providing protection from the effects of ultraviolet light because this type of sunlight is not visible to the human eye.

  (2) Light transmission--The ratio of the amount of total visible light to pass through a product or material to the amount of total visible light falling on the product or material and the glazing.

  (3) Luminous reflectance--The ratio of the amount of total visible light that is reflected outward by a product or material to the amount of total visible light falling on the product or material.

  (4) Driver rear visibility requirement--To meet this requirement a motor vehicle must be equipped with outside mirrors on both the left and right sides of the vehicle that are located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway through each mirror a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.

  (5) Multipurpose vehicles are those designated as such by the vehicle manufacturer. Sports utility vehicle (SUV) or similar terms denote the vehicle as multipurpose. Generally, it is a motor vehicle designed to carry 10 or fewer persons constructed on either a truck chassis or a passenger vehicle chassis, with special features for occasional off-road use.

  (6) Manufacturer--A person or business engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of a sunscreening device; or fabricates, laminates, or tempers a safety glazing material, incorporating, during the manufacturing process, the capacity to reflect or reduce the transmission of light.

  (7) Installer--Any person or business engaged for hire in the installation of sunscreening device products or materials designed to be used in conjunction with vehicle glazing material for the purpose of reducing the effects of the sun.

(b) Originally equipped, factory installed, and/or replacement windows meeting the specifications of the vehicle manufacturer. Equipment standards employed in the manufacture of new motor vehicles for first time sale are preemptive under federal law. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205, incorporating American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z26.1, allows inclusion of sunscreening device features into the glazing of vehicle safety glass. All sunscreening devices used as standard equipment, optional equipment, or in replacement parts, adhering to the federal standard at the time of vehicle manufacture are authorized. In general, the amount of sunscreening devices and other glazing features allowed under the federal standard depends on the location of the window and the vehicle type classification. Paragraphs (1) - (3) provide a summary of the federal restrictions for window glazing (tint).

  (1) Windshields.

    (A) The AS-1 area is the portion of the windshield based on driver seating configuration where the driver must have forward visibility.

    (B) The windshield may also have a glazing shade band for driver comfort. This shading band is generally above the AS-1 area.

    (C) An AS-1 line indicator, if present, denotes the boundary of the AS-1 area and the shading band. If the AS-1 line indicator is not present, generally, the shade band should not extend further than approximately five inches from the top of the windshield.

    (D) The safety glass used for all vehicle windshields below the AS-1 line must have a 70% light transmission value.

    (E) The glazing in the shade band area may have less than a 70% light transmission.

  (2) Side Windows. The vehicle type determines the specific window requirements.

    (A) Passenger vehicles.

      (i) All moveable side windows must have a 70% light transmission value over the entire surface area of the window.

      (ii) Fixed windows to the rear of the driver may have shading bands with less than 70% light transmission at the uppermost top as with the windshield.

    (B) All buses, vans, club wagons, motor homes, trucks and truck tractors, and multipurpose vehicles.

      (i) Side windows to the immediate left and right of the operator must have a 70% light transmission value over the entire surface area of the window.

      (ii) Side windows to the rear of the driver have no restrictions on sunscreening.

  (3) Rear (back) windows for passenger, bus, van, club wagon, motor home, truck and truck tractor, and multipurpose vehicles.

    (A) If vehicle has left and right outside mirrors (no driver rear visibility requirement), there is no minimum light transmission requirement.

    (B) If vehicle is not equipped with both a left and right side outside mirrors, the rear window must have a 70% light transmission value for the area used for driver visibility. A glazing shade band is authorized at the topmost portion of the rear window, as with the windshield. The glazing in the shade band area is authorized to have less than 70% light transmission.

(c) After-market sunscreening devices. Standards and specifications described in this subsection apply to after-market sunscreening devices applied in conjunction with window glazing (vehicle safety glass) meeting federal standards.

  (1) All installed after-market sunscreening devices will be measured in combination with the vehicle's original equipment (window glass).

  (2) Windshields. No after-market sunscreening devices shall be installed, affixed, or applied to a vehicle windshield below the AS-1 line, or five inches from the top of the windshield if the AS-1 line annotation is not present.

    (A) If an additional sunscreening device is used above the AS-1 area of the windshield, the light transmission value, in combination with the original windshield glazing, must be 25% or more.

    (B) The luminous reflectance of any additional sunscreening devices used above the AS-1 area of the windshield must be 25% or less.

    (C) An installed after-market sunscreening device used on the windshield may not be of a red, blue, or amber color.

  (3) Side Windows. The vehicle type determines the specific windows affected.

    (A) Passenger vehicles. All side windows of the vehicle must have at least a 25% light transmission value and luminous reflectance of 25% or less, over the entire surface area of the window.

    (B) Buses, vans, club wagons, motor homes, trucks and truck tractors, and multipurpose vehicles. Windows to the immediate left and right of the operator must have at least a 25% light transmission value and luminous reflectance of 25% or less, over the entire surface area of the window. Side windows to the rear of the driver, both left and right, have no minimum requirement for light transmission.

  (4) Rear (back) windows for passenger, bus, van, club wagon, motor home, truck and truck tractor, and multipurpose vehicles.

    (A) If the vehicle has left and right outside mirrors that are located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway through each mirror a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle, there is no minimum light transmission requirement.

    (B) If the vehicle is not equipped with both a left and right side outside mirrors that are located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway through each mirror a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle, the rear window must have a 25% light transmission value for the area used for driver visibility value. A glazing shade band is authorized at the topmost portion of the rear window, as with the windshield. The shade band area is authorized to have less than 25% light transmission. The device must have a luminous reflectance of 25% or less.

(d) Window covers and other window privacy devices.

  (1) The use of curtains, blinds, drapes, or stick-on novelty designs in the rear window or windows is not prohibited if the window(s) are not required for driver rear visibility.

  (2) Louvered materials, when installed as designed, shall not reduce the area of driver rear visibility below 50% as measured on a horizontal plane. When such materials are used in conjunction with the rear window, the measurement shall be made based upon the driver's view from the inside rearview mirror.

(e) Medical exceptions.

  (1) Not withstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, a motor vehicle operated by or regularly used to transport any person with a medical condition which renders the person susceptible to harm or injury from exposure to sunlight or bright artificial light may be equipped, on all the windows except the windshield, with sunscreening devices that reduces the light transmission values of less than 25%. An untinted film or glaze may be applied to the area below the AS-1 line of the windshield of a motor vehicle provided the total visible light transmission is not reduced by a value of 5%. Vehicles equipped with sunscreening devices under this medical exception shall not be operated on any highway unless, while being so operated, the driver or an occupant of the vehicle possesses a certificate issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

  (2) The Texas Department of Public Safety shall issue such certificates only upon application by the affected individual accompanied by a signed statement from a licensed physician or licensed optometrist which:

    (A) identifies with reasonable specificity the person seeking the certificate; and

    (B) states that, in the physician's or optometrist's professional opinion, the equipping of the vehicle with sunscreening devices is necessary to safeguard the health of the person seeking the certificate.

  (3) Medical exemption certificates issued under this subsection shall be valid so long as the condition requiring the use of the sunscreening devices persists, until the prescription expires, or until the vehicle is sold, whichever first occurs.

(f) Manufacturer and installer requirements.

  (1) Each manufacturer shall obtain certification from the Texas Department of Public Safety of sunscreening devices used on the side windows of passenger vehicles and windows immediately to the left and right of the vehicle operator on all other vehicles. To obtain certification the manufacturer will provide test results that the product or material manufactured or assembled complies with the light transmission and luminous reflectance requirements of this section.

  (2) Each manufacturer shall provide a label with a means for permanent and legible installation between the material and each glazing surface to which it is applied that contains the name or registration number of the manufacturer and a statement that complies with Texas Transportation Code, §547.609.

  (3) Each manufacturer shall include instructions with the sunscreening device, product, or material for proper installation, including the affixing of the label required by this section.

  (4) No installer or business shall apply or affix to the windows of any motor vehicle in this state a sunscreening device that is not in compliance with requirements of this section.

  (5) At a minimum, installers shall affix the label described in subsection (f)(2) of this section between the sunscreening device and the lower rearward corner of the driver's left side window which is legible from the outside of the vehicle.


Source Note: The provisions of this §21.3 adopted to be effective April 12, 2012, 37 TexReg 2430; amended to be effective January 12, 2015, 40 TexReg 256

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