Guam passes CNMI license exchange bill

The Guam Legislature in early October passed a bill that allowed certain CNMI license holders to exchange their licenses for a Guam license.

Guam acting governor Ray Tenorio at the time signed Guam Bill 123-34, which allowed CNMI residents that are U.S. citizens holding a valid CNMI driver’s license for at least a year to exchange their licenses for a Guam driver’s license.

According to the bill, authored by Guam Senator William S. Castro, the measure intends to benefit students, people conducting business on Guam, armed service members from the CNMI, CNMI residents travelling for medical purposes, or any others whose stay on Guam would extend beyond 30 days.

“This bill makes sense. It eases the transition for students or workers between the islands of the Marianas,” Tenorio reportedly said in a statement to Guam media outlets. “I am glad I can be a part of this effort to help our brothers and sisters as they seek economic and educational opportunity.”

The CNMI now joins the ranks of other 25 U.S. states, including individuals within the armed forces, in a reciprocity agreement that allows for the exchange of drivers licenses that are valid in Guam.

Rep. Ivan A. Blanco’s (R-Saipan) House Bill 20-91, a bill that provides the same benefits for U.S. citizens residing on Guam, has yet to be acted on. Currently, CNMI law states that foreign licenses, Guam licenses included, are valid on the CNMI for only one month.

“This is intended to reduce, if not absolutely remove those artificial barriers that separate our two jurisdictions, our one great Chamorro nation,” Guam bill author Castro said in a statement to Guam media outlets.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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