Are you familiar with Minnesota’s windshield laws? If not, you could be unknowingly violating them. And if you get caught — even if it’s during a routine traffic stop for speeding or running a light — you could get slammed with a hefty non-compliance fine.


Although some Minnesota auto glass laws are common sense, others have specific requirements. If you are driving in Minnesota with a chipped or cracked windshield, you should get it repaired promptly because the damage can easily get worse, and if it does, you may face a traffic ticket and a fine.


At Only 1 Auto Glass, we think it can pay off big time to be well-informed about auto glass laws here in our great state. Below, we’re sharing Minnesota windshield laws that are helpful to know, along with useful tips for keeping your vehicle windows in great shape.


Minnesota Law on Damaged Windshields

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on Minnesota roads if the driver’s view is obstructed in an unsafe way by window cracks, chips, tinting, or discoloration. So if there’s any type of glass damage or unusual coloring directly in your line of sight, it’s in your best interest to get that remedied stat. If you don’t, you risk incurring a steep fine.


Minnesota Law on Potential Vision Obstructions While Driving

Vehicles cannot have anything hanging from the rearview mirror or anything situated in or on the windows that causes the driver’s view to be obstructed. This includes air fresheners, signs, posters, or other decorative items. Rear and side windows also cannot be obstructed by any of these items.


Decals required by law, the rearview mirror (perhaps obvious, but worth mentioning nonetheless), and sun visors are allowed. However, legally required decals should be placed as low as possible in the windshield or any other window to prevent vision obstructions. If you want to have a GPS locator device in your windshield area, that’s allowed, but like decals, it must be placed as low in the window as possible.


If you regularly drive on toll roadways and want to position a toll payment device or safety/security equipment in your windshield area, those things are also allowed. But again, these devices must be placed either slightly above, below, or on the backside of your rearview mirror.


Minnesota Laws on Windshield Glass and Features

All new windshields and glass used for windshield replacements must be fashioned from glazed safety glass that can withstand impact from rocks without shattering. All vehicles in Minnesota that have windshields must have working windshield wipers. Although the definition of “working” is up for interpretation, it’s in your best interest to keep your wipers properly maintained and in good condition, so they’re capable of removing both rain and snow.


Minnesota Winter-Related Windshield Laws

It is illegal to drive a vehicle in Minnesota if the windshield, side, and/or rear windows are covered by frost or steam/fog that impedes the driver’s view. The same idea applies to snow and ice, so you’ll want to make sure you know how to easily defrost your windshield and safely remove ice off your auto glass.


Minnesota Laws on Vehicle Window Tint

No aftermarket window tint can be applied to the windshield. If your vehicle came from the factory with a tint strip on the uppermost section of the windshield, that’s fine. However, that original-manufactured tint must allow at least 50% of the light to pass through.


Other vehicle windows may have a reflective tint installed as an aftermarket product, as long as that tint is no more than 20% reflective. Use of this tint requires a sticker placed between the tint and the glass on the lower part of the driver’s side window.


This sticker certifies that the tint is in legal compliance with Minnesota law. Applying darker tint can put you at risk for a fine, and if you’re pulled over because your windows are too dark, you may be required to reduce the reflective nature of the offending windows.


How to Minimize Your Risk of Incurring Pricey Fines

If your windshield or any of your other vehicle windows are chipped or cracked, it’s in your best interest to schedule auto glass repairs as soon as you can. Law enforcement has the authority to make the evaluation of whether the condition of your windshield and/or windows is unsafe. It’s better to have these problems fixed than run the risk of getting a ticket, paying a fine, and paying for repairs on top of it all. 


Need Auto Glass Repairs in the Twin Cities?

When you need auto glass repair or windshield replacement service in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul metro area, look no further than our team at Only 1 Auto Glass! Our multiple locations throughout the metro make auto glass service quick and convenient, and our mobile repair team can come to you if you can’t come to us.


If you need your auto glass serviced, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or request a free estimate, and we’ll be in touch with additional information.