Rules of the Road: What Drivers Should Be Aware of in 2020

With months still to go, 2020 has already dealt a decade worth of blows, including a global pandemic the likes of which the world has never seen.

But while COVID-19 might be changing our everyday routines, life does go on as usual in many ways. Laws still apply, including the rules of the road, and lawmakers are continuing to roll out changes. Keep reading to learn a few things drivers should be aware of in 2020.

Update Your Driver’s License if You Want to Fly

If you’ve been through an airport or DMV in the last year or so, you’ve likely heard of the new REAL ID. The REAL ID has been designed by the Federal Government to set standards for issuing documentation like driver’s licenses. These standards include minimum security requirements that individuals have to pass in order to go through TSA at airports.

Originally, the deadline for individuals to get a READ ID-compliant license in order to fly was October of 2020, but because of COVID-19 and the national emergency that followed, the deadline has been extended to October 1, 2021. However, if you need to renew your license this year, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get the compliant license if you know that you will fly during or after 2021.

Right now, if you want to fly domestically, all you need is your driver’s license, issued by whichever state you’re a resident of. But after the deadline passes, your license will have the bear the seal marking it READ ID compliant as well. Otherwise, you’ll need your passport to fly, even if you’re not leaving the U.S.

Put Down the Phone

All but two states in the U.S. have banned texting while driving. Another 21 states prohibit using handheld cellphones while behind the wheel, but 2020 is bringing even more laws on using handheld devices and how these offenses can be handled.

As of January 1, 2020, Florida now allows Highway Patrol officers to pull over drivers that they can see are texting and driving.

Previously, distracted driving was illegal, but wasn’t a primary offense. This meant that officers could not pull drivers over unless they were also breaking another law, like speeding. Massachusetts has also had a law change, joining the list of states that prohibit using handheld devices while driving.

USAA Is Rolling Out Discounts to New Members in 2020

While dealing with a REAL ID or new laws aren’t exactly exciting changes, there are others coming that you’re more likely to look forward to. One is the chance to save on your auto insurance.

In 2020, USAA is offering discounts and savings to new members. You’ll not only get savings for your military service, but for other things as well, like having multiple vehicles or being a safe driver. We’re here to help military servicemen and women and their families protect themselves without breaking the bank.

Understanding the Changes Coming to the Road in 2020

If you’ve been sheltering in place and staying off the roads, getting back behind the wheel might take a bit of adjusting.

Don’t forget to brush up on new laws in your state, like those on using handheld devices, before you head out for a summer roadtrip. If you renew your license this year, consider getting a REAL ID-compliant version to save yourself some trouble when the deadline comes around. And take advantage of USAA discounts for new members to save your family some cash during these challenging times.

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