If you have a young child who often begs to sit in the front seat in the car, you typically let them know the answer is a firm "No!", mainly because you don't want to incur a costly traffic ticket or put the child's life further in harm's way in the event of a car accident. Effective January 1st of 2020, there are at least five major new Washington state laws going into effect and one of them involves children riding in vehicles.

Other new 2020 laws will regulate tobacco and vape sales, civilian and federal employee pay, and your domestic travel access within the United States.

  • 1

    Car Seat Law

    Children under age 13 years old should always sit in the back seat of a vehicle, when possible. Beginning January 1, 2020, new car safety laws for children dictate:

    • Children under age 2 years must sit in a rear-facing car seat.
    • Children over age 2 years - 4 years must sit in a car seat with harness (forward or rear-facing).
    • Children ages 4 years and older who are under the height requirement (4'9" tall) must sit in a booster seat and be secured in a seat belt.
    • Children taller than 4'9" must sit secured by a seat belt.
  • 2

    Federal Overtime Pay Law

    If a federal employee makes less than $684 per week/ $35,568 per year and works over 40 hours in a week, the employee will be entitled to time and a half overtime pay.

  • 3

    Maternity/Family Leave Law

    The new Paid Family and Medical Leave law grants any employee (part-time or full-time) who has worked at least 820 hours in 2019 eligible status to be paid 90% of their normal paycheck by their employer when experiencing a qualifying event. Such qualifying events will include:

    • Having adopted, fostered or given birth to a child in 2019
    • Expecting to have a baby, adopt or foster a child in 2020
    • Will be experiencing a major medical event in 2020, or have an immediate family member who will be experiencing a major medical event that will require the employee to take care of them in 2020.
    • Inpatient/Outpatient treatments for mental health or substance abuse
    • Family leave for military spouses and family members
  • 4

    REAL ID 2020

    Each state in the United States will be under the REAL ID law beginning October 1, 2020. (Children under 18 years of age are exempt.)

    Even though the Department of Licensing will continue to issue standard IDs, anyone wishing to enter an airport, federal building or military base, travel on a domestic flight or cross the United States border MUST have one of the new REAL ID document.

    You can purchase a REAL ID (or Enhanced ID which is REAL ID compliant) at participating DOL locations and you must present the following:

    • Proof of U.S. citizenship
    • Proof of identity
    • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Proof of Washington state Residence
    • Proof of Name Change (if needed)
  • 5

    Tobacco and Vape Sales Law

    As of January 1, 2020, you have to be over age 21 years old to buy any cigarettes, vapes, vape juices, and any other tobacco products. Many other states within the U.S. are also adopting this law established to curtail the spread of youth tobacco usage.

    Penalties can include fines up to $5,000 and a year in jail.