NMI-Guam driver’s license bills aim to foster greater access

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Soon, CNMI residents who conduct business or attend school in Guam for more than 30 days will be able to exchange their driver’s license for a Guam license under recently introduced legislation by Sen. Wil Castro. And, CNMI lawmakers have ensured that privilege will be reciprocated with a bill that mirrors the Guam proposal.

“Our people have enjoyed a shared heritage, kinship, trade relations, language and culture for a long time. This is one more way to build upon that past and establish policies of mutual benefit and in the spirit of inafa’maolek between our two communities,” stated the bill’s author, CNMI Rep. Ivan Blanco in a release.

Bill 123-34, the Guam legislation sponsored by Castro, seeks to allow CNMI residents to exchange their valid non-commercial driver’s license for a Guam license. Sens. Tommy Morrison, Joe S. San Agustin and Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. co-sponsored the bill. Under the proposal, only those who possess a valid CNMI driver’s license for at least one year and can provide proof of U.S. citizenship will be allowed to exchange their licenses.

Meanwhile, CNMI’s companion bill, H.B. 20-91, provides the same privileges to Guam residents whose stay in CNMI extends past 30 days at a time. According to H.B. 20-91, these exemptions would allow students, individuals conducting business in the CNMI and members of the armed forces with a valid Guam’s operator’s license to drive a motor vehicle in the CNMI beyond the 30 days.

“The bipartisan Guam-CNMI legislation is designed to strengthen our political solidarity and to communicate that we desire to continue to work together on matters that benefit both Guam and the CNMI,” Castro said.

According to Rodriguez, who co-sponsored the Guam version of the legislation, the two bills intend to facilitate greater access to jobs, education opportunities, and medical care. “If this is successful, then we may look into expanding reciprocity to other jurisdictions,” he said.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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