New year, new laws: What SC residents need to know

SOUTH CAROLINA (WSAV) — It’s the start of a new year and that means new laws go into effect. Some deal with drivers and how we fund our roads. Others deal with state agencies, local elections and even exotic pets.

South Carolina drivers have been paying an extra 2 cents at the gas pump since July to repair state roads, but starting in 2018, if you hold onto those gas receipts you could see some of that money back in 2019. Vehicle registration fees are also going up by $16 starting Jan. 1.

But another law going into effect at the start of the year would put limitations on who can own large wild cats, bears and apes.

The wild cats, bear and apes bill would ban the possession, purchase, or sale of those animals in the state starting January 1.

Current owners of exotic pets have to pay $500 to register their animal and have an escape plan to follow if their animal gets away.

For some residents exotic pets bring up safety concerns, but feel the state shouldn’t be the one to regulate it.

The bill does have exceptions in regards to who can own these animals. It lists veterinarians and animal handlers as being able to own the animals after January 1st. Any person caught violating the wild cats, bears and apes bill could face a $1,000 fine and 30 days behind bars.



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