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Virginia Statutory Clarification - July 1, 2009

Virginia Medical Exemption

During the month of June 2009, a call was received from a member of IWFA regarding the appropriate sun-shading allowances for medical waivers on v vehicle front windshields in Virginia. Discussions with the State Police i indicated that the law is very clear regarding the medical waiver for the front windshield. Section 46.2-1053 of the Code of Virginia specifies that “Such sun-shading or tinting film shall not cause the total light transmittance to be reduced to any level less than seventy percent except for the upper five inches of such windshield or the AS-1 line.” 

The confusion seems to be created by the DMV Sun-Shading Medical Waiver Application form (MED 20) that reflects the law in a chart that indicates the medical waiver for the front windshield is 70%, without clarifying this as a net rather than a film requirement. A number of members for years have interpreted the form to allow for 70 percent film on the front windshield which is a violation of state law. 

After many discussions with State Police safety officials and our members, it was clear that there was unintentional confusion and that, as a result, members would be advised of the appropriate medical exemption standard. Contacts have been made with the Department of Motor Vehicles officials to modify form MED 20 (1/27/09) to clarify that the medical allowance is a net requirement and not a film standard. 

The Departments of State Police and Motor Vehicles have been extremely helpful in clarifying this issue. All members should comply with the statutory provision of 70 percent net visible light transmittance in accordance with the Virginia Code for medical waivers.


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