4 Changes Coming to the Road in 2020

Keeping up with the latest traffic laws and auto insurance changes can sometimes feel like an endless struggle.
woman in yellow shirt driving a silver car

Keeping up with the latest traffic laws and auto insurance changes can sometimes feel like an endless struggle. But understanding changes to laws and benefits available can help you avoid trouble and sometimes even save you some money.

Keep reading to learn a few of the biggest changes coming to the road in 2020.

1. Put Down Your Phone

On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, three states joined the 22 others that prohibit the use of handheld cellphones while driving. However, like the others that have already had laws on the books about cellphone use, these laws vary from one state to the next.

Idaho was one state that saw a new law on cellphone use in July. While the law is currently in place, drivers are issuing warnings through the end of the year, then issuing citations starting January 1, 2021. In Indiana, the law includes a punishment carrying fines of up to $500 and a risk of losing your license. And, you don’t even need to be using the phone to be charged, only holding it. On the flip side, the third state, South Dakota, allows you to use your cellphone for emergency purposes, like GPS or for typing in a phone number so that you can then call it using speakerphone or a hands-free device.

It’s important to not only learn the laws in the state where you reside, but any that you plan to visit, as well. After all, you’ll still need to follow those laws while passing through each state, regardless of what the laws are in your state.

2. Two States Are Letting You Keep Your License Longer

Assuming you follow laws like avoiding using your cellphone while driving, two states are now letting you keep your license longer before you have to renew it.

Both Connecticut and Utah extended the expiration on driver’s licenses from six years to eight years. However, this move won’t save you money, as the cost to renew will increase in proportion to the addition of those two years.

3. Save on Your Auto Insurance

COVID-19 has already dealt a heavy blow to many families’ finances, and the global pandemic isn’t even over yet. Luckily, another change coming to the road offers the chance to save on your auto insurance, which means more money in your pocket for covering other expenses.

USAA offers new members a variety of discounts. Designed to cater to military families and their unique needs, you’ll enjoy perks like flexible payment schedules and help with vehicle storage while you’re deployed. And besides discounts for your military service, you can also save if you’re safe driver, are insuring multiple vehicles and for the length of your membership with USAA.

4. Registration Fees May Be on the Rise

If you happen to live in Ohio, taking advantage of discounts on your auto insurance is about to get even more important. That’s because the state just raised the registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles by $200 and $100, respectively. This increase is designed to make up for some of the tax revenue lost through lower gas sales to owners of these vehicles.

Learning the Latest Rules of the Road

Keeping up to date on the latest rules of the road will help you avoid tickets, fines and jail time, and help you save money. From new laws on cellphone use, changes to licenses expiration dates and registration fees, and the chance to get steep discounts on your auto insurance, these are a few of the biggest changes you should know in 2020.

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