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House OKs Bill Tying Driver's Licenses to Visa Expiration Date


Lynn’s HB 1 links right to drive to authorized legal length of stay

Monday, April 1, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representative today passed a bill tying a non-citizen’s driver’s license to their visa or other legal presence document, fixing a discrepancy in state law that allowed some to receive licenses – official ID – past their legally authorized length of stay.

House Bill 1, sponsored by Representative Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage, proposes amending the current state law granting an automatic five-year license to only granting a driver’s license for the term stated on an applicant’s visa or other legal presence document.

“No one with an expired visa or passport should have an Alaska driver’s license,” Lynn said. “It’s illogical. House Bill 1 gives the Division of Motor Vehicles the power to make this common sense change. Alaska is behind the curve, nationally, for tying driving privileges to length of stay. It’s simply good governance to make this change in the law.”

HB 1 would also have DMV issue a one-year license to someone with an indefinite length of stay. In all, 36 states and the District of Columbia issue driver’s licenses that are valid for no longer than the period of time that the driver is legally permitted to reside in the United States.

HB 1, which passed by a vote of 29-7, now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.


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