New year, new laws; Texas laws now in effect statewide

Published: Jan. 2, 2018 at 1:41 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2018 at 11:01 AM CST
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As the ball dropped at midnight, more than a dozen new laws in Texas hit the books.

As you head out for some new year shopping, be ready to show your photo ID.

Bill 1381 allows retailers the option to decline a debit or credit card transaction if you cannot verify your identity.

The bill aims to protect shoppers and merchants alike against fraudulent charges, data breaches and the making of fake cards.

After a federal court ruled that Texas' voting laws discriminated against minorities, Bill 5 sets to revamp the voting ID process.
Lawmakers said those who have a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining a photo ID may verify their identity through bank statements, paychecks or utility bills.

Once verified, election ID certificates will be distributed on site allowing those without an ID to vote.

With this new law, if a voter is found to be lying about not having a photo ID, they will face being charged with a state felony.

Stronger penalties are also in effect for anyone who refuses to accept a qualified voter.

On the health front, Texas is now one of six states nationwide to cover the cost of a 3-D mammogram.

Previously, those who went for their annual mammogram were asked if they'd like to pay an extra charge to upgrade to this advanced test.

Bill 1036 requires insurance providers pay for the higher tech-testing, no questions asked.

Selling a car just became a little bit easier thanks to Bill 1062.

When transferring the title of a vehicle, federal law says the odometer disclosure must be made on a "secure form to prevent tampering."

That form was usually placed in the mail, slowing up the process.

Texas will now accept an electronic form, in a move they say will hopefully speed up the transfer.

Property owners who have protested their property tax appraisals will now have a right to protest against that appraisal.

Bill 1767 states that if the value of your property jumps, you now have a right to fight against the newer value.

For a breakdown of all the 26 laws now in effect, click here.

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