WASHINGTON – The new year brings with it a host of new state laws across the country, from banning popular brands of sunscreen to new measures about driving while holding a cell phone.
And a requirement that will be imposed later in the year will affect millions of American travelers.
Starting this fall, all airline passengers 18 and older must have a Real ID-compatible driver’s license or other authorized form of identification, such as a passport. States must check an applicant’s records to verify identity before issuing new licenses, which incorporate features that make them more difficult to counterfeit.
“We want to make sure we have these IDs in the hands of the entire traveling public. It increases security across the board,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told NBC News.
The requirement, repeatedly delayed over the past decade, was scheduled to go into effect during 2020. But the Department of Homeland Security postponed the effective date when the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for drivers to access local motor vehicle departments. .
Now, the law will go into effect on October 1. Travelers who wish to board a plane using a driver’s license for identification must have one that complies with the Real Identification Act, passed by Congress after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new licenses have a star on the Right upper corner.
Find out what changes in your 401k retirement plan starting next year.
Wolf said 114 million Americans already have a compliant license and all 50 states are now issuing them. But while some states have issued real IDs to 90% of their residents, others have issued them to less than 25% of drivers, he said.
Among the new state laws that go into effect on January 1 is the country’s first ban on the sale or distribution of sunscreens that contain two chemicals that, according to the state, can harm coral reefs and other life forms. Marine.
“Our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the land can have lasting impacts. This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resilience of Hawaii’s coral reefs,” Governor David Ige said in signing. the law.
Here are some recommendations.
Cancer specialists have been warning residents and visitors to find brands that do not contain the banned chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate.
“We don’t want to decrease our use of sunscreen, which has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer,” said Kevin Cassel, a researcher at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.
A new environmental law in Delaware that takes effect as the New Year begins bans single-use plastic bags to go. Supporters of the restriction said it will reduce litter and the amount of plastic in landfills. Plastic bags can also force recycling facilities to shut down when they get stuck in machinery.
Starting on New Year’s Day, drivers in Arizona and Virginia can be stopped and fined by police if they hold a mobile phone while behind the wheel. It is a primary offense, which means that a driver can be stopped even if other traffic laws are not violated.
“That text can wait. It’s not worth your life,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
A new Missouri law requires all state law enforcement officers to be trained to recognize implicit bias and reduce conflict.
The Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that anyone who wants to become a United States citizen after December 1 will be required to take a more rigorous civic test. The new standard for the test means that applicants for citizenship will have to answer 20 questions about history, laws and the constitution, instead of the 10 that have been asked at the time of the naturalization interview.
Gov. Mike Parson said the requirements will help police “meet the challenges they face on a daily basis and facilitate better communication and interactions with the public.”
Beginning January 1, each child born or adopted in Illinois will have $ 50 deposited into a college savings account, designed to keep up with the increase in tuition. Sponsors of the measure said children are more likely to attend college if an account is opened for them.
And Mississippi residents can toast 2021, no matter where they live. As of New Year’s Day, the state has removed all remaining laws that made the possession of alcohol illegal, removing one of the last vestiges of prohibition.