House OKs bill to require expiration of car insurance, vehicle registration to coincide


The House of Representatives passed Friday a bill that will require that both a vehicle’s vehicle liability insurance and vehicle’s registration would expire at the same time.

Sixteen representatives voted “yes” to pass House Bill 22-3, while Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) abstained. Reps. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) and Richard T. Tudela (D-Saipan) were absent but excused from the session.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Before voting, Babauta, who chairs the House Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee, said if nobody wants to do their motor vehicle liability insurance and vehicle registration at the same time, there’s going to be no revenue coming in. Babauta said the bill’s author, Rep. Joseph Flores (Ind-Saipan), has repeatedly stated that this is a revenue generating bill, but she hopes that next time that he can back it up with cost-benefit analysis for the committee to consider.

Flores reiterated that it will be a generating-revenue bill. He said if the applicant has two or more vehicles, the applicant has the option to allow for the registration of the vehicles to expire on the same month as the vehicle intended for registration/re-registration at a fee of $25 per vehicle.

“That’s when the generating [revenue] comes in,” said Flores.

He also pointed out that he introduced the bill last February and that it was “handcuffed” before the JGO for more than 90 days, in response to Babauta’s claim that her committee never had the opportunity to hear the concerns of insurance companies and that insurance companies were never even informed by the committee about this bill.

Flores pointed out that putting the month together for registration and expiration of a motor vehicle liability insurance won’t incur additional charges.

Flores also introduced the same bill before the 21st Legislature.

In many cases, the expiration of the vehicle registration is dissimilar to the expiration of the motor vehicle liability insurance.

Flores believes that by mirroring the two expirations of such necessary requirements in operating a vehicle, all motorists will be protected and covered from any unforeseeable circumstances that may cause serious financial and/or physical strains.

He said many motorists in the CNMI have two or more vehicles.

The lawmaker said the bill seeks to provide options to the motorists and allow for them to choose whether they are in favor of paying a one-time fee and changing the renewal registration dates on their other vehicles.

Before the voting, Northern Marianas Insurance Association president Gol Corpuz spoke at the session in favor of the bill.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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