Arizona Windshield Law Guide: What You Need to Know
This guide from Pinnacle Auto Glass explains how windshield laws work in Arizona, and what kinds of issues police officers may be on the lookout for.
- Federal Windshield Laws
- Arizona Windshield Laws
- Violations and Officer Discretion in Arizona
- Can I Get a Ticket for Putting Off My Phoenix Windshield Replacement?
Federal Windshield Laws
Federal vs State Laws
There are two types of glass regulations and guidelines:
- Federal regulations that apply nationwide
- State regulations that vary by state
Federal regulations are set by the United States Department of Transportation and establish minimum vehicle requirements. Each state is responsible for enforcing the federal guidelines, and they can also expand on them with their own laws if desired.
Federal Windshield Laws
Federal regulations are as follows:
1. Windshields may not have damage or discoloration to the center of the glass in front of the driver.
The "center of the windshield" is formally defined as the space above the steering wheel, extending all the way to within 2" of the top and 1" from each side.
2. 1 crack is acceptable if it extends into the center area, but more than 1 crack or a crack connected to spidering, chips or other damage is not.
Arizona Windshield Laws
Arizona has its own laws which expand on federal regulations and apply to all motor vehicles operating in the state.
1. All motor vehicles are required to have an "adequate" windshield.
2. Windshields must be made of safety glass, which is glass that is designed and/or manufactured to prevent shattering and flying pieces when struck or broken.
Exceptions by Vehicle Type and Age
1. The following vehicles are considered exceptions and do not need a windshield:
- Motorcycles, ATVs and golf cars manufactured before June 17, 1998.
- Antique vehicles not originally equipped with one. For instance, horseless carriage-type vehicles made around the turn of the century.
2. Golf cars are not required to have a windshield made of safety glass (due to their slow operating speeds when operated as designed on golf courses).
Equipment Requirements and Guidelines
- Are required for every vehicle type with a windshield except golf carts.
- Must be driver-controllable.
- Must be able to remove all types of moisture that can accumulate on a windshield, including rain, snow, hail, etc.
2. Windshield tint is allowed within the following guidelines:
- The tint needs to be non-reflective.
- It cannot be applied past the manufacturer's AS-1 line.
- Cannot be red (no red tint is allowed on any vehicle windows).
3. Stickers are allowed provided they do not obstruct the driver's field of vision.
Exceptions to these guidelines can be made for personal safety and health reasons. For instance, people who medically need tint on all their windows to minimize sun exposure while driving can request a formal exception.
Violations and Officer Discretion in Arizona
1. Drivers in violation of federal and/or state guidelines can be stopped by police officers and issued citations and accompanying fines.
2. Each county in the state can determine the amounts for different violations.
3. Since state law does not specifically define an "adequate windshield", specific violations and their fines are issued according to the officer's discretion.
Can I Get a Ticket for Putting Off My Phoenix Windshield Replacement?
YES (in some cases)
1. Federal law requires the area in front of the driver's field of view to be clear from damage or discoloration. Damage is defined as more than 1 crack, or a crack connected to any other damage like chips or spidering.
2. Arizona law requires any motor vehicle operating on public roads to have an "adequate" windshield, per ARS 28-957.01. "Adequate" is not defined specifically, so it is left to an officer's discretion.
3. A police officer in Phoenix, AZ, can pull you over if they believe you're violating federal law by driving with a windshield that obstructs your field of view or AZ law by driving with an "inadequate" windshield.
The information on this page is presented as guidelines and general information only.
For specific questions about fixing the windshield or other glass on your vehicle, call Pinnacle Auto Glass today at 480.907.3982. We will be happy to walk you through the different options to properly fix your glass and give you a free quote!