Torres backs reciprocity with Guam on driver’s licenses


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres supports a Guam bill that would allow CNMI residents to drive in Guam using a CNMI driver’s license and vice versa for Guam residents driving in the Commonwealth.

In a letter to Guam Speaker Benjamin J. F. Cruz, Torres expressed his support for Guam Bill 123-34, authored by Guam Sen. William M. Castro (R-Guam). He also supports Rep. Ivan A. Blanco’s (R-Saipan) bill to allow the use of Guam’s driver’s licenses in the CNMI. That bill was introduced on June 23, 2017, as House Bill 20-91.

Torres referred to both legislations as “commonsense legislations that marks a new era in the relationship of [the CNMI and Guam].”

Citing the CNMI and Guam’s common history and culture, Torres pointed at Chamorro values such as respetu or respect, and amista or camaraderie.

According to Bill 123-34, Guam currently has a reciprocity agreement with 25 U.S. states, including individuals within the armed forces, “therefore the same agreement should be afforded to the people of the CNMI.”

Castro used to live here; his mother has roots in the CNMI. Castro is a former director of Institutional Effectiveness at the Northern Marianas College.

HB 20-91 proposed to allow holders of Guam driver’s licenses over 16 to freely “operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of the Commonwealth.”

Current law states that foreign licenses are only valid for one month in the CNMI. A Guam license is considered a foreign license; therefore a Guam license holder must either stop driving on CNMI highways or apply for a CNMI driver’s license.

If both legislations pass their respective governments, the one-month limitation set by the CNMI would be lifted.

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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