Tint exceptions

Q&A with Sharon Peters


My sister is moving from Kentucky to Illinois to live with us. She has lupus, which makes her extremely sensitive to light, and her car windows are tinted far darker than I think allowed in this state. Naturally, we want to avoid a traffic stop or a fine. Do you have any idea how we can go about getting permission for her to have these dark windows?


I’m loving the Internet on this one! It is true that most states have rules about how dark windows can be tinted on the grounds that the darker they go the greater the chance of reducing the driver’s view.

Illinois makes it easy to take the steps to get permission to break its light-level rule for people with medical conditions that require they be shielded from direct sunlight. Go to the state’s website, cyberdriveillinois.com, click on “publications,” then “persons with disabilities,” and you’ll find a line called “tinted window classification.” That’s the form required to get special dispensation.

Her physician must fill out the form and sign it, and once that’s done she’ll get a plate that designates her as an approved person for darker than normally permitted windows.

A reader offers insight

Readers are wonderfully helpful. In a recent column, a woman asked whether it was OK for her young daughter to purchase with money she’s saved an ancient VW bus retrofitted with airbags. I advised against it, saying I couldn’t figure out how anyone could put airbags on a vehicle that didn’t have them installed in the factory and, beyond that, such a vehicle, big and cumbersome, would be missing other important safety equipment.

A fine reader got in touch and told me the term “airbags” applied to a classic or very old vehicle is a modification to the chassis suspension—“quite popular with the classic VW crowd”—not a cobbled-together retrofit to serve as a makeshift/make-believe safety-restraint system. He even included a couple of links to YouTube videos that show how they work on old cars. That’s a new one to me. I was aware of this kind of rideenhancing add-on but had never heard them referred to as “airbags.”

So thanks, sir. Appreciate the info. I’m sure the mom does, too.

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Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.