Guidelines for Dark Tinted Vehicle Windows May 8, 2019.

The Malaysian government has announced updated guidelines for vehicles, which were last reviewed in February 2016 when updated regulations under the Motor Vehicle (Prohibition of Certain Types of Glass) (Amendment) 2016 replaced the previous 1991 regulations.

At present, the current regulations stipulate that the minimum Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage is 70% for the front windscreen, 50% for the front side windows, and 30% for the rear side windows and rearview mirror. This has now been amended for the rear side windows and rearview mirror, with the new regulation allowing the VLT percentage to be reduced below 30%, provided that two side mirrors (such as on the left and right sides) are installed on the vehicle, according to the Ministry of Transport.

There is no basic understanding established, which means that theoretically vehicles can have rear side windows and rearview mirrors with a VLT of 0% (effectively turning it into a panel vehicle. SUVs and sedans, anyone?). The legal VLT percentage stipulated for the front windscreen remains unchanged at 70%, as does the percentage for the driver's front and passenger side windows, at 50%.

The ministry added that the new regulations apply only to private vehicles and also cover vehicles used for travel. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that although drivers of public service vehicles require a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license, the car they use is still classified as a private vehicle. Motor vehicles registered and used for public transport and goods, however, will have a VLT level allowed for their windows and screens that is still set no lower than 70%.

Drivers who want to fully tint their vehicles will be able to reduce the VLT levels of their front windscreen and driver/passenger front side windows, but they will need to apply specifically for this and it will involve a cost.

In fact, the ministry said that anyone can apply to block the front windscreen and front side windows of their vehicle (whether through dark privacy glass or window film) for specific purposes, whether safety or health factors.

For safety/health-based applications, a service fee of RM50 will be charged for each application submitted. If approved, successful applicants will have to pay RM5,000 to be able to turn on the front windscreen and front side windows of their vehicle below the allowed 70% and 50% levels.

As previously reported, exceptions will be made for vehicle owners who need to use fully tinted vehicles due to medical conditions, but applications for exemptions on such grounds will require written confirmation from a government doctor.

The ministry said the amendments aim to provide all drivers with darker rear windows and cooler vehicles – but will also contribute to government revenue. According to Loke, the government projects annual revenue from the fee to be around RM6 million.

The new window tinting regulations will come into effect from 8 May 2019. The ministry said that any applications for exemptions can be submitted from the date the amendment comes into force, and enforcement of the new regulations will begin three months from the date the regulations take effect.