There are literally dozens of new state laws that go into effect today, July 1, 2019.

One of the most talked about is a new law that changes the regulations for license plates and car registrations.  One of the major changes, car owners will keep their license plate if they sell their vehicle.

If someone buys from a dealership, the car will come with a paper tag and they will have 30-days to register the vehicle. If that’s the case they’ll have a choice between putting the old tag on or purchasing a new one. People will see the biggest changes if they are buying from someone other than a dealership.

“So there is a five day period where you essentially will be able drive the car with no plate at all as long as you have a notarized bill of sale in the car with you,” said Classen Tags agent, Jeff Segell.

If someone has a tag from a previous car they can place the tag on the newly-purchased vehicle after it has been titled and registered. They would have 30 days before any penalties. This law also requires drivers to have their registration for their vehicle with them. Those are given out when first registering your car and when you annually renew them.

But News 9 talked to the Department of Public Safety and the state’s tax commission and found there’s no penalty written into the statute if someone is caught without their paper tag. DPS said troopers will not be issuing citations.

Another law taking effect is designed to help Oklahoma law enforcement investigate sexual assault crimes.

Lawmakers who helped write this law said before this, there were several tracking systems for sexual assault cases. However, those systems weren’t all compatible with each other, they said.

By creating one statewide tracking system, analysts said they will be able to cross-reference thousands of crimes and D-N-A samples. The bill specifically directed the OSBI to create a statewide electronic tracking system for rape kits, including those found in the 2017 statewide audit. The tracking system will be able to trace a kit’s location and if it has been processed.

By the beginning of next year, all law enforcement agencies, forensic labs, medical providers and others in the state who keep rape kits will be required to participate in the tracking system.

Another law that could impact the OKC metro deals with trains.

Under this new law, trains could face a $1000 fine if they block traffic at a railroad crossing, without good reason, for more than ten minutes. This law is designed to help drivers and make sure emergency crews aren’t blocked.

Here around the metro, News 9 has done multiple stories about trains being stopped in Moore and Edmond. When the law was still in the works, we were told the Oklahoma Corporation Commission took a look at footage from a camera mounted on a building in Edmond.  They found on Main Street between June 25, 2018, and August 5, 2018, trains blocked the intersection for a total of 53 hours and 15 minutes.

Local police, deputies, and state troopers are responsible for writing tickets for train violations— but the state corporation commission is in charge of enforcing the fines.  There are some exceptions to the trains, including dealing with another train, an accident or derailment.

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