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Illinois Auto Glass Laws

Driving a vehicle in Illinois means that you need to be aware of, and follow the rules of the road. In addition to the traffic laws, drivers are also required to ensure that the windshield of the vehicle adheres to the requirements of the motor vehicle code. The following are the windshield laws in Illinois with which drivers must comply.

Windshield requirements

All vehicles driven on the roadways and highways, other than motorcycles, are required to have a windshield.

All windshields and windows in a vehicle must be made with safety glazing material, which is glass that is manufactured in a way that greatly reduces the potential of flying glass and shattering when compared with plate glass.

All vehicles must have windshield wipers that are controlled by the driver and capable of removing snow, ice, rain, and other moisture from the windshield.


Illinois also requires that drivers be able to see clearly through the windshield.

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on the roadways that has ice, snow, moisture or any other material covering the windshield that obstructs the driver’s view of the highway.

Drivers are not permitted to hang any items between them and the windshield.

It is illegal to place signs, posters or any other objects in or attached to the windshield that prevents the driver from seeing the roadways clearly.

Window tint

In Illinois, drivers can add window tint if it complies with the following:

Only non-reflective window tint is permitted on the top six inches of the windshield.

Tint on all other windows cannot allow less than 35% of light to pass through.

No metallic or reflective window tint is permitted on the windshield or any other window in the vehicle.

Cracks and chips

Illinois does not list specifics as to the permissible size of cracks or chips in the windshield, but does provide the following:

Motorists are not permitted to drive a vehicle if the windshield is in a defective condition that impairs the driver’s ability to see clearly.

It is important to understand that it is up to the officer issuing the traffic citation as to whether any chips or cracks impair the driver’s vision.

Windshield damage that is within federal limits may not be permissible based on the state-level laws in Illinois.

A crack or discoloration in the windshield area lying within the sweep of the wiper on the driver side is an out of service condition.

Chips that are no wider than 3/4″ (roughly the size of a nickel) are acceptable provided it is not closer than 3 inches to any other crack or damaged area.

Chips can turn into cracks fast. The changing weather from hot to cool each night, rain, car or truck washes, other intersecting cracks and time can cause the chips to turn to cracks.

Any crack that is intersected by another crack allows a DOT officer to place the vehicle OOS (Out of Service).

Each windshield shall be free of discoloration or damage in the area extending upward from the height of the top of the steering wheel (excluding a 2 inch) border at the top of the windshield) and extending from a (1 inch) border at each side of the windshield or windshield panel

In the simplest of terms, if your windshield is cracked, chipped or discolored within the wiper sweep area, you must get it repaired or replaced.


Failing to follow the windshield laws in Illinois is considered a traffic infraction. There is no listing available for the exact amounts of the potential fines that drivers may receive when failing to follow these laws. However, fines can be added for each offense, which means they can quickly add up if your windshield does not meet the requirements under the Illinois laws.

(215 ILCS 5/155.29) (from Ch. 73, par. 767.29) 
    Sec. 155.29. (a) Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to regulate the use of aftermarket crash parts by requiring disclosure when any use of an aftermarket non-original equipment manufacturer's crash part is proposed and by requiring that the manufacturers of such aftermarket crash parts be identified. 
    (b) Definitions. As used in this Section the following terms have the following meanings: 
    "Aftermarket crash part" means a replacement for any of the nonmechanical sheet metal or plastic parts that generally constitute the exterior of a motor vehicle, including inner and outer panels. 
    "Non-original equipment manufacturer (Non-OEM) aftermarket crash part" means an aftermarket crash part not made for or by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. 
    "Repair facility" means any motor vehicle dealer, garage, body shop, or other commercial entity that undertakes the repair or replacement of those parts that generally constitute the exterior of a motor vehicle. 
    "Installer" means an individual who actually does the work of replacing or repairing parts of a motor vehicle. 
    (c) Identification. Any aftermarket crash part supplied by a non-original equipment manufacturer for use in this State after the effective date of this Act shall have affixed thereto or inscribed thereon the logo or name of its manufacturer. The manufacturer's logo or name shall be visible after installation whenever practicable. 
    (d) Disclosure. No insurer shall specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts in the repair of an insured's motor vehicle, nor shall any repair facility or installer use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts to repair a vehicle unless the customer is advised of that fact in writing. In all instances where an insurer intends that non-OEM aftermarket crash parts be used in the repair of a motor vehicle, the insurer shall provide the customer with the following information: 
        (1) a written estimate that clearly identifies each

non-OEM aftermarket crash part; and

        (2) a disclosure settlement incorporated into or

attached to the estimate that reads as follows: "This estimate has been prepared based on the use of crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of your motor vehicle. Warranties applicable to these replacement parts are provided by the manufacturer or distributor of these parts rather than the manufacturer of your vehicle."

(Source: P.A. 86-1234; 86-1475.)

Or in simplest terms: for Illinois (IL) – Nothing unique to windshields. You can choose to use OEM parts, but you may have to pay the difference. If aftermarket parts are used, the insurance company must inform you in writing, and this must appear on the quote/invoice. [Source: 215 ILCS 5/155.29](above)