1. What is tinted permit?
In Nigeria, and indeed in many parts of the world, it is common to see cars with darkened windows, which prevent the sunlight from entering, and limit what an outsider sees of the interior of the car. Vehicle users sometimes prefer to have the windows and windscreens of their cars and other vehicles so shaded for a number of reasons. Tinted glass make the driving experience pleasurable to these drivers.
Tinted glass permit allows the car owner use tinted glass legally
This condition of dimmed car windows, which cuts down visibility into the car, is known as glass tint. In Nigeria, for a number of official reasons, vehicle owners require an official tint permit in order to drive a car with tinted glass legally.
The laws regulating motor vehicle ownership and use in Nigeria make it mandatory for all car users with tinted windows to have a permit to do so. A failure to get a permit before using tinted windows on your vehicle is a serious offence in Nigeria. Infringement can lead to severe punishments. This guide from Naijauto.com will give you a complete look at tinted permits for cars and how to get one legally.
2. Benefits of tinted car glass and windows
As mentioned above, having tinted glass in cars and other vehicles is a popular trend in Nigeria and even outside the country. Most tinted glass vehicles come with factory fitted glass, though you can also have tints added in an auto-workshop. Car owners and users will usually seek to get tinted glass in their vehicles for the following reasons:
People are very particular about their privacy. When driving a car, especially in populated city centers such as Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt, a commuter may face several hours in traffic. At such instances, tinted windows and glass secure a degree of privacy.
Tinted windows give you privacy when traveling
Security concerns are also a strong reason for getting tinted glass for your vehicle. The driver, passengers and any items of value in the vehicle tend to enjoy an extra degree of security if they are partially or totally hidden from prying eyes. It is an often quoted security advice to desist from keeping valuables in a parked car in order to avoid a break in. Tinted glass makes this preventive measure unnecessary as potential violators can’t see into the car. Also, in Nigeria, many public officials as a rule have tinted glass on official vehicles that convey them around.
2.3. Reinforcement of windows and glass:
The glass tinting process serves to fractionally make the glass and windows thicker. This reinforces the glass, making it much less likely to break on impact. Sometimes, a polythene material is used for sealing/tinting the glass, making it much safer in case of breakage as it prevents splintering.
2.4. Reduction of sunlight and heat:
Although this benefit is only applicable during the day, it is still a much desired benefit, especially in warm climates like Nigeria. You can achieve relative coolness on a hot, sunny day even without the use of the car’s air-conditioning system if you have tinted glass installed. Part of this benefit is also the blocking of potentially harmful ultra violet rays from the sun.
Tinted glass permit revalidation in Nigeria
3. Why is a tinted permit mandatory in Nigeria?
According to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), “… majority of crimes relating to terrorism, suicide bombing, kidnapping, gun-running, human trafficking, armed robbery and other related offences are committed with the use of vehicles with tinted glasses.” This claim was made by CSP Frank Mba, the NPF’s Public Relation Officer in 2013.
Security is thus the principal motivation for which the authorities require that car owners in Nigeria secure an official permit for the use of tinted glass on their vehicles. Driving a car with clear windows allows law enforcement personnel as well as others to see into the interior of the vehicle at all times. A tinted permit also tells the officer that the authorities are aware that the car owner is permitted to have tinted windows and glass.
Security is the principal reason a tinted permit is required
3.1. Legal matters
There is sometimes some speculation about the legality of police officers requesting tinted permits from car owners. To be clear, the statutory or legal backing for tinted permit in Nigeria are:
3.1.1. Laws enabling tinted permit
- The Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act CAP M21 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Formerly Decree No. 6 of 1991). This statute mandates car owners to get a permit before using a car with tinted glass on a Nigerian road, anywhere in the country. Offenders are liable to a fine of ₦2000 or a prison term of 6 months, or both. For contravening vehicles that are the property of corporate entities, the directors of the company may be held liable.
- Regulation 66(2) of the National Road Traffic Regulations (1997) provides that “all glasses fitted to a vehicle shall be clear and transparent to enable persons outside the vehicle see whoever is inside the vehicle and the glasses shall in no way be tinted except as may be approved by the Inspector-General of Police for security reasons”.
It is clear from the above laws that security agencies who politely request for a permit from a driver of a car with tinted glass, do so within the ambits of Nigerian law.
The law against wrong use of tinted glass is strict
3.1.2 Vehicle eligibility
You must also note that under this law, only cars with factory fitted tinted glass are qualified to apply for a permit. This is clearly spelt out on the portal for application, http://npf.gov.ng/tinted/.
3.1.3. Duration of permit
Tinted permits are valid from one year of issue, and must be renewed each year. This allows authorities to reevaluate the conditions of the original application.
3.1.4 How much tint / darkening is legal without a permit?
It is common to see varying degrees of glass shading or darkening on many cars on the road. Many car owners are of the opinion that as long as there is some measure of visibility into the car, then they don’t need a permit. According to Section 1 (1) of the Act, except with the permission of the ‘appropriate authority’ and for ‘good cause’, “no person shall cause any glass fitted to a vehicle to be tinted, shaded, colored lightly or thickly, darkened or treated in any way so as to render obscure or invisible persons or objects inside the car”. This means that all vehicles without 100% visibility in windows and glass require a permit.
4. Conditions for a tinted permit
There are basically 2 conditions for being granted an official Nigeria Police tinted permit in order to install or use tinted glass on your car or vehicle.
This is perhaps the most common reason for the application and granting of a tinted permit. The applicant is required to prove his or her individual case to the issuing authorities. Granting of the permit is not automatic, and each application is approved or denied on its own merits. Many public officials and other public personalities such as musicians, footballers, and actors will usually have their applications approved for this reason.
These public figures require extra security as well as privacy due to their highly public life and activities. They also need this level of anonymity when they are on the road or in transit, making a vehicle with tinted glass and windows extremely practical for them. They can thus successfully apply for and receive approval for tinted glass permits.
Public figures need the extra security and privacy tinted car windows give
4.2 Medical grounds
A certified medical condition can also be sufficient reason to be given a permit. Sufferers of certain skin conditions that are made worse by direct sunlight are eligible to apply under this condition. You will need a medical certificate from a qualified and certified medical practitioner.
5. Things to know about NPF tinted glass permit
5.1 How much does it cost to get a permit?
According to issuing authorities, tinted permits are free of charge. This mean the government and the issuing police authorities do not expect you to pay to obtain a tinted permit. However, you may be asked to pay various sums from ₦500 – ₦5000 in the process of getting a permit, depending on where you go to get a permit. You must note that these requests from money for whatever reason are unofficial and illegal. You may also be at risk of getting a fake or invalid NPF permit when you patronize touts or other unofficial persons. Follow the strict guidelines on this article, and you will be sure of getting the authentic permit.
5.2 Where do you get it?
The Nigeria police Force is the issuing authority for tinted permit in the country. In the past, applicants needed to apply directly by a written letter to the Inspector General of Police. Recently, the process is automated and can be initiated using the dedicated portal http://npf.gov.ng/tinted/. You must follow the procedure as detailed above in this article.
The Nigeria Police Force issues tinted glass permits
The Inspector General or an assignee must approve all such applications before the permit is granted. This why the tinted permit is also known as a Nigeria Police tinted glass permit or simply NPF tinted glass permit. The NPF is also the principal agency of government that enforces compliance of the laws regulating usage of tinted car glass in Nigeria.
5.3 Process of applying for a tinted permit
- Navigate to http://npf.gov.ng/tinted/
- Fill the Application form, register and you will receive an Application ID.
- Log into the portal with your email and ID and continue the application process. You will require details of your vehicle registration, insurance, and so on, as well as bio-data of yourself. You may also need to upload copies of any relevant medical documents if you are applying on medical grounds.
- Get a print-out of your completed form. You must make sure your print-out is accurate and represents the exact information you filled in. You may need to contact the NPF via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have problems with your print-out.
- Now you can take the print-out to the nearest Police Command for biometrics capturing. The usual biometric data is your face and fingerprints. Other details may also be required from you, for instance, if you are a foreign national living in Nigeria. You will also have your permit issued there at the command.
You can now process your tinted permit online
Make sure your print-out is accurate
You must also note that you cannot transfer the tint permit of a vehicle when it is sold. The new owner will need to apply fresh to continue use, or take off and replace the tinted glass. This is due to the fact that applications are evaluated on an owner/vehicle basis.
6. Legal alternatives for tinted permits
Are there legal options for using tinted windows without a permit in Nigeria? Unfortunately, there is not. You can however enjoy a 14-day grace period to get a permit. Your grace period will begin on the first day of purchase, or clearing from customs for an imported vehicle. After the grace period, you need to either get a tinted permit to continue using the car with the tinted glass, or take off the glass and windows and replace them with clear glass.
You need a permit for even the lightest shading or tint
Getting an official NPF tinted glass permit is not a difficult process. If you require the use of tinted glass and windows in your vehicle, you are best served by complying to the regulations guiding its use.