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New laws now in effect

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Governor Ralph Northam signed a slew of bills in 2019 creating new laws that took effect on July 1. Here’s a roundup of some of them:

Vehicle inspection

The maximum fee for a standard vehicle inspection jumped from $16 to $20, and the Department of State Police will get a $0.70 cut from each one instead of $0.50.

Car seats

Children two years old or younger must ride in a rear-facing car seat unless they meet a minimum weight requirement or the driver is carrying a signed waiver from a doctor. Otherwise, the law allows a $50 penalty for the first offense and up to $500 for additional offenses.

Suspended driver’s licenses

If your driver’s license was suspended solely due to unpaid court fees or fines, you’ll regain the right to drive and won’t have to pay a reinstatement fee. This law doesn’t apply to people who lost their driver’s license for failure to pay child support, judgments or driving on a suspended license.

This law also doesn’t eliminate any debt, so you still have to pay what you owe. But going forward, courts cannot suspend driver’s licenses for unpaid court costs or fines.

Another law allows people convicted of out-of-state drug charges to petition their local general district court for a restricted driver’s license. But that restricted license cannot be used to operate commercial vehicles.

Driving in work zones

Don’t touch your phone while driving through work zones. It’s now against the law to even hold the device in those areas. The first offense carries a $125 fine and subsequent offenses will cost $250.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 7/10/19