RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – As the world wakes up to a new year, the Commonwealth is waking up to a number of new laws. Here’s a breakdown of them.
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, it will be illegal to hold a cell phone while driving. A first offense carries a $125 fine and for a second offense, a driver will be fined $250. Breaking the law in a highway work zone is a punishable by a mandatory $250 fine. You can still talk on your phone, but can’t hold it.
Limits on the cost of insulin
Under this law, health insurance companies and other carriers will be required to cap insulin costs at $50 per month. Lawmakers say it’s among the lowest in the country.
Surprise medical billing
The law impacts patients with health insurance who are billed for out-of-network services, like when an insured patient gets care from a provider that’s not in their insurance company’s network. The new law bans insurance providers for billing patients for out-of-network costs when they get healthcare from out-of-network providers.
Concealed handgun training
Beginning Jan. 1 under this new law, anyone who applies for a concealed carry permit will need to take a training or safety course in-person. Virtual classes will no longer fulfill the state’s training requirement.
Misclassifying independent contractors
Also changing in the commonwealth in 2021 is independent contractor classification. Employers are now prohibited from classifying an individual as an independent contractor if they are an employee, unless they can demonstrate that the worker is a contractor. IRS guidelines will help the Department of Taxation determine if someone is an independent contractor. Those in violation of the law will be subject to fines and could be barred from public contracts.
Driver privilege cards
Undocumented immigrants who don’t meet Virginia’s legal presence requirements for a standard or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Virginia will be eligible to obtain a driver privilege card if they meet the following requirements:
You are a non-US citizen who is a resident of Virginia
You have reported income from Virginia sources or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months
Your driving privilege is not currently suspended or revoked in Virginia or any other state, to include insurance-related infractions.
A driver privilege card is not REAL ID-compliant and, as such, may not be used as identification to board a flight or enter a secure federal facility. Driver privilege card applicants are not eligible for a commercial driver’s license or identification card.
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