July 27, 2017
Chris Daniello, Executive Director
Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association 270 Spagnoli Road
Melville, New York 11747
Dear Mr. Daniello:
I am writing in response to your letter of June 30, 2017, written on behalf Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association. Your letter was regarding recently-enacted window tinting legislation and other potential issues affecting your members. Specifically, you are concerned that motorist’s possessing a vehicle with window tinting that may not pass inspection cannot be advised of that possibility prior to commencing the inspection.
The Department has maintained that inspectors should not evaluate vehicle systems prior to conducting an inspection. Our purpose has been to minimize customer dissatisfaction and avoid complaints against stations. We have seen unscrupulous stations cajole motorists into authorizing unnecessary part replacements prior to the inspection – to ensure a “pass” – as well as frustrated customers who have been directed to fix one problem before the inspection only to have to fix others at the conclusion of the inspection.
However, we have come to appreciate – in the seven months since implementation of the new requirement – that window tint testing is a unique element of the inspection program, in that, it is oftentimes readily apparent that a vehicle’s windows are too opaque to pass. Consequently, we now believe it is acceptable for stations to advise motorists having obviously dark window tint that the windows will most likely not pass inspection, and that they may wish to address the issue as soon as possible and before the inspection is conducted. Of course, this would be a judgment call for the station staff, as observable tint levels are a somewhat subjective matter.
To assist your members, we will prepare a NYVIP message, to be distributed shortly, that will inform inspection stations they are permitted to advise motorists presenting vehicles with obviously dark windows that the vehicle might not pass inspection.
We also suggest that inspection stations attempt to avoid this circumstance by seeking to raise customer awareness of the new standards by:
• Posting a sign outlining the new requirements in a place where customers are likely to see it;
• Informing all customers of the new requirements when an appointment is made for an inspection; and,
• Informing all potential customers prior to accepting a vehicle for inspection that window tint testing is a required part of the safety inspection.
We share your concerns for avoiding confrontations and maintaining good customer relations.
Working together, we can strike a balance between an inspection station’s desire to comply with regulations and a customer’s desire to be well informed of inspection rules.
If you still wish to meet to discuss this or any other matter, please send me a list of the discussion topics. Thank you. ·
Teresa L. Egan
Executive Deputy Commissioner NYS Department of Motor Vehicles