Friday, July 30, 2021

New Laws Beginning October 1

Several new laws go into effect this Thursday. The 24 laws will be implemented after being passed during the 2020 legislative session.

“Military vets and those drawn to specialty license plates will be most interested in the new laws kicking in Thursday,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

Among the notable new laws:

HB1135– Revises the state’s specialty license plate program. It includes expanding the potential number of designs from the current 123 to 150 and requiring a minimum of 1,000 sales before new specialty plates can move forward and existing plates can remain in circulation. The bill also creates plates for Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia and establishes a “super tag” template for nine black fraternities and sororities dubbed the “Divine 9:” Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta.

HB133-Makes a series of changes related to towing vessels and vehicles. In part, the bill requires local governments to set maximum rates for towing and immobilizing vessels. It also prohibits counties and cities from imposing fees on wrecker operators or towing businesses.

“This bill will also ensure tow-away zone notices are easier to see,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

HB205-Expands a portion of state law designed to prevent people from misrepresenting service in the military. The bill makes it a third-degree felony to use such misrepresentations to land jobs or political offices.

SB294-Creates the “Florida Veterans Protection Act” to make it a first-degree felony to obtain or attempt to swindle $50,000 or more from 10 or more military veterans.

SB680– Expands a 2017 law that increased penalties for people who remove fins from sharks and discard the rest of the sharks in the ocean. The new law bans the import, export and sale of shark fins but includes exceptions for people who already had federal shark fishing permits as of Jan. 1 and seafood dealers who had federal shark dealer permits. Shark fins are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.

According to Jim Turner with News Service of Florida, “Many of the measures taking effect this week keep in place exemptions to state-public records laws. Such exemptions often are subject to repeal unless they are re-enacted by lawmakers.”

Those include exemptions related to law-enforcement body camera recordings within private residences, health care facilities or other places where people would expect privacy (HB 7015); email addresses collected by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for vehicle-registration renewal notices and driver-license renewal notices (HB 7001); and information about the identities of victims of child abuse and sexual offenses and minors who are victims of human trafficking (HB 7019).

Source: News Service of Florida

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Ellsworth Buck
Since 2003, Ellsworth has served as Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, a network of independent, franchised insurance agents located throughout Florida. During his tenure he has helped the franchise grow to more than 100 independent locations state wide. He is a 20+ year veteran of the Florida Insurance industry and is a graduate West Virginia University, earning his M.B.A in 1984. He lives with his wife in Stuart, Florida. For more information visit:

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