Marriage license fee increase boosts number of marriages

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Counter-intuitively, an increase in marriage license fees has resulted in more couples applying for marriage licenses.

Although many would think that the fee increase would result in fewer marriages in the CNMI, the Saipan Mayor’s Office says that that is not the case and that it has even seen the numbers double.

The increase is embodied in House Bill 20-128 that was passed into law in mid-April.

Accordingly, nonresidents will now be charged $250 to obtain a marriage license and residents will be charged $130.

All revenue raised from marriage license fees will go to the Saipan Mayor’s Office account.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang says the change has been nothing but positive for his office.

Apatang said his office has seen an increase in the number of marriages they perform in a day and the community has been receptive to the increases.

“As a matter of fact, we increased the number of marriages every day. Instead of three and four every day, we increased it from five to six; that’s more revenue for us,” he said.

Apatang said the change has been a long time coming. “I think it is about time that we raised the fees for marriages. We perform a lot of marriages here in the mayor’s office and it was only $50 for many years. I’m glad the Legislature finally realized that we need to increase our fees,” he said.

The Saipan Mayor’s Office will use the added revenue to continue its beautification projects in the CNMI and other projects run by the Saipan Mayor’s Office.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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