Laws effective Jan. 1, 2018
Many new Oregon laws went into effect on New Year's Day. Read on for information about some of the significant state laws that went into effect this week.
"Move over" law expands
Oregon's "move over" law is now expanded to include nonemergency vehicles.
Before, Oregon drivers were required to change lanes or slow down only if they were coming up on a stopped emergency vehicle, roadside assistance vehicle, tow truck or ambulance.
Now, drivers must also change lanes or slow down if approaching a stopped motor vehicle displaying hazard lights, or if approaching a person who is indicating distress by using emergency flares or posting emergency signs.
Drivers approaching a stopped vehicle as described by the law must move to a lane not adjacent to that of the stopped vehicle or slow down to at least 5 mph under the speed limit.
Tobacco purchasing age upped to 21
You now must be 21 or older to buy tobacco products in Oregon. The state Legislature passed a law in 2017 that made Oregon the fifth state to increase its minimum purchasing age for tobacco, after California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey.
Oregon retailers can no longer sell tobacco products or inhalant delivery systems, such as a pipes or vaporizing devices, to people younger than 21.
Retailers who are found in violation of the law will be subject to fines.
Bottle bill expanded
Effective Jan. 1 is an expanded bottle bill that includes new kinds of beverages.
Before, only certain drinks (waters, beer/malt beverages and carbonated soft drinks) were included in the bottle bill.
Now, all beverages — with the exception of distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milks, infant formula and meal replacement beverages — will be covered by the bottle bill. That means Oregon consumers will pay a 10-cent deposit (and can get a refund on that deposit) when buying bottled beverages like hard ciders, sports drinks, coffees and teas, so long as the packaging fits certain requirements.
People born in Oregon are now able to confirm their gender identities on their birth certificates by completing a notarized application rather than having to get a court order.
A law passed in 2017 allows any individual to change the name and/or sex designation on a birth certificate to accurately reflect that person's gender identity.
Before the new law, a court order indicating that an individual has completed sexual reassignment was required.
New vehicle registration fees
Oregon drivers will owe higher fees for vehicle registration starting Jan. 1.
The fee for a two-year passenger registration renewal has increased from $86 to $112.
The fee increase helps fund an Oregon transportation system upgrade that was outlined by the Legislature in 2017.
Other transportation fee increases effective Jan. 1 include a 0.5 percent privilege tax on new vehicle purchases and a $15 fee on new adult bicycles that cost $200 or more.