Headlight Tint Laws in Illinois: Be Informed, Tint and Avoid Tickets!

Tinting is a great way to make your car look cool and to protect it against the sun and scratches, but it’s also a tricky matter with a lot of restrictions. Keep on reading to learn more about the headlight tint laws in the state of Illinois.

Vehicle Code laws for headlight tinting in Illinois

Chapter 12, Section 12-201 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that all motor vehicles except motorcycles should have 2 lighted headlamps showing white lights, including HID lamps or lights of a yellow or amber tint. They should be used from sunset to sunrise and also during rain, snow or fog, or whenever light is insufficient. Tail lamps should mandatory emit red light visible from at least 500 feet.

Chapter 12, Section 12-212 states that a red light placed in front of the vehicle is prohibited, as well as flashing lights (except for right and left turn indicating lights) and other combinations of lights. This paragraph also states:

No person shall drive or move any motor vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lighting or combination of lighting with a smoked or tinted lens or cover.”

The approved tints in the state of Illinois — are yellow or amber tints.

Is it illegal to put a tint on your headlights?

There is not one single law that is applicable in the entire country, and each state has its own laws and regulations regarding tinting, whether that is for car windows or headlights. Some countries and states have completely banned headlight tinting, while others have not.

You should also keep in mind that even if you respect the laws in your own state but you are then traveling to another, you may still risk getting pulled over, as the laws may be different there.

While it may be illegal in your state to color or to block the headlight with a dark tint, you can still apply an invisible film that will not block the light but will protect the headlight against road debris. Using a dark film is dangerous, as it can reduce visibility for the driver but also make the car less visible to the other participants in traffic. Using colors is also dangerous or confusing, so the most common tints are gray or slightly smoked.

Benefits of headlight tinting

When thinking about tinting most people are thinking about the windows of a car, but a tinting film can also be added to the headlights and taillights. This helps the vehicle with:

  • Increased protection against scratches
  • Increased protection against fading caused by the UV rays of the sun
  • A more appealing look, especially when it comes to show cars, antique or sports vehicles.

Headlight tint application Chicago

If you want to apply a new tinting film over your headlights, Tinting Chicago is here to assist you. We can also apply window films to your windshield, front and rear windows, as well as various types of wraps over the exterior or interior of your car. You can find us at 3621 N Harlem Ave. and 2720 W Grand Ave. in Chicago, IL or at 1402 N Rand Rd in Palatine, IL, or call us at 773-455-0467 or 312-212-0493

Frequently Asked Questions

Are purple headlights legal in Illinois?

As we previously saw in the Illinois Vehicle Code, any other tint except for yellow or amber is illegal.

Are smoked headlights illegal in Illinois?

Yes, they are! This is mentioned in the Illinois Vehicle Code, in Chapter 12, Section 12-212.

Are LED lights inside your car illegal in Illinois?

Yes, they are, whether we are talking about lights inside the car or neon lights placed below the vehicle.


3621 N Harlem Ave, Chicago IL, 60634


2720 W Grand Ave Chicago, IL, 60612


1402 N Rand Rd Palatine, IL 60074


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