Pet Custody and Other Crazy New State Laws in 2018 You Won’t Believe

With the new year comes new state laws. There are hundreds of important ones that we need to keep track of. And it’s newsworthy that California legalized recreational marijuana use, which isn’t surprising since it’s one of several states that have had some level of legal weed for years.

Those are the ho-hum state laws that are new for 2018, but we’re here to tell you about the crazy, weird, and interesting ones. Pet custody. How to talk to cops. Why passing your driver’s test in New Jersey just got a little tougher. It’s a new year with new state laws in effect. Here are some of the interesting, weird, and crazy new 2018 laws you won’t believe (including a strange one at No. 8 on the list).

1. Arkansas

Running soldiers carrying weapons

Veterans won’t get taxed on their retirement pay. | ChrisSupersea/iStock/Getty Images

  • Helping veterans with a nice tax break

This one isn’t downright shocking, but it is surprising. Veterans who live in Arkansas won’t have their military retirement pay taxed by the state. Active military pay was already protected, and now veterans get the same protection. This one is tame, but they get weirder from here.

Next: Babies can go into any bathroom now.

2. California

entrance to the male and female toilet

Dads change diapers too. | IrKiev/iStock/Getty Images

  • There needs to be spots for babies in the men’s room

Legal weed is the big new law in California. Also new is that gun owners can’t buy bullets online and have them shipped directly to them. Lost in all the pot and gun hubbub is that men’s restrooms must now have baby changing tables. Renovations or new construction of buildings owned wholly or in part by state entities have to follow this most sensible of new state laws.

Next: Teens have to think carefully about their cell phone use in this state.

3. Colorado

woman sitting at a table using mobile phone

Be careful what you’ve got on your phone. | loveischiangrai/iStock/Getty Images

  • Sexting teens need to be more cautious

Lawmakers in Colorado worked for years to fine-tune a teen sexting law. The legislation is now one of the new state laws. Teens who possess or share nude images can be charged, and there are increasing penalties for repeated infractions. Luckily, teens who are caught avoid felony charges that would then require them to register as sex offenders.

Next: Who gets the dog?

4. Illinois

woman loves her dog

This gives new meaning to the term ‘fur baby’. | Manuel-F-O/Getty Images

  • Pets are like people (when it comes to divorce)

If a divorcing couple owns a pet, they better be ready to remain friendly with each other. That’s because a new law treats pets like people. During divorce proceedings, a judge can call for joint custody of old Fido or pick one person to take the pet. It’s hardly the only crazy new law on the books in Illinois. Corn gets some love as the state’s official grain and vegetable. Elephants can’t be part of the circus. And Barack Obama will have to make time in his busy schedule to come back to the state for Barack Obama day on Aug. 4.

Next: Another weird car-related law is now in this state.

5. New Jersey

First person point of view of driving a car

You’ll have to have knowledge to back up those driving skills. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Passing your driving test gets a little more complicated

This is already the state where you’re not allowed to pump your own gas. Now there’s a new car-related state law in New Jersey. When you go for your driver’s test you’ll have to know more than how to yield or parallel park. Part of the written exam will include questions about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to avoid it.

Next: This state is now teaching you how to respect authority.

6. North Carolina

woman pulled over by police

They’ll tell you what you should do instead of what you shouldn’t. | bmcent1/iStock/Getty Images

  • Where they let you know how to deal with cops

There are things you should never say to a cop when you’re pulled over. North Carolina wants to tell you what you should say. In conjunction with several policing bodies, the state is revising the driver’s license handbook to include “a description of the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.” It’s one of the unique state laws taking effect in 2018.

Next: Lots of local controversy about this simple law

7. Oregon

They are not happy about it. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Finally letting motorists do the most basic thing

As we touched on with New Jersey and item No. 5, you’re not allowed to pump your own gas there. The same was true in Oregon until the first day of 2018. That’s when Oregonians were allowed to handle the pump on their own (at rural stations). Sounds simple, right? To most of us, it is. However, Oregon residents are going crazy about it. A Dec. 29, 2017, Facebook post by KTVL has hundreds of comments calling it a bad idea. There are hundreds of trolls making fun of the commenters. Even USA Today is poking fun at the wild reaction to the new state law.

Next: One crazy state law that probably should have been on the books years ago.

8. South Carolina

a pair of grizzly cubs shaking off

This seems like common sense. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Only zoos can buy and own tigers, lions, and bears

If you own a cheetah or are thinking about buying a lion, you won’t be able to move to South Carolina. Unless you run a zoo. Regular residents are now barred from owning exotic pets. If you already own a polar bear or chimpanzee, you can keep it for the rest of its life as long as you follow a few steps. Why is this one of the craziest new state laws? Because it didn’t exist until now.

Next: One line of work is ready to expand its business.

9. Tennessee

Male barber cutting hair

Barbers can now go mobile. | rez-art/iStock/Getty Images

  • Barbers are allowed to hit the road

Barbers in Tennessee used to have it tough. They couldn’t make house calls unless the person was sick. Lawmakers changed that with a few strokes of the pen, and now any barber can go mobile for any client. The barbers might be able to charge a bit more (a win for the barbers), and now clients won’t have to remember all the tricky rules of barbershop etiquette.

Next: You can now ignore your boss’ friend request in this state.

10. Vermont

Your employers never have to see your selfies. | Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

  • Employers can’t ask you about your Instagram account

If your boss in Vermont is itching to follow you on Twitter or Instagram, you can go ahead and ignore the requests. If you don’t want to be friends with your boss on Facebook, you don’t have to be. Aside from a few circumstances, the new state law says your employer can’t make you share your social media posts. You can complain about work if you want, but you should probably still be careful about what you post.

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