Virginia automobile license fees increased yesterday to $25 a year for cars weighing 4,000 pounds or more and to $20 for smaller cars. The increase was stated incorrectly yesterday.
Hundreds of new laws, major and minor, go on the books today in Maryland and Virginia, the result of work done by legislatures in both states during their 1982 sessions.
Most noticeable are the new statutes that cost consumers more money. Both states increased taxes on gasoline and they also raised the fees for marriage licenses. Virginia went further by raising fees charged for automobile registration and other motor vehicle charges and by increasing the tax on hard liquor from 15 to 20 percent.
The cost of a gallon of gas in Virginia will go up an average of 3.2 cents today; in Maryland, a 2-cents-per-gallon increase went into effect June 1. The fee levied by Virginia for marriage licenses jumped from $3 to $10 today, the new cost of a marriage license in Maryland, where the cost varies by jurisdiction, will increase by $5.
Both states passed laws to crack down on drunk drivers, to raise legal limits on credit card interest rates and to stiffen penalties for criminals (see chart).
In Virginia, other new laws going into effect today will:
Raise the cost of license plates for large cars (more than 4,000 pounds) from $15 to $20 and increase fees for titling, duplicate licenses and other documents issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Require motorists to have their cars inspected once a year for a $7 charge, instead of twice a year for $4 each time. Drivers whose license plates have to be renewed in the last six months of this year should get their cars inspected according to the month shown on their windshield sticker. All other drivers should get their cars inspected on the date their license plates expire.
Exempt 1983 model cars from auto emissions tests for the first year after their purchase.
Allow no-fault divorces after a six-month separation period, rather than one year.
Give women greater rights in dividing property accumulated during a marriage and make a surviving spouse first in line to inherit.
Ban the sale of "lookalike" drugs--pills designed to look like illegal drugs that are popular among teen-agers--and make possession of a small amount of marijuana on school grounds a felony, rather than a misdeamenor.
Levy immediate fines against employers who violate the state's child labor laws, bringing Virginia into complete compliance with federal laws.
In Maryland, other new laws will:
Require contractors of migrant workers to inform the state and the workers of all the terms of their contracts.
Require banks to return canceled checks to any customer who requests them.
Allow anyone represented before a state agency by a member of the legislature to maintain confidentiality.
Reduce bettors' share of racetrack winnings from 85 to 83 cents of each dollar bet, with the extra two cents going to the owners of the financially ailing racetracks. Also, Sunday racing will soon be permitted for two Sundays at the Timonium fairgrounds.
Another bill that was supposed to take effect today would have barred oil companies from charging their Maryland distributors special fees for credit card sales. That law, which Texaco Co. said would make its credit operation too expensive to continue, was temporarily blocked by a Calvert County Circuit Court judge pending the outcome of a suit.