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Several new laws take effect today

Today marks the day that numerous new laws go into effect for Virginia citizens. Many of these laws are vehicle and road related and impact drivers, passengers, and owners of boats and trailers.
As of today, the vehicle registration fee Virginians pay for their license plate decals is increasing by $2 annually, from $38.75 to $40.75 for standard passenger vehicles weighing 4,000 pounds or less.
Decal fees vary depending on weight and type of vehicle. The funds will be used to support Virginia State Police med-flight operations and other General Fund activities. Med-flight provides rapid response and transport to trauma centers for critically injured patients.
Additionally, vehicle owners owing parking fees to any Virginia localities will not be permitted to get new decals beginning today. Under the new law, the DMV cannot register or renew the registration of any vehicle if the owner has outstanding parking fines within any county, city or town in the Commonwealth.
The State of Virginia has also acknowledged dangers of utility trailers uncoupling from towing vehicles. In the previous two decades, over 400 individuals have lost their lives to runaway trailers.
Virginia is the first state to enact a law mandating stricter rules to prevent accidental trailer separation. Beginning today, law enforcement officers will be handing out $250 fines if the millions of boat trailer/utility trailer owners in Virginia have not yet complied by obtaining a sanctioned safety device.
Consumers purchasing vehicles may notice a new change as well. This new law defines when dealers are to disclose to buyers that a vehicle was used as a "demonstrator." The law will also simplify and broaden the term "new" vehicle as one that’s never been titled, and has less than 7,500 miles. Previously, no mileage amount was defined in the state code.

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