Big changes to Virginia’s laws coming July 1st

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jun 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-28 18:05:25-04

If you text while driving, you’ll have to pay a pretty hefty fine starting on July 1st in Virginia. And if you operate a moped, you’ll now be required to carry a government-issued picture identification card. There are some other big changes coming to Virginia Starting July 1st. Check out the list below.

  • Anyone operating a moped will be required to carry a government-issued picture identification card (not necessarily driver’s license).”Under current law, the lack of any identifying information on a moped makes them nearly impossible to recover after theft and complicates identification of the vehicle and operator in the event of a crash,” said John Saunders, DMV’s Director of Highway Safety. “For example, a member of the law enforcement community recounted a situation where it took a few days to identify a victim who had died in a moped crash because there was no identifying information on the victim or moped.”
  • Anyone operating a moped will be required to wear a face shield or goggles if the moped does not have a windshield,
  • Anyone operating a moped will be required to wear a helmet.
  • Texting while driving becomes a primary violation, meaning that police will be able to stop a violator without first having to observe another violation.
  •  On July 1, 2014, the Virginia State Code will begin requiring all mopeds to be registered and titled through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In the meantime, mopeds/scooters may be registered with DMV, by the owner, before then. Moped owners can jump start the process this summer. DMV will begin titling and registering mopeds on July 1, 2013. A moped title is $10. The annual registration fee is $20.25.
  • Provisional Driver Licensees (under the age of 18) Restricted to Fewer Passengers. 

    This new law limits the number of passengers who can ride with a first year provision licensee (unless accompanied by a parent who holds a valid driver’s license and is in the front passenger seat) to one who is less than 21 years old.   After the first year the provisional license may drive with up to three passengers who are less than 21 years old ONLY IF driving to or from a school-sponsored activity, or licensed driver who is at least 21 years old is occupying the seat beside the driver, or in an emergency.

The current law allows no more than one passenger under the age of 18 for the first year and no more than three passengers under the age of 18 until the driver’s 18th birthday. Both the current and new laws provided exceptions for passengers who are members of the driver’s family/household.

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