New laws affect drivers, hybrid car tax
Every July first of each year new laws are implemented in Virginia. The following are some affecting us drivers: Current law allows DMV customers to indicate a hearing or speech impairment or a condition of insulin-dependent diabetes on their driver’s licenses. Starting July 1, 2014, drivers may also designate an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder on their drivers’ licenses, and holders of identification cards may also designate any of these conditions on those cards as well. Customers requesting one of these indicators on their credential must present a signed statement by a licensed physician confirming the applicant’s condition. Effective July 1, 2014, the $64 annual hybrid vehicle tax will be repealed. The hybrid tax is still required to be paid on all registration periods due prior to July 1, 2014. Owners of hybrid vehicles with registrations expiring on or before June 30, 2014 are required to pay the $64 hybrid tax. The tax will also be assessed on hybrid vehicles purchased and registered between now and July 1, 2014. Customers who renewed their hybrid vehicle registrations for multiple years are entitled to a refund of prepaid hybrid taxes for registration years beginning July 2014 and after. There will be no prorated refunds for time periods prior to July 1. Starting in July, refund checks will be issued to the primary owner’s mailing address currently on file with DMV. If someone is convicted of a DUI first offense, and the court does not require installation of an ignition interlock system on at least one vehicle and any vehicles he or she operates as a condition of restricted driving privileges, then effective July 1, 2014, DMV will require it. Beginning July 1, 2014, the sales and use tax (SUT) increases from 4 percent to 4.05 percent. This increase is part of the transportation funding package adopted by the General Assembly last year, which gradually increases the SUT to 4.15 percent by 2016. The minimum SUT remains $75. Effective July 1, 2014, active military members residing in Virginia and returning from an official absence, have 14 calendar days to obtain a current vehicle safety inspection sticker. Under current law, updated inspection stickers are due within five business days.