Fiscal Note
Fiscal Services Division
SF 491 – Motor Vehicle Window Tint (LSB2067SV)
Staff Contact: Maria Wagenhofer (515.281.5270)
Fiscal Note Version – New
Senate File 491 prohibits a motor vehicle operating on the highway to have light-transmission-
reducing material applied to the windshield unless the material applied allows at least 25.0%
light transmittance and does not exceed a luminous reflectance of 25.0% above the
manufacturer’s AS-1 line or within the top five inches of the windshield. Operating a motor
vehicle with a side window or sidewing that allows less than 25.0% light transmittance or
exceeds a luminous reflectance of 25.0% is also prohibited. Lastly, operating a motor vehicle
with any other window that allows less than 25.0% light transmittance or exceeds a luminous
reflectance of 25.0% is prohibited unless the motor vehicle is equipped with an outside mirror in
compliance with Iowa Code section 321.437.
The Bill also removes the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) rulemaking authority to
establish a minimum measurable standard of transparency for window tint.
Iowa Code section 321.438(2) currently does not allow a front windshield, side window, or
sidewing of a vehicle to be excessively dark or reflective and requires the DOT to establish rules
to set a minimum measurable standard of transparency for this provision. The DOT adopted
administrative rules in 761 IAC 450.7 that established 70.0% light transmittance to be the lowest
level acceptable for vehicles. In FY 2022, there were 8,616 violations of Iowa Code section
321.438(2). The current fine for a violation of Iowa Code section 321.438(2) is $70.
Under Iowa Code section 602.8106(4)(b), scheduled fine revenue for a State law violation is
distributed as follows: 91.0% to the State and 9.0% to the general fund of the county in which
the violation occurred. For the State share of citations, 1.3% is distributed to the Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) Fund and 98.7% is distributed to the State General Fund.
In addition to the scheduled fine, a Crime Services Surcharge, equal to 15.0% of the fine, and a
$55 fee for court costs are also imposed. The Crime Services Surcharge is remitted to the
State Court Administrator and is distributed as follows: 46.0% to the Juvenile Detention Home
Fund; 32.0% to the Victim Compensation Fund; 20.0% to the Criminalistics Laboratory Fund;
and 2.0% to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Fund. The fee assessed for court
costs is deposited into the State General Fund.
• Under current law, there will be an estimated 8,600 convictions of Iowa Code section
321.438(2) in FY 2023, which is similar to the number of convictions in FY 2022.
• For estimation purposes, it is assumed that the number of convictions under SF 491 will
decrease between 1,000 and 3,000 per year.
• The collection rate for scheduled violations is estimated at 58.0%.
• It is assumed that commercial motor vehicles are not included.
Fiscal Impact
The fiscal impact of SF 491 cannot be determined. However, any reduction in convictions will
reduce revenue to the General Fund and will also reduce annual fine and surcharge revenue
allocated by law to other funds. Table 1 shows the distribution of the estimated annual revenue
reduction based on conviction decreases of 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000.
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Division, Department of Human Rights
LSA calculations
/s/ Jennifer Acton
March 14, 2023
Doc ID 1370554
The fiscal note for this Bill was prepared pursuant to Joint Rule 17 and the Iowa Code. Data used in developing this
fiscal note is available from the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency upon request.