January 1 ushered in more than the new year in Wisconsin. It brought about a number of new laws (and changes to existing laws) that are now in effect throughout the state.

Below, we review some of the most notable changes that Wisconsonites should know about.

More costly to register electric and hybrid vehicles

If you’re registering an electric or hybrid vehicle in Wisconsin in 2018, you’re in for a bit of a shock (pun intended). On top of the usual $75 vehicle registration fee, you’ll be charged an additional $100 surcharge on electric cars and $75 charge for hybrid vehicles.

Why the extra cost for registering these vehicles? These additional charges are intended to combat the decline in road work funding that has occurred as revenue from the gas tax continues a downward trend.

Potato planting requirements

If farmers want to use seeds that have been certified by UW-Madison, they are now required by law to plant at least five acres of potatoes.

State park entry fees raised

The 2018 state budget raises vehicle entry fees at selected parks. Increases are not set yet, but Department of Natural Resources Secretary Dan Meyer suspects fees will go up about $5 for both residents and non-residents. This will bring the total to approximately $15 (per night) for Wisconsin residents and $16 for non-Wisconsin residents.

School district referendum rules change

School districts are not allowed now to hold referendums on raising revenue more than twice a year. Such referendums must be part of regular state elections.

Domestic partner benefits – multiple changes

Another rule removes health insurance coverage and other benefits for state workers who are in a domestic partner relationship. The state’s domestic partner registry will also close on April 1.

Want to know more about Wisconsin laws?

If you’re interested in learning more about Wisconsin’s laws, you should check out our article highlighting Wisconsin’s strange laws.